Chelsea began their 2018/19 Premier League campaign this week with an emphatic victory away in Yorkshire.
The club’s long-standing goalkeeper confirmed his exit to Spain, making him the most expensive ‘keeper ever to depart Stamford Bridge.
Maurizio Sarri secured his final signing of the summer window on transfer deadline day, with the acquisition of a Croatian international midfielder on loan, potentially affect the future of one of Chelsea’s young wingers.
One of The Blues’ wingers has announced his international retirement this week, despite only being aged 27.
And, seven more players finalized season-long loan spells away from SW6 this week across England, Spain and Italy.
Blues fan and Football Journalism student, Jonty Colman, looks at five major talking points from around the club over the past seven days.
Huddersfield Town 0-3 Chelsea
Sarri’s side started their league campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.
New signings Kepa Arrizabalaga and Jorginho both played for the duration as they both made their league debuts for the club during the win, with the latter scoring The Blues’ second of the match.
N’Golo Kante put the Blues ahead in the first half after volleying Willian’s cross past Town ‘keeper, Ben Hamer, before Jorginho doubled the lead on the stroke of half time from the penalty spot.
Pedro secured the win in the second half after cleverly chipping Hamer which was teed up for him via a superb individual run from substitute Eden Hazard.
The win leaves Chelsea in second place after the opening weekend, with Liverpool’s 4-0 demolition of West Ham United leaving them at the top of the standings.
The end of the Courtois era
Thibaut Courtois completed his move to Real Madrid on Thursday morning in a deal worth £35 million.
Courtois has been Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper for the past four seasons, after three years impressing on loan at Atletico Madrid led to him dethroning Petr Cech as The Blues’ stopper.
The Belgian departs following 154 appearances for Chelsea, having won two league titles, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup in his seven years on the club’s books.
It is disappointing to see him leave after such an impressive FIFA World Cup, but he was bound to leave sooner rather than later and I’m just glad that the club can hopefully move in a new direction, with Kepa becoming the man to fill Courtois’ rather large gloves, both physically and metaphorically.
Thank you Thibaut for many great memories and good luck at Real.
Kovacic completes move, potentially detrimental to Musonda
On the topic of transfer dealings between Chelsea and Real, The Blues also completed the loan signing of Mateo Kovacic on Thursday until the end of the season.
Kovacic featured heavily at this year’s World Cup for Croatia, featuring in five of their seven matches as Zlatko Dalic’s side reached the final for the first time in the tournament’s history.
Since signing for Real in 2015 from Inter Milan, Kovacic has made 110 appearances, scoring three goals and providing eight assists.
He is the sort of star quality that I feel Chelsea currently need to partner Kante and Jorginho in midfield, but the fact that he is only joining for a season and with no option to buy at the end of the season has rather put a dampener on my excitement.
With Kovacic being signed as to boost Sarri’s options in the centre of midfield, his arrival may appear to be a burden to young winger Charly Musonda.
The Belgian, who spent the back end of last season on loan with Scottish league Champions, Celtic, was Chelsea’s number 17, however, that number has now been handed to Kovacic.
Musonda has barely featured in pre-season for The Blues, but has played for Chelsea’s development side in both Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy already this term.
Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all seeminhgly above Musonda in the pecking order, meaning it is unlikely that he will be utilized by Sarri as part of the first-team in the coming months.
Moses announces international retirement
On Wednesday evening, Victor Moses made the surprise announcement that he was retiring from international football.
The winger had made 37 appearances for Nigeria between 2013 and 2018, scoring 11 goals and featuring in the 2014 an 2018 World Cups.
At the age of 27, Moses stated on Twitter that he has made the decision to spend more time with his family and focus on his club career.
Seven more leave on loan
The English transfer window may have shut on Thursday, but it still possible for Premier League clubs to loan players out to teams in lower domestic divisions and overseas, with seven more players departing Stamford Bridge this week on loan.
In England, defenders Kurt Zouma and Jay Dasilva, who spent last season on loan at Stoke City and Charlton Athletic respectively, will be staying in the country for the 2018/19 campaign; however, Zouma has joined fellow top-flight club Everton for the season, whilst Dasilva has agreed a switch to Bristol City.
Three players have departed for Spain, with Michy Batshuayi, Josimar Qunitero and Kenneth Omeruo joining Valencia, Lleida Esportiu and Leganes respectively.
Meanwhile, duo Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ola Aina have moved to Italy’s Serie A. Bakayoko will spend the duration of the campaign with AC Milan, whilst Ola Aina has agreed a move to Torino.
That’s all for this week, tune in next Thursday where I will be looking at Chelsea’s London derby against Arsenal, the latest players to depart on loan and more.