Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has brought one player in and shipped two players in the January transfer window so far, but the moves are being questioned by some.
Serbian international midfielder Nemanja Matic has returned to the club from Benfica in a deal worth a reported fee of £20million.
Belgium winger Kevin De Bruyne has joined Bundesliga club Wolfsburg in a deal worth £16million, while left-back Ryan Bertrand has joined Aston Villa on-loan for the rest of the season.
Re-signing Matic was a strange one for some though.
The 25-year-old left Stamford Bridge in 2011 in search of first football after failing to establish himself in the Chelsea first team. Matic joined the Portuguese giants as part of the deal that saw Brazilian maverick David Luiz heading to Stamford Bridge.
He has gone on to impress at the Estadio Da Luz and apparently attracted attention from a host of top European clubs in the past few seasons.
Matic has improved immensely over the past few seasons and now looks like a far better player than the one that left three years ago. Matic is now regarded as a big strong defensive midfielder, who is difficult to get past.
Although no area of the Chelsea squad can be considered that weak, the defensive midfield role is probably considered the position that the Blues needed to improve in. The likes of John Obi Mikel, Oriel Romeu and David Luiz have all played in the role in the last year.
Mikel’s positioning has been questioned at times, Romeu has been loaned out to La Liga side Valencia and Luiz does not seem to have the discipline to play in the role. In Mourinho’s first spell Claude Makelele mastered the role completely and Chelsea have never been able to find a good replacement.
Matic may not be a copy of the former-French international, but he looks to have all the attributes to become a very good Premier League midfielder. He is big, strong and very hard to get past, the sort of player that the Blues midfield need.
A player that has left the Blues is Belgium winger Kevin De Bruyne. The former-Genk star is seen as a star of the future, but due to lack of first team opportunities he has moved to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg for a reported fee of £16million.
The 22-year-old has undoubted talent and he showcased that talent in the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen on-loan last season. The youngster scored ten goals in 32 appearances for Bremen and was expected to play a part for the Blues this season.
However, De Bruyne has become frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities at the Stamford Bridge with the likes of Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Willian all in front of De Bruyne in the pecking order. It was difficult for the youngster to break into the first team picture at Chelsea.
He is likely to go on and have a bright future in the game. Who knows he may one day return to Stamford Bridge, just like Matic!
Another player that has struggled for first team opportunities at the Bridge is full-back Ryan Bertrand. He has now joined Aston Villa on-loan for the rest of the season.
Bertrand is now 24-years-old, but has been unable to make a breakthrough because of the presence of England stalwart Ashley Cole and even right-back Cesar Azpilicueta, who had has also played in his position this season.
Bertrand has been very unlucky not to have played more games for Chelsea. At any other club he would probably have appeared far more times, but Cole’s permanent presence means he has been frustrated.
Bertrand is a good player and even started Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich. The loan move should do Bertrand a world of good, as he should be playing first team football and could be a great signing for Villa.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is a man that knows what he wants from his team and he knows how to improve his team as well. The Portuguese boss saw the fact that he needed a defensive midfielder and had an abundance of attacking midfielders.
He rectified that situation by bringing in Matic and selling De Bruyne. Mourinho has been criticised by some for spending £20million on a player that Chelsea had previously discarded, but he was what the team needed.
With the £16million received from the sale of De Bruyne, Mourinho has only spent £4million, which by Chelsea’s standards is not a great deal.
Mourinho will ignore the critics and Matic could prove to be a very good signing for the Blues. The Portuguese boss does not get it wrong often and I cannot see the Serbian international being a flop at Stamford Bridge.
Has Chelsea’s transfer business in January impressed you?