Cesar Azpilicueta has questioned Chelsea’s summer transfer activity – admitting the Premier League champions are not the same force they were.
The Blues were stunned by Burnley in their opening match of the season, losing 3-2 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
What was perhaps even more surprising was that the result wasn’t a total surprise.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has cut a frustrated figure in pre-season, apparently unhappy with his side’s transfer business.
Diego Costa has played his last game for the club while John Terry and Nathan Ake were sold while Nemanja Matic joined Manchester Untied against Conte’s wishes.
In their place are Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger.
While appearing to be quality arrivals, Azpilicueta says they don’t compare to those they’re replacing.
‘When you see the players we have lost and the players we have signed, they are not the same,’ the defender is quoted as saying by The Mirror in the aftermath of the defeat to Burnley in which Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas were sent off.
He went on to call for some new additions to the side: ‘Obviously, we have very good young players, but we have to know the reality that being champions is even harder the next season – we have experience of that.
‘So we need players — also for the development of the young players. They need help from senior players, from top players. Not to rush them in a position where maybe they are not ready to go at the moment, but they will be in the future.
Chelsea 2017/18 Fixtures
Tottenham (A) – Sat Aug 20
Everton (H) – Sun Aug 27
Leicester City (A) – Sat Sep 9
Arsenal (H) – Sun Sep 17
Stoke City (A) – Sat Sep 23
‘It is something the club is working on with the manager, and hopefully we can get new signings in the next few weeks.’
Chelsea will hope new signings can be made before next weekend when they face the tough task of a trip to Wembley to play Tottenham.