Thomas Tuchel has insisted that his Chelsea side will be up for the fight in next season’s Premier League title race and will not use the club’s transitional period as an excuse for failure.
American billionaire Todd Boehly and his consortium completed the takeover of Chelsea in May, meaning sanctions imposed by the UK government at the tail end of Roman Abramovich’s tenure could be lifted.
Because of these sanctions, Chelsea were unable to table fresh contract offers for the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, and both left the club on free transfers.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Tuchel admitted this was a tough period in the Blues’ recent history, not least because everyone at the club had become used to constant success.
“I was concerned,” Tuchel said. “Everybody was concerned because we are what we are and we are used to winning and being competitive. When you lose big players and you are not able to act – of course, we were concerned.”
Chelsea went into last season as the champions of Europe and were expected to mount a challenge for the Premier League title. While they spent time at the top of the table during the autumn, a poor winter and spring spell saw them just about finish third.
But with Raheem Sterling now part of the squad and further signings – including Kalidou Koulibaly – on the way, Tuchel has promised that his charges will give their all to wrestle the Premier League crown away from Manchester City.
“I can promise you everybody is ready to try again. We will not give in before we play games. That’s why the sanctions did not help us,” he added.
“We lost important players and the other teams are recruiting and did not have the losses that we had.
“If you look at the transfer period of Tottenham with Antonio Conte, it’s maybe the strongest team they ever built. Manchester United will not give in, Arsenal will not give in, they’ve made two big signings already, so we are aware of the situation and try to do our best to be competitive.
“The team will be strong. Even though it is maybe true that we are in transition I am not ready to use it as an excuse.”