Chelsea

The Marina Granovskaia transfer verdict that has put added pressure on Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea

Going through the summer transfer window, Chelsea fans had The Fear. And not for the first time, either.

From the outside looking in, many would struggle to understand why. The Blues had scrapped their way into the Premier League top four; had won the Champions League against the odds; and in Thomas Tuchel, had one of European football’s best coaches.

Yet all of the above is why The Fear had returned. The question being asked within the Chelsea fanbase was simply: What if Chelsea don’t capitalise on the success achieved by Tuchel and back the German in the transfer market?

“Two or three could be very, very good,” Tuchel admitted just hours after the Blues’ Champions League final win in Porto, his champagne-soaked trainers not yet dry.

“It’s a constant thing to never deny change. That you always bring new energy, new guys who question the old beliefs, who challenge everybody in the training and in matches, so I think it’s a good thing.

“We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover because it’s also our job to keep on improving, because we have still a young squad and it’s not about stealing from them the chance to prove it again that they are capable of growing and evolving.

“But we have some ideas, of course, to make the group stronger and I think this can always be a positive thing to challenge all of us.”

What Tuchel hoped for in the summer transfer window emerged before the Chelsea squad had even flown back to the United Kingdom. A new striker was top of the list. A midfielder too. He was also open to the addition of a new right-sided player and a centre-back if the right option became available.

As demands go, they were hardly the most outlandish. Yet as June moved into July and no signings had been made, The Fear among Chelsea supporters started to grow.