After Chelsea’s home match against Fulham on Friday ended 0-0, manager Graham Potter begged for more time to get his expensive new signings to gel. On the day of the transfer deadline, Enzo Fernandez made his Chelsea debut after becoming the most expensive player in British football history by moving from Benfica for 107 million pounds, or 132 million dollars.
In addition, Mykhailo Mudryk made his debut at Stamford Bridge, and Noni Madueke and David Datro Fofana made their Premier League debuts off the bench. After making a record-breaking investment of more than £300 million in the January window, Chelsea spent more than half a billion pounds on players in their first season under new ownership. Behdad Eghbali and co-owner Todd Boehly were in attendance, but they won’t have been impressed by the lack of a second chance to catch the top four.
Potter’s team is in ninth place in the standings, still nine points away from qualifying for the Champions League. New players are adjusting to a new league and country. It’s not that simple. “It is the nature of the business that questions will be asked when the price tag is what it is,” Potter stated. The decision we made can be seen in the window, as can the age profile. We think our team has a lot of good players. We must work together to become an excellent team. There is work there.”
When the teams met just three weeks ago, Fulham had won the west London derby for the first time since 2006. In their first season back in the top flight, Marco Silva’s team is two points and three places ahead of their local rivals in the table. This is a major boost to the small club aiming to punch above their weights.