The Chelsea fans have been feeling miserable in the Transfer Tavern of late after they lost further ground in the race for the top-four at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
Having lost their London derby against Tottenham Hotspur just 7 days earlier, Chelsea simply had to take all three points from their weekend fixture against a resurgent West Ham United side on Sunday afternoon. However, despite taking a first-half lead and exerting their dominance in the early stages of proceedings, the Blues failed to close the gap on Spurs in 4th place as Javier Hernandez emphatically placed home a second-half equaliser to ensure the sides shared the spoils at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte admitted in the aftermath of their disappointing result that his side simply do not deserve to play Champions League football next season after witnessing their sudden decline in 2018. On the evidence of Chelsea’s current form, it’s hard to argue with the passionate Italian’s assessment.
Chelsea heavily invested in new talent during the summer transfer window of 2017, but the likes of Alvaro Morata, Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta have failed to spark a notable improvement since they arrived in West London. With that in mind, the club would be wise to alter their recruitment system to ensure their summer acquisitions in the next window stimulate an improvement in results on the field.
According to Sky Sports, Chelsea are keeping tabs on Watford’s Brazilian winger Richarlison despite his slump in form of late. The 20-year-old made a scintillating start to life in English football by scoring 5 goals and providing 4 assists from his opening 13 appearances for the Hornets, but since then he has managed to add just 1 assist from 20 further appearances.
His record is concerning, but not overly surprising for a player of his age completing his first season in the Premier League. The form Richarlison (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt) demonstrated early in the season appears to have convinced the Blues that he has the potential to succeed within a club who harbour aspirations of lifting the league title.
Considering his age and position, Richarlison’s arrival could signal the end of Pedro’s career at Stamford Bridge. Although questions deserve to be asked of the entirety of Chelsea’s squad this season, Pedro’s form has been particularly lacklustre.
The Spanish international arrived at the club with great expectation following a hugely successful spell at Barcelona, but his two-and-a-half-year spell has failed to capture the imagination of the supporters so far. He has scored a handful of brilliant long-range efforts during his career with Chelsea, but those individual moments of brilliance should not cloud what has otherwise been a below-par spell in English football.
Richarlison’s arrival may not immediately force Pedro out of the club, but the increase in competition for places could eventually leave him surplus to requirements and on the hunt for a route out of Stamford Bridge.
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