Besides the signing of Alvaro Morata, the summer transfer window has been a quiet one for Chelsea. Many fans have expressed their displeasure with the lack of signings through social media. Today, their cries proved to be valid as last year’s champions fell to a weak Burnley side that only won one away game last season. Chelsea started the first half off very poorly, giving up three consecutive goals without an answer. This start was ignited by Gary Cahill’s 13th-minute challenge that saw him see red. The drama reached its height when the Blues found themselves down to nine men after Cesc Fábregas received his second yellow card due to a late challenge.
However, it is important to note that Chelsea was without Eden Hazard, Pedro, and Tiémoué Bakayoko. Furthermore, Alvaro Morata did not enter the game until midway through the second half because of his lack of fitness. When he did enter, he had an immediate impact scoring within minutes of setting foot on the pitch. He also provided David Luiz with a perfect flicked-header that led to Chelsea’s second goal of the game. The dynamic of the game completely changed when he was substituted for Michy Batshuayi.
While Batshuayi may have been more fit, he simply isn’t as talented as Alvaro Morata. Last season, Morata had a better scoring record than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Michy lacked the touch and the strength against the Burnley defenders. From this game, we learned that while Batshuayi could be a solid backup striker, he isn’t ready to become the Chelsea’s starting striker. This is not to say he will never be at that level, but at this point in time, Morata should be starting. After observing the first 90 minutes of this new Chelsea roster, manager Antonio Conte surely will start Morata against Tottenham next weekend.
Chelsea will need everyone to step up next game as they will be playing without Gary Cahill and Cesc Fábregas because of the red cards they received. If Chelsea is able to play like they did in the last 25 minutes of the game against Burnley, they should be fine.
Many Chelsea fans are concerned that the season will turn out just like the 2015-16 season where they finished tenth in the league. Similarly, they won the league the year before, but things will be different this time. Antonio Conte is a much more progressive manager in that he is open to making changes to his formations and playstyle. We saw the exact opposite with Jose Mourinho in that 2015-16 season in which he failed to adapt. The other teams found out how Chelsea operated and were able to figure out a way to stop them. If Conte is as adaptable as we think, then Chelsea should be fine. Surely, they won’t finish tenth in the league again. Their roster is simply too talented to finish that low on the table.