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Will Chelsea be genuine Premier League title challengers next season?

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres believes that his side is capable of challenging for the Premier League title in the coming season.

The Blues have certainly added some talent to their ranks, but are they really good enough to threaten the two Manchester clubs?

Challenge

Torres wrote on his personal website: “ I would love to win a Premier League. Hopefully it will happen this year, but for sure we will be challenging for it.” Torres then added: “In my opinion, the equality between the big English teams is at a peak.

“You just have to look at the way City sealed the title, at the last gasp, and how the team that won the Champions League finished sixth.”

Arrivals

Chelsea have made some really big signings already this summer and are expected to add to their squad further before the transfer window shuts. The capture of Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard from Lille for a reported fee of £32million was something of a coup for the Blues.

Hazard was being chased by Manchester United and Manchester City, but decided to join the club the European Champions instead. The Blues also brought in German international Mark Marin from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen.

The 23 year-old Germany international is highly-rated, despite having a rather inconsistent campaign last season. He is a clever midfielder with an eye for a pass and at today’s prices could be a steal at £7.7million.

Chelsea also expect to complete the signing of Brazilian starlet Oscar from Internacional for a fee in the region of £25million. The longer the summer goes on the more quality players Chelsea seem to be adding to their squad.

Departures

Chelsea will of course have to cope with a host of departures. The biggest one by far was veteran striker Didier Drogba. The 34 year-old is a Chelsea legend, and scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final with his last kick of a ball in a Chelsea shirt.

His boots will be hard to fill. The likes of Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa joined the Ivory Coast international in exiting the club, despite playing a role in the clubs heroic Champions League campaign. Their exits will hurt the Blues less than that of Drogba though.

Goals

Fernando Torres will have a big role to play for Chelsea in the new season. With Drogba now gone it looks as though Torres will be the main focal point of the Blues attack. The Spaniards form recovered in the last few months of last season and he won the golden boot with Spain at Euro 2012.

A confident Fernando Torres could be deadly for Chelsea. With the backing he is likely to have from midfield next season he is hardly likely to lack chances in front of goal. It’s time for the real Fernando Torres to stand up and show the world he is still a world-class striker.

Boss

Roberto Di Matteo came in last season and worked a miracle in helping the club win their first ever European Cup. The Italian also guided the Blues to the FA Cup. However, Chelsea’s form in the Premier League was still poor and they finished 6th in the Premier League.

Di Matteo knew that last seasons performance in the Premier League wasn’t good enough and he has added players to the squad that will make a difference in the final third.

The Italian was known to play attacking football as boss of West Brom, but out of necessity he had to use more negative tactics at times last season with the Blues. I’m sure Chelsea will be playing be playing far more expansive football next season, especially in the Champions League.

Challenge

I think Fernando Torres is probably right that Chelsea can challenge for the Premier League in the new season. However, I don’t believe that the current Chelsea squad is good enough to finish above Manchester City and Manchester United.

I don’t think finishing in the top four in the new campaign would be a disgrace, but Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may have other ideas. We all know what happens when Chelsea don’t meet Roman’s criteria. The new campaign certainly promises to be an interesting one at Stamford Bridge.

Can Chelsea challenge for the Premier League title in the new season?

Wed 25 July, 2012
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