After much activity in the January transfer window, Chelsea seems to be finally starting to laugh under Graham Potter. With three wins after a disappointing defeat to Tottenham, the Blues are through to the last eight of the Champions League and are building some momentum. However, some of those signings have played a bigger role than others in the turnaround as Todd Boehly looks to put his club on the path to silverware.
Let’s rank their winter signings from worst to best as we head into mid-March:
6. FWD, David Fofana (3 matches in all competitions)
Key stats: Tthree shots, two shots on target
What you need to know: With Chelsea’s forwards struggling, Fofana is someone who should see more game time in the remainder of the league season. With Chelsea’s best route to Champions League football next season being to win the tournament, there will be plenty of time for experimentation in the Premier League. Just 20 years old, Fofana scored a goal for Chelsea U-21s this week but has only featured in two league games for the Blues so far. It’s a good balance when Havertz is the striker in the Champions League so he needs most of the Premier League time as well, but Potter will have to find creative ways to see what he has in Fofana as he could switch summer targets of Chelsea.
5. FWD, Noni Madueke (4 matches in all competitions)
Key Stats: nine pickups completed
What you need to know: Playing only a small role for Chelsea so far, it’s hard to see where Madueke fits in for the Blues right now. He is a player who has potential, but this is where having so many wingers is a problem. Madueke is not someone who will get more minutes Raheem SterlingHakim Zigeh or even Christian Pulisic, so he has to cope with limited minutes.
4. FWD, Mykhailo Mudryk (7 games in all competitions)
Key Stats: One assist, two big chances missed, four chances created
What you need to know: The move to the Premier League is big for a player like Mudryk, who has no previous experience in a big five. He picked up his first assist for the club against of the city of LeicesterMudryk has shown he can make a difference if he’s put in the right spots, but Potter needs to figure out where those spots are. Christian Pulisic Coming into Chelsea’s match against Dortmund it was clear that Mudryk needs to develop to earn the confidence in bigger games, but for now, he is further down the line until he can establish a role.
3. FWD, Joao Felix (8 matches in all competitions)
Basic statistics: One goals, 78 final third passes completed, 42% shot accuracy
What you need to know: A tough start to his Chelsea career that saw him receive a red card in just his second appearance for the club, Felix missed some time but quickly made up for it by swapping with Kai Havertz to keep Chelsea’s attack going. Still working on building an understanding with his team-mates to stop being caught offside, Felix is someone who is set for a breakout next season for Chelsea. While he’s only on loan with the team, Felix is playing like he wants to be a permanent member of the team, something Boehly certainly has enough money to make happen this summer.
2. DEF, Benoit Badiashile (7 games in all competitions)
Key Stats: Three clean sheets, 22 aerial duels won, 23 long passes completed
What you need to know: A victim of Champions League pressure, Badiashile is a player who would make a big difference for Chelsea if he could sign up. He was not one of their three new signings for the competition. He had his nervous moments but the Frenchman will be a key member of this defense for years to come. when Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibali slowly, Badiyasile and Wesley Fofana he will make sure that the defense does not lose a single loss. Strong in the air and capable of spraying the ball into forwards, Badiashile is held back by Chelsea’s lack of a proper target forward, but when this striker comes in the summer, they will look like a completely different team.
1. MID, Enzo Fernandez (8 matches in all competitions)
Key Stats: Two assists, 87.7% pass accuracy, two clearances, nine interceptions, six possessions won in the attacking third.
What you need to know: Apart from Reece James, N’Golo Kante is arguably the most important player for Chelsea as the midfield is too easy to do without him, which is why the Blues prioritized getting Fernandez at any cost against during the January transfer window. Since coming on, he has fitted in well, bringing steel to the center of the park while also linking attack and defense with ease. With the way Fernandez appears everywhere for the team, he makes things easy in both defense and attack, while also looking to play a progressive pass forward or shoot if given space. It’s like Fernandez plays chess the way he always thinks two moves ahead of what will happen when he passes the ball to ensure it goes to the best possible place. Now linked with Mateo Kovacic, Fernandes has established a strong presence in midfield.