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Chelsea FC: Class of 2016

Started on 21 December 2015 by InvertedWingbacks
Latest Reply on 22 January 2016 by InvertedWingbacks
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Barring that Norwich result, a solid month mate, keep it up!
Loving this so far, great layout!
Crucial: Matic has been key to Chelsea's campaign this season, but may be looking to move on.

London side Chelsea have been in unstoppable form this season, and as New Year rolls round, they are sitting pretty atop the Premier League, far ahead of the nearest competition. Key in that performance, of course, has been Eden Hazard, and also striker Diego Costa. However, defensively, centre half Nemanja Matic has also been crucial, with 27 appearances in all competitions.

Matic has been an assured presence in the heart of the Chelsea defence, and those performances have not gone unnoticed, with top tier sides from around Europe casting a glance over the Serbian. Chief amongst those suitors though, is Catalonian side Barcelona, who could be ready to make a bid for the defender, who's price tag is thought to be in the region of £25 million.

Speaking to the press today, Matic was hesitant, although did not seem to rule out a move to Spain: "Of course, I am very happy here in London, playing with Chelsea, but a move to Barcelona is a dream for every player. They are the very highest level, and I would be crazy not to consider it if they came in with an offer. Right now, though, that is only speculation, and until any concrete approach is made, I will remain a Chelsea player, and will represent the club in the appropriate manner."

Chelsea fans will not be keen on the idea of losing Matic, but with rumours abound that manager Dayton Lynch is looking at replacements for the Serbian, nobody seems to be jumping to conclusions around any potential transfer.
Talented: Gray, who will join his new team-mates this week, is touted as one of England's hottest talents

One of England's brightest talents, Demarai Gray, has agreed terms on a contract which will see him leave boyhood club Birmingham to join League leaders Chelsea, in a deal reportedly worth around £5m over the next 2 years, with the Blue's initial outlay thought to be around £1.7m.

Gray was a revelation last season, scoring 6 times in 41 games for his club, and continued his eye catching form in the first half of this season, netting 3 goals and providing 2 assists in 25 games. The youngster's pace and skill on the wings has been at the heart of his impressive performances, as he has drawn plaudits for that side of his game.

Off the pitch, some fans have been concerned that his meteoric rise to fame might take it's toll on him mentally, with concerns that he would become something of an eccentric personality, as has happened to some of his predecessors as young English starlets.

However, at Chelsea, Gray has some of the finest attacking midfielders in the Premier League to learn from; Eden Hazard, hotly tipped for this year's Balon D'Or, could be an ideal role model for the youngster, who seems to be in dream land after his move.

"Moving to Chelsea really is a dream come true - I cannot thank Birmingham's fans, players and staff enough for everything they have done for me, especially in the last two years. Now, I've got to get my head down, and work on making into the first team here. I know that won't be an instant move, and I've already had some discussions around loan moves and a training programme, and hopefully we can get that in place as fast as possible."

This is Chelsea's first foray into the transfer market this January, but it is unlikely to be their last.
Hopefully he'll be a decent signing and get a few games in
Interesting signing there, keen to see how young Demarai gets on. He certainly has some talented players to learn from, lets hope he gets some game time & realises his potential!
Replacement: Everton's John Stones is the man to replace Matic, arriving in a deal worth around £30m over 3 years

Chelsea fans have been left reeling this morning, with news breaking overnight that Serbian Nemanja Matic has departed Stamford Bridge, heading for Barcelona in a deal worth up to £25m over the next two years.

Matic has been a major force for Chelsea this season, but had recently seen his playing time limited by the emergence of English youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who's form has seen Cesc Fabregas drop into a deeper role, similar to that Matic occupies.

With Matic's departure, Chelsea have reinvested that money in Everton starlet John Stones, who, despite being primarily a Central Defender, has been working on his game to develop his skill with the ball at his feet and coming forwards, and will look to continue that development at Stamford Bridge, while playing at a higher level than ever before.

The 21 year old has made 11 appearances for England already, and was excited at his press conference this morning, stating that "A move to Chelsea is always something that plays on your mind - ever since I found out they were tracking me, i've been thinking about what I would do if a bid came in...I would have been daft to say no: this club is huge, and it's exciting to look around and see the players who i'll be working alongside here.

