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Chelsea: How have the new signings fared so far?

The Blues failed to bring in a lot of their top targets, but did end up spending almost £180 million to improve the first team and freshen up the squad.

Alvaro Morata became Chelsea’s record signing, costing the club £70 million, to replace Diego Costa, with Atletico Madrid yesterday agreeing a £55 million fee with Chelsea for the controversial striker.

Tiemoue Bakayoko was brought in from Monaco to replace Nemanja Matic, whilst Danny Drinkwater was signed at the last knockings of the window to increase squad depth.

Davide Zappacosta was signed to give Victor Moses competition for the right wing-back slot and Antonio Rudiger was also brought in for big money as another centre-back. 

Chelsea also signed Willy Caballero as a backup to Thibaut Courtois, which understandably went almost under the radar.

RealSport are giving an early season grade to each new signing.

  1. 1 Alvaro Morata

    Position: ST

    Signed from: Real Madrid

    Fee: £70 million

    Age: 24

    Appearances: 6

    With the drama surrounding Diego Costa, it was crucial Antonio Conte brought in another striker who could lead the line. Romelu Lukaku was reportedly the first choice but after the Belgian joined Manchester United, Conte opted for Morata.

    The Spaniard was on the edges of the Madrid side though still broke Chelsea's transfer record. 

    The former Juventus striker is a natural goalscorer who is intelligent and has excellent technique. It wasn't the best of starts for Morata, however, having missed a penalty in the shootout against Arsenal in the Community Shield on his debut.

    His first ever Premier League appearance saw the Spaniard score his first goal and grab an assist although it ended in disappointment with Chelsea falling down 3-2 to Burnley at home.

    Morata has so far scored three goals for Chelsea, all headers, and has settled in well to life in England.

    However, Morata has often struggled against better opposition and was largely anonymous against Arsenal. If he is to prove capable of replacing Costa, Morata must show he can perform against the best sides in the league. 

    It has still been an encouraging start for the record signing.

    RealSport Verdict: B+

  2. 2 Tiemoue Bakayoko

    Position: CM

    Signed from: Monaco

    Fee: £36 million

    Age: 22

    Appearances: 6

    The midfield engine was one of the best players in Europe last season, and crucial to Monaco's first Ligue 1 title since 2000.

    With Chelsea selling Matic to Manchester United, it was crucial Conte brought in someone who could shore up the midfield along with N'Golo Kante.

    Last season, only Victor Wanyama at Tottenham Hotspur and Bakayoko won over 50 take-ons, aerial duels and tackles in Europe's top five leagues, so Bakayoko fit the profile for what Chelsea were looking for.

    It was a great start for the Frenchman too as he helped the side to a 2-1 win away at Spurs on his debut. 

    He netted his first goal for the club in the Champions League against Qarabag and already looks a crucial member of the squad.

    RealSport Verdict: A-

  3. 3 Danny Drinkwater

    Position: CM

    Signed from: Leicester City

    Fee: £35 million

    Age: 27

    Appearances: 0

    Many people turned their noses up when Chelsea splashed out £35 million on Danny Drinkwater on transfer deadline day.

    The former Manchester United midfielder had a superb season when Leicester won the league but has failed to do much else in his career.

    Therefore, it was seen as a desperate last-ditch attempt to increase depth to a squad looking rather thin.

    However, there is little doubt that the English international has quality and is good enough as back-up for Chelsea. 

    Drinkwater is a superb passer and it could be a masterstroke signing if he can rekindle the partnership he formed with Kante whilst the pair were at Leicester together.

    However, the central midfielder is yet to appear for his new side due to a calf injury so it is impossible to give him a grade.

    RealSport Verdict: N/A

  4. 4 Antonio Rudiger

    Position: CB

    Signed from: Roma

    Fee: £31.5 million

    Age: 24

    Appearances: 7

    With club legend John Terry departing, a new centre-back was crucial to increase competition, depth and quality.

    Rudiger has been one of the best centre-backs in Europe in recent seasons and so far looks worth every penny.

    The German has clocked the highest total speed in the league so far this season at 35.2km/hr, bringing much-needed pace and physicality to the Chelsea back three.

    He is difficult to get past in one-on-one situations and has a wonderful range of passing, shown with his average of 4.5 long balls per game and a passing accuracy of 86.6%.

    His passing ability is crucial for the wide centre-back role in a back three. Rudiger would get an A, but has made the odd costly error which brings his grade down.

    RealSport Verdict: B-

  5. 5 Davide Zappacosta

    Position: RWB

    Signed from: Torino

    Cost: £23 million

    Age: 25

    Appearances: 3

    Chelsea greatly needed competition for Victor Moses at right wing back. As good as Moses was last season, he isn't a natural in the position. Conte, therefore, splashed out on the relatively unknown Zappacosta, a wing-back specialist.

    However, Zappacosta has everything Conte seeks in a wing back.
    The 25-year-old is a good defender, but he's also dangerous when attacking down the right flank.

    The Italian has the energy to get up and down the pitch all game long and is quick when dribbling with the ball as he proved on his debut for the Blues.

    Against Qarabag, Zappacosta carried the ball from deep inside his own half, skipping past any challenge that came his way, before, rather fortuitously, finding the back of the net from an intended to cross to net a debut goal.

    It was an insight into the quality Zappacosta can bring to the side. He also got an assist on his debut and so far looks an excellent acquisition.

    RealSport Verdict: B+

  6. 6 Will Caballero

    Position: GK

    Signed from: Manchester City

    Fee: Free

    Age: 35

    Appearances: 1

    Willy Caballero was brought in as an experienced back up to Thibaut Courtois and is only ever likely to play in the Carabao Cup or if Chelsea's first choice Belgian gets injured.

    Despite having never truly proving himself as good enough to be a first choice 'keeper at a side challenging for the league title, Caballero racked up 22 Premier League appearances in his three years at Manchester City.

    The Argentine made his debut for Chelsea in the 5-1 Carabao Cup win at home to Nottingham Forest and was largely untested, but will have been disappointed to concede a late goal on his debut.

    RealSport Verdict: N/A

  1. POLL: Who was Chelsea's best summer signing?

    1. Alvaro Morata
    2. Tiemoue Bakayoko
    3. Danny Drinkwater
    4. Antonio Rudiger
    5. Davide Zappacosta
    6. Willy Caballero
    109 votes
    Share Your Result

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Harry Brooks

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

Chelsea: How have the new signings fared so far?

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