Thomas Tuchel has expressed delight in Chelsea’s transfer business during the summer window, which closed last night.
Chelsea ended deadline day with late deals for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona and Dennis Zakaria from Juventus, adding them to Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana in a spree that exceeded £250 million.
“We can discuss endlessly if we overspent, but the players we got are very good players and personalities,” the German said today during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League early kick-off against West Ham tomorrow.
“Everything was desperately needed to rebuild the group and inspire the group. We did excellent signings. It doesn’t help if we talk about the price. This is how the market was for us, it was nobody’s fault given the situation, but the players we got fit perfectly and I’m very happy to work with this group now.”
Aubameyang’s move from Barcelona was only confirmed in the early hours of today and Tuchel is happy to be reunited with the striker he coached at Borussia Dortmund.
“We know very well what we get with Auba, and he was very keen to come back to the Premier League,” Tuchel noted.
“Hopefully he can be that good again. We are very happy we could make it happen. He has delivered everywhere he has played. Goals, but more importantly speed and work-rate against the ball. It’s a big package he can bring to our group.
“Auba is happy to fight for something and accept the challenge. The more challenges, the better. If he wants to overcome the ‘number nine curse’, or show somebody in London he is better than people think about him, the more the better because he is up for that and he is happy.
“I imagine the Chelsea fans are happy he chose the club in blue instead of the club in red. They will see very early what he is about. He is a very hardworking striker, the first line of pressing, and that’s what made him special in Dortmund when he worked for me, and a captain of Arsenal where he lifted trophies.”
On the £75m signing of Fofana, which went through on Wednesday after much speculation, Tuchel said: “He’s young, he’s fast, he’s very strong in set-pieces, defending and attacking, and he was one of our very early targets.
“He has the kind of profile we had identified early as a replacement for Toni (Rudiger) and Andreas (Christensen).
“We are very happy we stayed patient, and super happy Todd and Behdad were relentless on it, and never gave up, and managed to fulfil this transfer.”
Chelsea have wobbled in the Premier League this early in the campaign, winning just two of their opening five games and losing two, including a 2-1 defeat to Southampton in midweek.
The former Paris Saint-Germain manager now expects his side to be more cohesive against West Ham tomorrow after the transfer distractions.
“We will use the stability to grow, to build a group and influence each other in a positive way,” he explained.
“I saw a reaction yesterday, and today we had a good training session. The cards are on the table. We will use it as a kickstart, it’s needed. We have the chance to start the season new tomorrow, a home game, with the players that are available. I have the feeling everybody is ready to show up.
“If we don’t get tough, we will get punished. We will show a reaction. It’s proven we can do it with this group. We need to find the right spirit and attitude in all the matches. We are now using the momentum we know who is in the squad, and we will show a new face.”