Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have accused Todd Boehly of ‘panicking’ in the transfer market as Chelsea look to beat Manchester United and Manchester City to multiple deals.
Chelsea have endured a somewhat underwhelming transfer window to date, with Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly moving to Stamford Bridge but the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Romelu Lukaku departing.
Thomas Tuchel has been vocal in his belief that Chelsea need to secure more summer signings before the transfer deadline and says the team will not compete with Man City or Liverpool unless his squad is strengthened.
Perhaps as a result of Tuchel’s comments, Chelsea have entered the race to sign Frenkie de Jong and Marc Cucurella, who have been strongly linked with Man United and Man City respectively.
Neville and Carragher are confused by Chelsea’s transfer strategy, however, and believe Boehly is ‘panicking’ as he chases summer deals.
‘The American guy [Todd] Boehly, looks like he wants to play football manager,’ Neville said on The Overlap, in partnership with Sky Bet. ‘There’s a bit of that in him.
‘He’s wandering around a little bit and they’re a bit panicky now. You’re seeing that they’re in for De Jong this morning and it feels like he has to do something, that pressure is on him.
‘He wouldn’t have had that pressure if he’d have kept the people that have been there before and just let them operate for a year or two, but it’ll be an interesting season for Chelsea.
‘Obviously, they’ve lost a few defenders as well. They might even lose more to Barcelona.
‘I mean, look, let’s be clear, firstly – they’re [Chelsea] reacting to what’s available and what other clubs are doing.
‘Secondly, you hear his [Todd Boehly] name too much and he’s too prominent. You look at what Manchester City and Liverpool are doing, [Txiki] Begiristain at City is their sporting director. Some people might not even know that.
‘Some people do know that, but some people never even hear him, never even see him but they get their business done quickly and efficiently.
‘When clubs are working well, you don’t hear who’s signing the players, you just sign them. Chelsea have got that sort of, Manchester United under The Glazers, Ed Woodward, “I’m taking over, I’m the man now, I’m going to go out and basically buy the players” and then they’re linked with every player that Barcelona want, every player that City want, every player that United want.
‘They’re almost like bouncing around because it feels like he [Todd Boehly] has to do something. I’m hearing his name too much.
‘It feels like, it’s not to be disrespectful, you know he’s a prominent guy, he’s just bought the club and everything.
‘He’s fronted a fund that’s paid two and a half billion quid, but to get rid of all that football operation that’s been unbelievable for that many years and come in and do it yourself, it does feel like Ed Woodward that to me. We’ll see it develop.’
Former Liverpool defender Carragher agrees with Neville’s assessment and believes Chelsea’s ongoing pursuit of Spanish left-back Cucurella is proof the club are ‘panicking’.
‘I think the way most football clubs are run now, it’s a lot more organised, a lot more sort of, you know, who you want, it’s not sort of these panic things that used to happen in the past and people just go buy and you’d look at it,’ he said.
‘I look at a couple of things Chelsea do and I’m just thinking, is it a panic because you haven’t bought someone and you’ve got to get someone?
‘You bought Ben Chilwell for £50m and then you’re trying to get another left back, like you didn’t want them a month ago, you want them now.’
Chelsea finished third in the Premier League last season – 19 points behind champions Manchester City – and begin the new campaign on Saturday against Everton.
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