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    Chelsea look blunt up front but Kepa Arrizabalaga and Thiago Silva continue to provide impressive Dream Team returns

    CHELSEA’S transfer dealings may have excited their fans recently but the Stamford Bridge faithful have been struggling to stay awake on match days.The Blues have won just twice since the turn of the year, scoring only three goals in their last seven fixtures.
    After two 0-0 draws in a row, a lack of potency and cohesiveness in the final third is Graham Potter’s primary concern but three consecutive clean sheets reflect positively on the defensive unit.
    Clean sheets are coming far easier than goals for Chelsea right nowCredit: getty
    This contrast is reflected starkly by the Dream Team rankings.
    Mason Mount (£3.6m), Hakim Ziyech (£2.6m) and the like have barely produced two points to rub together in the last few Game Weeks whereas Kepa Arrizabalaga (£3.4m) and Thiago Silva (£5.8m) are thriving.
    The latter has been among the top ten defenders pretty much since the get-go.
    An absolute class act, the veteran centre-back’s overall tally of 107 points puts him fourth in his position – only the Newcastle trio of Kieran Trippier (£6.6m), Fabian Schar (£4.8m) and Dan Burn (£4.8m) are above him.
    After a lean run of ten points in eight outings between Game Weeks 12 and 17, Silva has responded superbly with 29 in his last three appearances.
    The Brazilian defender was deservedly named Star Man against Liverpool and he narrowly missed out on making it two from two following his side’s stalemate with west London rivals Fulham on Friday night.
    Fine wines and all thatCredit: getty
    Silva is in a league of his own among team-mates, 29 points ahead of Chelsea’s next-best player, and 44 points ahead of the club’s second-best defender, Marc Cucurella (£3.3m).
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    The aforementioned Arrizabalaga is that man 29 points short of Silva but it’s worth noting that Edouard Mendy (£3.2m) was first-choice goalkeeper for the first two months of the campaign.
    In fact, among keepers to have played at least five games this season, only Nick Pope (£5.3m) averages more points-per-game (4.8) than the Chelsea’s Spaniard (4.1).
    Arrizabalaga has worked his way up to third in the rankings among assets in his position and yet he features in just 2% of teams, making him significantly less popular than the likes of Alisson (£3.9m), Aaron Ramsdale (£4.2m) and Ederson (£4.5m), who all have fewer points at the time of writing.
    Overlooked by Dream Team managersCredit: getty
    In fact, even Silva’s ownership is a modest 5.4% and he’s been consistently brilliant for months on end now.
    It’s likely that many Dream Team gaffers are assuming that Chelsea’s inability to score goals means there’s no points to be had but in Kepa and Silva, Stamford Bridge is home to two of the very best defensive assets in the game this season. More

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    Chelsea ‘are keeping tabs on former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique’ as pressure mounts on Graham Potter

    CHELSEA are reportedly keeping tabs on former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique. The Blues are having one of their poorest seasons for years but spent heavily in the January window to try and rectify their fortunes.
    Luis Enrique has enjoyed great success as a manager at club levelCredit: Getty
    Goalless draws against Liverpool and Fulham are all Chelsea have to show for so far despite their lavish window.
    Graham Potter is under growing pressure to turn things around at Stamford Bridge, and Fichajes report the club are eyeing another manager.
    Luis Enrique is believed to be someone the club are following closely – but the report does not suggest Potter’s job is under immediate threat.
    Enrique has been out of work since leaving his role as Spain boss following the country’s underwhelming World Cup showing.
    La Furia Roja crashed out in the last-16 to surprise package Morocco after failing to score any of their penalties following a goalless 120 minutes.
    He had been in charge of the national team since 2018 but failed to bring home silverware, with the Euros in 2021 also ending with a penalty shootout loss.
    The lack of success nationally was in sharp contrast to his achievements at club level.
    The 52-year-old secured an extraordinary treble in his first season in charge of Barcelona as he bought home La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League trophies in 2015.
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    He would win La Liga again and the Copa del Rey twice more before departing the Nou Camp when his contract expired.
    With a difficult trip to West Ham up next for Chelsea, Potter is desperate to drag the Blues up the table from their lowly 9th position.
    Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez and Benoit Badiashile were among those recruited last month during a spending spree which neared £300m. More

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    Chelsea could land Denzel Dumfries in swap transfer with Inter Milan as they target Trevoh Chalobah

