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Todd Boehly has given a priceless Chelsea response to Jules Kounde, and Raphinha transfer defeats to Barcelona

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Todd Boehly has given a priceless Chelsea response to Jules Kounde, and Raphinha transfer defeats to Barcelona
The task for Todd Boehly and Thomas Tuchel was always going to be big this summer.

Following the seismic takeover from Roman Abramovich in only a couple of months and the scale of the task to rebuild a squad that had been weakened by exits, getting everything accomplished in one window always felt far-fetched.

The recent loss of Jules Kounde to Barcelona is a quick repeat of the Raphinha situation that unravelled before pre-season had got going. With both choosing the Camp Nou over Stamford Bridge, Tuchel’s plans have been pushed back further.

There is a growing sense of desperation by the day for Chelsea to add more defensive strength, whilst also investing in other areas of the squad should the right targets become available before deadline day.

Though even before Boehly had officially become a co-owner of the club in June there was always an insurance policy this summer that could equally save money and offer alternatives to targets the club could be spending vast amounts on.

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The returning loanees who had come through the academy always offered the potential of quick solutions to Tuchel should he want them, though sadly so far in this pre-season he decided to send a few of them back to the UK during the US tour.

However, now with the first team back at Cobham and with pictures of Armando Broja training again after his injury setback, the prospect of academy players sticking around feels more realistic as each day of the window passes without any new incomings.

With Ian Maatsen leaving on loan and Dujon Sterling potentially following, both could have offered wingback cover for Ben Chilwell and Reece James, but should Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso leave, the need for another signing will be clear.

Ethan Ampadu and Levi Colwill offer the obvious defensive solution should the Blues fail to sign two more defenders before September. And given some of the targets that have been mentioned, both might be the shrewder choices in the short and long-term.

After losing out on Raphinha and the rejection of Cristiano Ronaldo, Broja provides attacking competition in a central position where Tuchel does not have a ton of options following Romelu Lukaku’s loan back to Inter Milan.

And unless Michy Batshuayi remains which looks unlikely, Kai Havertz appears the only player likely to be trusted by Tuchel. That would give the Albanian a chance to compete with Havertz for minutes should the focus for the rest of the window be on strengthening defence and midfield.

It is in challenging windows like this that a productive academy can prove so valuable as it did for Frank Lampard during the summer of 2019 when the club could not sign new players due to a transfer ban imposed by FIFA.

Boehly is clearly still working on new signings and it is unlikely we reach September 1 without new arrivals in some form. Though until that point Tuchel would do well to look internally on what he has at his disposal and how that could offer a quick alternative.

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