Double signing could complete the AVB jigsaw

As Chelsea look set to complete the signing of Valencia playmaker, Juan Mata and continue in their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur’s Luka Modric, The Blues’ long-awaited summer rebuild finally looks underway. With further investment in youth seeing Oriol Romeu join from Barcelona and Anderlecht’s Romelu Lukaku making his long-awaited move to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas will be looking to usher in a new era at the club.

With last season’s runners-up often still seen an echo of the glory days under Jose Mourinho, the appointment of one of Mourinho’s backroom staff from his reign in West London, was met with scepticism, with some claiming the appointment to be another sign of reluctance to move on from the club’s period of domestic dominance of past years. With Villas-Boas seemingly intending to become his own man and create his very own Stamford Bridge Legacy, the manager appears to be ready to add to the work of his predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian added midfielders Ramires and Yossi Benayoun to his squad in the 2010 summer transfer window, before spending late in the following window in January 2011, with big-money moves to bring in central defender David Luiz and striker Fernando Torres. While a serious Achilles injury saw Benayoun miss the majority of the 2010/11 campaign, his return to fitness ahead of the new campaign offers a further option for Villas-Boas.

Having taken time to assess his inherited squad, the new boss appears to be looking to add to his squad. A side criticised last season for lacking creativity, The Blues have been linked with a host of attacking talent in recent months. After intense speculation, Villas-Boas is said to be close to new recruits, with Mata poised to join from Valencia, and Luka Modric reportedly still keen for the move across London, such recruits would be welcome in a squad struggling for goals in their opening matches this season, with their first Premier League strike coming 53 minutes into their second match of the campaign, as The Blues came from behind to record a 2-1 home win against West Bromwich Albion.

With Mata’s signing believed to be imminent and the signing of Modric still believed to be a possibility, Chelsea could truly be close to ushering in a new era. While the famous ‘old guard’ at Chelsea is still in place, the wealth of experience will be equally valuable, with Benayoun, Didier Drogba and current Blues Skipper John Terry still international captains and Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda also key figures in their respective international setups. As Villas-Boas and his staff look to bring in fresh faces, the spine of experienced players offers a blend of established talent and emerging starlets.

As Villas-Boas looks to build a side capable of competing on all fronts, the emergence of youth, incoming signings and experienced older heads offer the manager various combinations. As Blues fans expect progress following a trophyless season, Chelsea could be as close as two signings away from not only recovering their domestic form, but from securing that elusive European glory.

´╗┐Dan Clarke



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