    CHELSEA could land Denzel Dumfries as part of a swap transfer with Trevoh Chalobah, according to reports.Inter Milan are desperate to bring in a new centre-back at the end of the season.
    Denzel Dumfries could be on his way to Chelsea as part of a swap transferCredit: Getty
    Trevoh Chalobah is on the list of Inter Milan centre-back targetsCredit: Getty
    Milan Skriniar, who has been stripped of the captaincy, has agreed a pre-contract arrangement to join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
    And so Simone Inzaghi is scouting for a defender to replace the departing Slovakian.
    According to Juve News’ Niccolo Ceccarini, Chalobah is on their list of possible options.
    The Blues ace, 23, has progressed through the academy to become a first-team regular.
    He has made 18 appearances this term, starting 11 Premier League matches.
    However, the arrivals of Benoit Badiashile and Wesley Fofana this season may have hindered Chalobah’s long-term opportunities at Stamford Bridge.
    So Inter may try and scoop to bring in the former England Under-21 international, whose pal Fikayo Tomori made a similar switch from Chelsea to Milan.
    And to sweeten the deal, the Nerazzurri could use Dumfries in the exchange.
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    Holland ace Dumfries, 26, has been linked with Chelsea in the last two transfer windows.
    But the Blues may be less keen for the wing-back after securing Malo Gusto in January for £35million before sending him straight back to Lyon on loan.
    Another player being considered by Inter is Chris Smalling.
    The former Manchester United man’s contract at Roma expires this summer and he is stalling over accepting the two-year offer on the table.
    So Inter, who missed out on Harry Maguire on loan last month, would be keen to pounce and land him on a free transfer should he decide against extending his stay at the Stadio Olimpico.
    It is understood Atalanta defender Giorgio Scalvini and Merih Demiral remain Inter’s preferred targets.
    The San Siro giants are also interested in Rodrigo Becao, whose Udinese deal runs out in 2024, and Fiorentina ace Nikola Milenkovic. More

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    Why Aubameyang was not in Chelsea’s squad to face Fulham after devastating Champions League axe

    PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG is back at work with Chelsea amid rumours of a shock return to Barcelona this summer.The striker, 33, was dramatically axed from the club’s Champions League squad on Friday and wasn’t even on the bench for the 0-0 draw at home to Fulham that evening.
    Graham Potter gave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a weekend offCredit: Getty
    On the pitch, the former Arsenal captain has only three goals this season, while his last start was back on November 6.
    The brutal chop last week only strengthened claims from Spain that Aubameyang could go back to the Nou Camp.
    He is six months into a two-year contract at Stamford Bridge, with the club holding the option of a third year.
    The Gabon international, who had his contract terminated at the Gunners by mutual consent after a string of misdemeanours and poor time-keeping, was given a weekend off by Chelsea boss Graham Potter as consolation.
    And Aubameyang promptly jetted out to Milan – just days after he was linked with a move to AC Milan.
    The striker has also attracted interest from LAFC, with the MLS transfer window open until April 24.
    Aubameyang was bang on time on Monday morning when the Blues squad resumed training ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime trip to West Ham.
    He is in contention for a place in the squad but faces a gloomy long-term future in West London, even though the club are struggling up front.
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    Potter brought on rookie David Datro Fofana, 20, in Friday’s stalemate in a boost to his striking options.
    That was despite the fact the little-known £10.5million Ivorian, only signed in January from Norwegians Molde, was set to go on loan at one point during last month’s transfer window.
    Keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga praised the influence of new signings £107m British record buy Enzo Fernandez and £35m defender Benoit Badiashile against Fulham.
    He said: “Everyone saw Enzo’s quality and how well he played.
    “He is a big player for us and, hopefully, he can help us a lot.

    “Benoit is a really good guy, very calm and has big quality with the ball.
    “He’s also strong in the air. He’s having a great impact on the team.” More

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    Enzo Fernandez ‘only looking to rent in London for 12 months despite 8-year contract.. and Chelsea star has huge budget’

    ENZO FERNANDEZ is reportedly looking to rent in London for 12 months despite signing an eight-year deal with Chelsea.The Argentina international joined the Blues in a £115million deal from Portuguese outfit Benfica.
    Enzo Fernandez is reportedly budgeting £2million for rent over the next 12 monthsCredit: Rex
    He made his debut for the club in the 0-0 draw against Fulham.
    Fernandez is now looking to sort out his living arrangements for his time at Stamford Bridge.
    However, he is only looking for a place in the capital for the next 12 months, according to the Daily Mail.
    This is a surprise as he joined the club on a long-term deal.
    However, the report suggests he has set aside an eye-watering budget of £2m for the year’s rent.
    This means that he is prepared to make a monthly rent payment of up to £166,666.
    It is said that one of his representatives has been in contact with an estate agency to find the right property for him.
    Fernandez was a target for Chelsea following his impressive performances during the World Cup in Qatar as well as his showing for Benfica in the first half of the season.
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    He was awarded with the Golden Boy award as he helped Argentina to victory in the competition.
    The signing took Chelsea’s January spend to £320m as co-owner Todd Boehly attempts to rebuild the side for manager Graham Potter. More

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    Chelsea hire mental skills coach behind the All Blacks’ ‘no d***heads’ policy to help create winning culture

