By Tim Harrison
Blues fans are still absorbing the late flurry of transfer deadline activity at the Bridge, with opinion divided about the re-signing of David Luiz.
It mirrors the reaction that followed news he’d gone. Most supporters gasped when they heard Paris Saint-Germain had paid £50million for him two summers ago, amazed at the price tag.
When Chelsea went on to win the league the next season, it seemed the club had been fully justified in the sale.
But then came last season’s collapse, Jose Mourinho’s departure and Tony Conte’s arrival.
Last-minute transfer deals smack of panic buys, and it is clearly preferable to purchase new players early to allow them to integrate.
No such worries about Luiz; he knows how Chelsea play, he knows most of his team-mates and he’ll rapidly slot in, even after taking into account his apparent £16m cut in value.
Half the fans love the guy, who now wears 30 as his old number four has been snaffled by Cesc Fabregas. But half remain to be convinced; they admire his turn of pace and creativity, but are uncertain about how dependable he really is in front of goal.
The 29-year-old has been given a three-year deal.
Fellow defender Marcos Alonso, the new No3, is a Real Madrid product with a real future. The 25-year-old left back has a five-year deal, and cost £23m.
When Kurt Zouma returns to active service, things will look brighter at the Bridge. The defender ruptured his right knee ligaments while jumping for a ball in a game against Man Utd back in February, and has been recovering ever since.
The plan is to bring Zouma back into the first team in time for December’s annual flurry of matches, and he has been gently training since the Blues’ pre-season tour of the States.
Next up is Swansea away, this weekend. Then Chelsea’s first Friday nighter looms, against Liverpool.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.