Chelsea’s strategy of making significant changes to their squad during the summer transfer window may be gaining validation with recent performances by Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. The club has been undergoing a transition phase under new ownership, marked by substantial alterations behind the scenes and on the field.
The new approach is focused on building a sustainable project centered around young players and untapped potential. Consequently, several players who didn’t align with this project or were approaching the end of their contracts were offloaded, a move that faced some criticism.
Two such departures were Kai Havertz and Mason Mount, who joined rival clubs Arsenal and Manchester United, respectively, in a combined deal exceeding £120 million. These two players had shared memorable moments with Chelsea, with a highlight being their collaboration for the winning goal in the Champions League final against Manchester City.
However, for some, their departure signaled the end of their Chelsea journey, despite questions surrounding their exits. The early part of the season has perhaps provided justification for Chelsea’s decisions, as they steer the squad in a new direction.
Havertz has faced challenges in finding a consistent role with Arsenal, reminiscent of his situation at Stamford Bridge. Fans have begun to question his impact. As for Mount, injury concerns have disrupted his integration at United, preventing him from fully settling in.
Upon his return to action, Mount has encountered difficulty regaining a spot in the starting lineup, leading to questions from pundits like Rio Ferdinand. Ferdinand commented, “No disrespect to Chelsea, but he was the golden boy who came through the ranks there. He was never really on the receiving end of negativity or scrutiny: ‘Should he be here, he’s not good enough, should he be here?’ He’s never had that in his life, really. He needed backing from Frank [Lampard] when he was at Derby and then when he returned to Chelsea.”
“But the pressure, when you come to Man United, brings a different kind of weight on your shoulders. The badge is heavier when things aren’t going well. He is experiencing and hearing that now. I just think players need time. As long as he gets opportunities in the right areas of this football club, Mason Mount is a certainty to succeed as a Manchester United player.”
The ultimate validation of these replacement decisions is still uncertain, but current indications suggest that their exits and the funds generated have proven to be good business.