Chelsea supporters in the Transfer Tavern have used the first few days of February to look back on their side’s efforts in the January transfer window, which saw three players make their way to the club and a whole host leave on loan.
Antonio Conte’s men brought in Ross Barkley from Everton in the early phase of the window for just £15 million, before adding Emerson Palmieri a day before the deadline, and then Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud on the final day of the market itself. Yet there were also many that left Stamford Bridge during the winter, not least talented attacker Kenedy, who linked up with former Blues chief Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United, and striker Michy Batshuayi, who made the move on loan to Borussia Dortmund for the rest of the season.
Subsequently, many Chelsea fans have looked back at the January window reasonably fondly, although they are unlikely to be overly thrilled by recent reports suggesting that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois could be on his way out of the club in the summer.
The 25-year-old has just 18 months left on his current deal at the Premier League champions and as of yet no extension has been agreed, plunging into doubt his future at the club ahead of the summer window, with Real Madrid reportedly keen on the Belgium international.
Yet the Blues are seemingly preparing for his departure by reportedly expressing an interest in Manchester City outcast Joe Hart, but making a move for the current West Ham shot-stopper could turn out to be one of their biggest transfer mistakes in years.
Ultimately, Courtois played a big part in helping Conte’s side win the title last season, keeping 16 clean sheets and conceding just 28 goals in 36 Premier League appearances for the club, as well as making several important saves along the way.
And while Hart had a similar effect in between the sticks for City in their title-winning campaigns of 2012 and 2014, he hasn’t been anywhere near that standard in the last 18 months or so, both for Torino and West Ham – the fact that Adrian has replaced him as the Hammers number one says a lot about his current struggles.
The England international is making a few too many mistakes and simply cannot be relied upon to be the number one Chelsea need going forward – he’s not in the same league as Courtois at this present time.
And while we all know what the 30-year-old can do between the sticks, it would be an almighty risk for Chelsea to expect that level of performance from him now – even his status as England’s number one, safe for a long time, is under threat ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
So while the Blues may well lose Courtois in the summer, and as such the need for a goalkeeper is paramount, they must consider against making a move for £10.8 million-rated Hart (as per Transfermarkt), as doing so could turn out to be one of their biggest transfer mistakes in many a year.
Chelsea fans… what do you think? Let us know!