The news that Chelsea have been banned from signing players for the next two transfer windows may actually prove to be a blessing in design for the club.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee imposed a two-window ban on Chelsea registering new players for breaches of regulations relating to the transfer of 29 players aged under 18. The Premier League club were also fined over £460,000 and the Football Association more than £390,000.
Chelsea have announced their intention to contest the sanctions, which the club categorically denies. They expressed disappointment at the FIFA disciplinary committee’s findings and may eventually take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Any delay would allow Chelsea to make signings, but whether they actually need to spend heavily is open to debate. The ban could be seen as an opportunity for Chelsea and make them an attractive proposition with Ladbrokes to secure a top four finish next year.
The Blues have plenty of talented players who will be hungry to prove they have what it takes to be a success in the Premier League.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek stands out as someone who will be eager to given an extended run in the first team. The midfielder looked good on loan at Crystal Palace, but has struggled to nail down a regular spot at Stamford Bridge.
However, if Chelsea were unable to make the loan moves of Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain permanent, Loftus-Cheek could be in line to make his mark next season.
The ban is also potentially good news for players like Tiemoue Bakayoko and Tammy Abraham, with both shining during their respective loan spells at AC Milan and Aston Villa.
Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi may also be given the opportunity to impress, as Chelsea are unlikely to sanction a move to Bayern Munich if they are banned from signing players.
Central defence is perhaps one area of concern, although Andreas Christensen will hope the transfer ban works in his favour. The 22-year-old has struggled to dislodge David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger from the starting XI, but will surely be given a chance sooner rather than later given some of the former’s lapses this term.
Ethan Ampadu and Reece James are other youngsters who could progress sufficiently to ensure that Chelsea’s transfer ban doesn’t impact them too much.
With the deal to sign Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund already rubber-stamped, Chelsea’s squad should still be capable of being in the mix for a top four finish next season.