If you’ve been away from Chelsea soccer for five or six years, the Blues look a little different now.
This summer, the Blues have been active in the transfer market. After finishing 12th in the league in the 2022-23 season, the club has been more aggressive than ever in changing its squad.
So far, the club has been more active in selling than buying. Veterans from Chelsea’s glory days like N’Golo Kante and Cesar Aspilicueta have left the club in free agency, while the likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, and Mateo Kovacic have left the club in expensive transfers.
The winds of change were blowing through Chelsea. The Chelsea of today is nothing like the Chelsea of yesteryear. In particular, the Chelsea of before 2018 is nowhere to be found.
According to soccer statistics site TransferMarkt, Chelsea’s most senior player is Kepa Arrizabalaga, who joined the team in August 2018. At six years old, he has the most seniority in the squad. He is followed by Callum Hudson-Odoi and Rhys James, who joined in 2019.
It’s an interesting picture. Just four years ago, the most veteran player in the squad became a troublemaker when he refused to be substituted by his manager. The incident occurred in an English Football League Cup (EFL Cup) match against Manchester City, where Kepa started and the game went into extra time after a tightly contested game. The game was still not decided in the extra time, and Maurizio Sarri decided to remove Kepa, who was complaining of leg pain, and put on Willy Caballero in preparation for the penalty shootout.
However, Kepa refused to be subbed, constantly waving his hands and shouting “NO”. In the end, no substitution was made and the game went to penalties. Kepa saved one shot, but lost as two Chelsea kickers failed to convert. Despite this, Kepa fought back and returned to the number one spot for the 2022-23 season. 안전놀이터
Here’s another interesting point. There are a whopping 14 players who joined the team in 2023. Ian Mattesen, Levi Colwill, Cesare Cassaday, and Lewis Hall have all been with the Blues before, but this summer is the first time they’ve ‘officially’ joined the first team. The likes of Enzo Fernandes, Mikhail Mourinho, Malo Gusto, Benoit Badiacil, Andrei Santos, and Noni Madueke joined the club in the winter transfer window, while Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson, and Angelo Gabriel arrived in the summer.