Paul Merson reveals transfer mistake that could cost Chelsea the title
Paul Merson believes that Chelsea FC’s failure to sign a new defender in the summer transfer window could end up costing the Blues in the Premier League title race this season.
The south west London side ended up not bringing in a new defender in the window despite allowing Kurt Zouma to join West Ham United.
Chelsea FC were strongly linked with a move to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in the summer transfer window but a switch failed to materialise before Tuesday’s deadline.
The Blues did bring in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez on a season-long loan deal on deadline day after having also brought in Romelu Lukaku earlier in the window – but they did not bring in a new defender.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is expecting Chelsea FC to be one of the main challengers for the Premier League title this season, but he thinks that their failure to sign a new defender could end up costing them.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Merson said: “I think they are massive challengers but letting Zouma go and not bringing anybody in – especially when they play three at the back – you’re going to play James as one of the three, when he’s more of a wing-back.
“They have got cover, but if those players had to play nine, 10, 11, 12 games during the season all in one hit at that position it’s going to be a lot more difficult.
“For me, surely they’d have let Zouma go on the strength of getting in Kounde, or they think Chalobah will be very good, and I think he will be good.
“But it’s going to be hard. When we get into the nitty gritty of the Champions League that’s what Chelsea are going to be all about and in terms of winning the Premier League I think Zouma will be missed.”
Chelsea FC will return to Premier League action after the international break when they take on Aston Villa on Saturday 11 September.