    CHELSEA hired Gilbert Enoka to help create a winning culture at the club.Enoka was the mental skills coach behind the “no d***heads” policy at the New Zealand national rugby team.
    Gilbert Enoka has been hired by ChelseaCredit: Getty
    He has been working with the All Blacks for the past 22 years, with the last seven as the manager for leadership.
    The 15 years before he took on that role, he worked as the team’s mental skills coach.
    Enoka will be taking up a “short-term consultancy role” with Chelsea.
    It will be his first job in football, but he is widely considered to have been an important part of the All Blacks’ success over the last 20 years.
    During his time with the side, he developed a culture that taught squad members to take responsibility for their actions.
    The All Blacks stars would have to sweep changing rooms after games, and if one caused delays to the other players, they would have to explain it to them instead of the coaches.
    His policy was often referred as the ‘no d***heads policy’, and speaking about it he said: “A d—head makes everything about them.
    “Often teams put up with it because a player has so much talent.
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    “We look for early warning signs and wean the big egos out pretty quickly.
    “Our motto is, if you can’t change the people, change the people.”
    Chelsea boss Graham Potter had to make a call of his Champions League squad last week, in which he dropped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from it.
    While January signings Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk and loanee Joao Felix were added in.
    Reports have linked the Gabon striker with a move to the MLS, with Los Angeles FC being tipped with an interest. More

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    ‘Envy isn’t a good quality’ – Graham Potter slams rivals including Klopp & Guardiola after criticism of Chelsea spending

    GRAHAM POTTER has defended Chelsea’s heavy spending after the club was criticised by other Premier League managers.Rivals such as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp had hit out at the Blues’ expenditure over the last two transfer windows, but Potter has insisted they are “envious”.
    Graham Potter has defended Cheslea’s spendingCredit: Getty
    Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have both criticised the clubCredit: AFP
    Chelsea spent £320million during the January transfer window, taking the club’s spending to over £600m since the summer.
    And Potter has admitted that he knows there will be critics, but he is not worrying about it.
    He said: “All of football will be singing that song, that’s for sure. Everybody is entitled to their opinion.
    “There’s free speech, which is good. I don’t worry about that.
    “Envy isn’t a good quality to have. I’ve never been envious of anybody. I’ve tried to work and do the best I can in the circumstances I have.
    “You’re best to compare to yourself rather than somebody else because you don’t know the context or the situation.
    “I also understand that’s the world we’re in, and that’s fine by me.
    “Most managers would love to be in my position.”
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    The new signings such as the £107m Enzo Fernandez and £88m Mykhailo Mudryk all follow the same strategy.
    Chelsea are targeting the most promising players with the hope of them developing into world class players, although they have paid a top price for them all.
    Liverpool boss Klopp said that he did not “understand” that part of football and joked that he would speak about it without a “lawyer”.
    Guardiola, however, suggested that Manchester City would have been condemned if they had spent the same.
    He said: “I know what would happen because we have in the last five or six years.
    “What counts is winning titles. What Chelsea and the other clubs have done is not my business.
    “You need good players like they [big spending teams] all believe but the market is just wow now. You have to spend to achieve. This is the reality.
    “In football there’s not a position where you are completely right so we just do our best.” More

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    Man Utd legend Gary Neville slams Chelsea’s ‘staggering’ spending under Todd Boehly and reveals ‘it doesn’t feel right’

    GARY NEVILLE says Chelsea’s “staggering” spending under Todd Boehly “doesn’t sit right with him”.The Blues have forked out more than £600m on new players since the American businessman bought the club last summer.
    Gary Neville said Chelsea’s spending this season doesn’t sit right with himCredit: PA
    Chelsea have splashed out more than £600m under Todd BoehlyCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
    In the off-season window, Chelsea spent more than £275m on bringing the likes of Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Raheem Sterling to Stamford Bridge.
    But Graham Potter’s side were already out of both domestic cups and some way behind the top four by the end of January.
    As a result, Boehly spent another £326m with the standout signings Mykhailo Mudryk and deadline day man Enzo Fernandez, who alone cost £107m.
    Potter unleashed three of those to start against Fulham on Friday with another two featuring from the bench, but the Blues’ struggles continued as they could only draw 0-0.

    And Neville is confused with their transfer strategy and expects another load to be forked out in the summer.
    Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast, he said: “With Chelsea, they need time. They’ve got new owners, a new manager and new players.
    “You can’t get away from this staggering spending. I’m not sure about it, it doesn’t feel right to me.
    “I’m not buying the eight-year contracts either, it comes with great risk.
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    “I don’t see how an eight-year contract can be honoured if the player progresses.
    “The owners could look like the smartest people in the room in two years or they could look pretty stupid. I don’t think it will be somewhere in-between.
    “We have to allow time to see how this plays out. They’ve signed some very talented young players, I like Badiashile and Mudryk has shown great promise.
    “Fernandez has got a lot of promise and his numbers are big in terms of what you want your midfielder to do.
    “There is promise at Chelsea but they have got a problem at centre-forward and that needs dealing with so there’s going to be another load of money spent in the summer unless they’re thinking of bringing Lukaku back.
    “It’s interesting times at Chelsea but something doesn’t feel right and when something doesn’t feel right it’s usually not. But we need to see how it plays out over the next 18 months.” More