Six important Chelsea players saw action in this year’s Confederations Cup, with five of them seeing significant action in the final.
That is an impressive ratio of contributors to what is being hailed as the finest Confederations Cup to date. While not all of these players had the same level of impact, international performances undoubtedly have a ripple effect on player’s transfer values in the following months.
That being said, a few takeaways on the Chelsea performances we witnessed throughout the tournament.
Speaking of ripple effect, Brazilian talent is at an all-time premium now. Rumors of transfers for Fred and Julio Cesar have run rampant, and at an escalating price.
Chelsea’s DavidLuiz is no exception to this rule, and his spectacular performance in the final has only increased the pre-tournament frenzy for his services. While I would love to see Luiz remain in a Blue shirt, some of the numbers being bandied about are getting to be a bit hard to ignore. He is doubtless a talented and versatile player, but let us not forget he is prone to the occasional mind-numbing lapse.
This is not an indictment of his skill so much as a comment on the price he is now commanding, reportedly in the ballpark of €30 million from prospective suitors Bayern and Barcelona. That type of sale could ease the financial burden of purchasing a top striker, while also allowing Chelsea to bring in a suitable, lower cost replacement.
Luiz’s fellow Brazilian Oscar looked fantastic as well in the finale, providing the crucial assist for the Neymar strike to close the second half. The two linked up wonderfully, allowing Chelsea fans to salivate over the new season’s incumbent trio of Oscar, Mata, and Hazard.Schuerrle should mix in nicely, providing a bit more incisive style of play, but the real questionsarise around Victor Moses. While he showed flashes last year, it occasionally felt like he pushed Oscar out of the lineup, and if the Brazilian continues the form he showed in the Confederations Cup, it will be hard to justify his absence in the Chelsea first team.
John Obi Mikel scored! Regardless, he looks to be on his way out the door, and while he has provided the Blues with consistency for since the last time Mourinho was in command, it is probably as good a time as any for both Mikel and Chelsea to switch things up a bit.
The fact that Cesar “Dave” Azpilicueta saw significant time for the reigning World and Euro Cup champs bodes well for Chelsea, regardless of the fact that he at times seemed a bit flustered. Del Bosque fed him to the lions to a degree, interjecting him into a side that looked lackluster from the get go and was already trailing 2-0. However, it is important to remember that the right-back is only 23, and the fact that the Spain skipper showed some faith in him means he is developing as well as Chelsea could hope.
The case is essentially the same for Juan Mata. He seems certainly to feature heavily in Del Bosque’s plans moving forward, and saw a noticeable uptick in action. In addition to showing some real clever form against Italy, Mata was clinical in the penalty shootout, not phased in the slightest by the moment. Though, like the rest of his side, he seemed truly fatigued during the final. Hopefully Chelsea’s star man has plans to put his feet up for a moment or two before the coming season, he has certainly earned it.
Finally, another Golden Boot for Fernando Torres, the king troll of Chelsea fans everywhere. We are once again left to wonder what type of form the Spaniard will display next season. It is possible the inevitable addition of another striker could push him out, but it is worthpondering that he may have a bit left in the tank. Many will cite his anemic goal total in thePremier League this past season, but it is important to note he was often played in alternating matches with Demba Ba. This led him to perform well when handling primary goal scoring duties in the Europa League. I personally would not be entirely disappointed to see Torres, another Golden Boot richer, return to Chelsea next season. Provided, of course, we schedule an opening friendly against Tahiti.