The decision was made official by FIFA on Friday that Chelsea will receive a transfer ban that will remain active for the next two transfer windows. FIFA stated that – “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the English club Chelsea FC and The Football Association for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18”.
They further added – “The Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two (2) complete and consecutive registration periods. This ban applies to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and does not prevent the release of players”.
The icing was put on the cake when the Blues were also fined £400k by FIFA which has come as a big blow during a critical period at Stamford Bridge. With the future’s of many first team players and even of the manager Maurizio Sarri looking uncertain, let us look at the pros and cons of this transfer ban.
• Maurizio Sarri remains the manager
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is in hot water right now as the Blues have slipped to sixth in the Premier League table, three points below fourth placed Arsenal. It is understood that Sarri will face the sack if Chelsea miss out on a potential Champions League spot. However, the transfer ban could change Chelsea’s plans and save Sarri’s job by giving him the extra time he needs. The Blues are pretty much in the race for top 4 and also one of the favorites to win the UEFA Europa League, so it would be very harsh of Chelsea to fire Maurizio Sarri. Everybody knows how good Maurizio Sarri was during his time at Napoli, the Italian just needs some time to adjust to the Premier League. It has also come to light that the frequent shuffling of managers has led to a dip in form of the players, making it hard for them to adjust to new tactics in a small period of time. The Chelsea Board are also aware of the fact that no top manager would like to manage the club under such difficult circumstances keeping in mind Chelsea’s hire and fire policy.
• Chelsea finally use their Youth
Imagine having the best Youth academy in the world and not a single youth player in the starting XI. Chelsea having been neglecting their excellent youth academy for over a decade now with half of the academy players either sent on loan and the rest are sold for profits, but now the Blues might finally be forced to use their youth thanks to the transfer ban. There are a lot of young guns who are good enough to make the Chelsea first team, for example, Reece James, a young and dynamic right-back who can capitalize on Cesar Azpilicueta’s struggles as the Spaniard’s limitations has been exposed in Maurizio Sarri’s style of football. Mason Mount, who has traits similar to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard also has a legit chance as Ross Barkley hasn’t been able to adapt to the demands of the left central midfield position. And finally Tammy Abraham, a goal machine, Chelsea have spent over £100m in finding a successor for Didier Drogba and finally they might find it in their own backyard in Big Tammy.
Another big reason to play youth is that Chelsea are already short on home-grown players and the imminent departures of Gary Cahill and Danny Drinkwater won’t do any good for their home-grown quota. With unlimited potential and the hunger to break through to the first team, it’s now or never for the youth academy.
• The future of key players
Despite the transfer ban, Chelsea are still expected to have a busy transfer window with many of the first team players including the likes of Willian, Hazard, Hudson-Odoi and Kovacic uncertain about their future at Stamford Bridge. Willian, 30, wants a long-term contract to extend his stay at Chelsea but Chelsea’s policy of offering only 1-year contracts to players over 30 might prove to be a big obstacle and the Brazilian might be open to leaving with other clubs willing to offer him better contracts. Callum Hudson-Odoi, the Chelsea wonderkid, might also be looking for a way out after he submitted an official transfer request during the January transfer window. Hudson-Odoi is a top target for Bundesliga Giants Bayern Munich and the Bavarians view him as Arjen Robben’s successor and are even willing to offer him the #10 shirt. The situation with Matteo Kovacic is that he is on loan until the end of the season and Chelsea are pretty much interested in signing the Croatian on a permanent deal once his loan spell expires, the Real Madrid loanee has also hinted about enjoying life at the Stamford Bridge. Finally, the future of the Belgium captain Eden Hazard, who’s future seems to be up in the air again as Chelsea face a big challenge in trying to convince the former Lille man to stay. Hazard has been openly admitting his desire to play for Real Madrid as he enters the final 18 months of his contract and while the fans hope he’ll pull off an ‘Antoine Griezmann’ and sign the contract, it’s looking very unlikely as Hazard who turned 28 this winter realizes that this will be his final big contract and is holding out for a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Do you think Chelsea deserved the transfer ban? What would you do if you were in-charge of Chelsea? Comment below.