Chelsea’s new recruits are perfectly suited to playing under Mauricio Pochettino, according to Gus Poyet, who believes the Blues could surprise their Premier League rivals this season.
Chelsea have continued to invest heavily ahead of their second full season under the Todd Boehly regime, spending an estimated £328million on Moises Caicedo, Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson and others during the current transfer window.
Former Brighton and Hove Albion star Caicedo became the most expensive player in Premier League history when he joined the Blues in a £115m deal this week, with fellow midfielder Romeo Lavia also arriving from Southampton for £58m.
While Chelsea’s costly recruitment policy has attracted plenty of criticism, former Blues favourite Poyet feels they have acquired players likely to excel under Pochettino.
«Obviously they have a new coach. They have too many new players,» Poyet told Stats Perform.
«They’re very young and normally the young players have that stamina, they are going to run and create, but then you have that dip in form.
«The thing that I am the most pleased about, thinking about the coach, is they are made for Pochettino.
«Young players that need to be built, that need to be coached, that need to feel part of a group and have togetherness… things that Pochettino does tremendously well.
«A few weeks ago, I was worried. Now I’ve got a feeling that maybe they can be the surprise. I’m not saying they can win the title, but the surprise in terms of how they’re going to develop.»
Chelsea produced a positive display in their season opener last Sunday, enjoying 64.9 per cent of the possession and creating five big chances in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Conor Gallagher partnered Enzo Fernandez in the heart of Chelsea’s midfield for that game, but Poyet believes Caicedo’s arrival can take the Blues to a different level.
«I think was quite a good call from Pochettino to play Fernandez a little bit further forward,» he said. «For that, you need a proper sitting number six, which Gallagher did the other day.
«I think Gallagher did tremendously, he made two or three unbelievable tackles to recover the ball in difficult circumstances, but they’re looking for that athletic South American that can cover the pitch and be good on the ball.
«[Caicedo] learned a lot with Roberto De Zerbi about positioning and passing, so I think they have an incredible group of players that just need to gel or to find the right system.»
Poyet – who coached Brighton between 2009 and 2013 – also believes the transfer represents a remarkable piece of business for the Seagulls, adding: «I want to talk about Brighton, who are outstanding with their recruitment system.
«To have players from everywhere in the world and sell them for the amount of money they are selling them for is tremendous.»