Merson savages Chelsea signing in dig that’ll appal Liverpool; names only Boehly arrivals that improve the eleven
Paul Merson’s dig at a Chelsea player who’s shown “nothing” will worry Liverpool as much as Chelsea, while the pundit reckons only two of Todd Boehly’s January signings actually improve the starting eleven.
The Blues have forked out well in excess of half a billion pounds on transfers since Todd Boehly took charge. The mass overhaul hasn’t had the desired effect thus far, with Chelsea out of both domestic cups and languishing down in 10th in the league.
A 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash dampened the mood even further. The UCL represents Chelsea’s last shot at silverware this season.
Much of the heat from the fanbase is falling on manager Graham Potter. However, despite returning a dismal winning percentage of just 36, his position is not in immediate danger.
Indeed, both the Athletic’s David Ornstein and CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs both share that view.
However, the goodwill Boehly and co. have towards Potter won’t last forever. Unless he can get a tune out of the plethora of new signings, his position will eventually become untenable.
Now, writing in his column for Sky Sports, pundit Paul Merson went against the grain by claiming Potter is the right man for Stamford Bridge.
Rather than point the finger at the manager, Merson instead took aim at the club’s scattergun transfer policy.
On that front, Merson reckons £88m man Mykhailo Mudryk has shown “nothing” so far aside from a brief cameo off the bench in his Blues debut against Liverpool.
However, if this season is anything to go by, attacking players should not be judged on how they fare against Jurgen Klopp’s hopeless Reds.
On the contrary, it’d be more worrying if a forward didn’t excel against a Liverpool side who are repeatedly powerless to stop wave after wave of attack bearing down on Alisson Becker’s goal.
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Should £88m signings hit the ground running?
“People think Potter isn’t the right man for the job, but I think he is,” wrote Merson. “For me, I think give him time.
“I don’t see it changing too quickly. I look at the players and I don’t get it. This Sunday is Chelsea’s biggest game of the season – it’s Tottenham.
“If he loses this one I’m not sure there is a way back because the fans will go ballistic. This game can change everything though – if Chelsea beat Spurs he can also be a hero.
“He’s just been beaten at home by bottom of the league and he’s still there so maybe they will stick by him. I like him as a manager but I look at the quality of the players and I question it.
“They bought Mykhailo Mudryk for £88m and, bar a cameo of 20 minutes, he’s shown nothing. I mean nothing.
“You wouldn’t expect to need time to settle in at that price.”
Mudryk’s tally with Chelsea so far stands at zero goals and zero assists in five appearances.
READ MORE: If Chelsea are a long-term project, here’s why Graham Potter is probably a safe bet
Only two Chelsea players improve strongest eleven – Merson
Merson then turned his attention to Chelsea’s January splurge at large.
The ex-Arsenal favourite questioned the logic of signing players who in his mind, are no better than the ones already in place.
In fact, of Chelsea’s eight January arrivals for the first-team (including loanee Joao Felix), Merson believes only two actually improve Potter’s strongest eleven.
Merson continued: “The forward-thinking players are no better than the ones they’ve already got so what’s the point?
“You can’t tell me that Noni Madueke is a better player than Raheem Sterling or Christian Pulisic. He’s not.
“Why are you buying a load of players that aren’t better than what you’ve got? None of them improve the team bar Enzo Fernandez and the centre-half [Benoit Badiashile].”
READ MORE: Graham Potter all smiles with imminent Chelsea deal delivering dagger to perfect Liverpool swoop
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