When Roman Abramovich arrived at Chelsea in 2003, he simply threw money at the club. Claudio Renieri, Jose Mourinho and a number of successive managers had free reign to sign whoever they wanted, but in recent years, the Russian oligarch has changed his methods. Chelsea appear to be chasing a target man this January, and with a number of under whelming links appearing, there has been suggestions that is Abramovich getting bored at Chelsea.
Since his arrival, no club in England has won more trophies than Chelsea. Abramovich has brought unbridled success to the West London club, and taken them from nearly men, to an established, top club. Initially this was done by spending extortionate sums on players, but over the last decade, Chelsea have become very astute with their business dealing, with players heavily scouted before being signed, and then ruthlessly sold if a single sign of complacency emerges.
Paul Merson recently said: “He’s been in football a long time and he thinks ‘right, if I spend £50million for another centre-forward, how close is that going to bring me to Man City? We’re not going to win the league’. “
The point made by Merse is a good one, one of the few sensible things he will say all year, in fact! Abramovich didn’t get to where he is by wasting money. During his time at Chelsea, he has completely revamped the infrastructure of the club, invested in youth and hired some of the best scouts and coaches in world football. This has ensured that Chelsea will be competitive for years to come.
These moves are not the sign of a man who is getting bored, just a man who knows the value of money. He will also be aware of the amount the club spent in the summer on players like Alvaro Morata and Tiémoué Bakayoko, and the £33m he spent on Michy Batshuayi 18 months ago. And, he has sanctioned the transfer of Ross Barley this month, which will improve the depth of the squad, this year and next.
With this in mind, there is no suggestion that Abramovich is getting bored. He knows Chelsea are not going to win the league, and he will be aware of the ghost of Fernando Torres. The striker arrived for over £50m in January, and was a complete flop. If Abramovich is to sanction a big money move for a striker, he will want to be sure of the player he signs is fully scouted, and he is sure of what he is signing.
Many Chelsea fans will have questioned the club’s ambition of not going for Aubameyang, but Arsenal and Chelsea are in very different positions. Chelsea should safely finish in the top four with their current squad, while Arsenal are desperate to strengthen and slide in with a strong second half finish. Neither team will win the league, but an experienced, cheap striker could add enough to get Chelsea over line.
Chelsea are now a self-sufficient club, and not solely reliant on Abramovich’s money. To suggest he’s getting bored is a highly unfair statement to a man who has invested so much time and money into Chelsea. They have won two titles in three years, and they will be back stronger next season, but Abramovich is experienced enough to know that a big money, quick fix is not the right option this season.