"At this stage in my career, my focus has to be on developing my game, make sure I don't get complacent just because i've reached this point. I want to develop into a defender who can be a focal point as the team transitions into an attacking phase. I know fans are hurting from losing Nemanja, but I'm hoping I can start playing in a way that lessens that blow."
Samba Star: The Brazilian is seen as a natural replacement for Nemanja Matic

Just days after Nemanja Matic swapped London for Barcelona, and John Stones made the switch to the capital, Chelsea have further strengthened their defence with the addition of Brazilian defensive midfielder Casemiro in a structured £15m deal.

The tenacious midfielder started his career at Sao Paulo, making his first team debut in 2010, before going on to make 61 appearances for his boyhood club, scoring 6 league goals before a loan switch to Castilla, before making his move permanent for £4.3m in the 2012/13 season, after making 16 appearances on loan. In the remainder of that season, he made a further 12 appearances.

The following year, he moved on loan to FC Porto, making 28 appearances and scoring 3 times for the club, who then made his move permanent for £12.75m, before Madrid bought him back at the start of this season for £16m. He has only made 6 appearances this season, due in part to the arrivals of Mateo Kovacic and Toni Kroos in the Madrid defence.

Passed from Pillar to Post since departing Sao Paulo, Casemiro is hoping that his move to London can become a catalyst for his career; "I think, now, I need to focus on making a permanent place in this Chelsea team in the league and in Europe, and really focus on my own performances. This is a great chance for me, and I am very ready for the challenges I'm going to face."

Dayton's Diary: January 2016

Scintilating: Belgian star Hazard continued the form which has seen him move into contention for the Balon D'or

It was critical that we started 2016 strongly, and we have done exactly that - 5 wins from 5 games, with some incredible performances, particularly from man of the moment Eden Hazard, who has moved into contention for this years Balon D'Or.
Diego Costa (2), Pedro
3-1 v MK DONS
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (2), Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard (3)

4-1 v WOLVES
Eden Hazard (2), Kurt Zouma, Tomás Conechny

Player of the Month: Eden Hazard

5 Games| 5 Goals

The football world is torn each year in the voting for the Balon D'Or: awarded to the player considered to be the best in the world at that exact moment. For the last 7 years, the award has been split 4-3 between Argentine Star Lionel Messo, and Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, with Ronaldo the most recent winner, taking his tally to 3 with his win last year.

This year, though, there has been talk that a challenger has emerged for the La Liga power duo; other than the usually touted Neymar, Manuel Neuer or Franck Ribery. Chelsea's Eden Hazard has been nothing short of majestic for his club, and emerged as an outside runner for the award over the past few months.

The Top 3

3rd Place: Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid

Goals: 12
Assists: 2
Average Rating: 7.74
Voting Points: 167

2nd Place: Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona

Appearances: 23
Goals: 12
Assists: 5
Average Rating: 8.12
Voting Points: 287

Winner: Eden Hazard

Appearances: 26
Goals: 20
Assists: 13
Average Rating: 8.02
Voting Points: 471
Your updates and writing style are really good. Also keep up the good form from the last month
Reliable: Spanish Maestro Cesc Fabregas was critical for Chelsea this month

We carried on our January form, with a blip against United, and an unfortunate loss to FC Basel in the Champions league away from home. I'm not too concerned though, as with a strong performance at home, we can pull the Basel game back, and I had rotated heavily against United.
Diego Costa, Eden Hazard
Diego Costa, Eden Hazard (2)
2-1 v FC BASEL
Cesc Fabregas
Eden Hazard (3), Micah Richards (o.g.)

Player of the Month: Cesc Fabregas

5 Games| 1 Goal
Talent: Chelsea's youth squad saw their latest intake of talent this week

Youth intake day. For my project at the club, this would prove to be a critical point each season, as we look for the players who will become an integral part of the club for years to come. This season, we weren't blessed with massive amounts of talent, but we had one player who really caught the eye - Tommy Furlong

In addition, we scouted around the other Premiership clubs, and picked up a pair of wingers from Manchester United - Matt Scott and Gavin Fisher - who could prove to be critical in future years. Below, I have listed all 3 of the players i've mentioned, alongside their player profiles.

Tommy Furlong
DoB: 19/12/1999
Place of Birth: London
Nationality: English
Position: Right Back

Matt Scott
DoB: 23/5/2000
Place of Birth: Manchester
Nationality: English
Position: Right/Left Sided Midfielder

Gavin Fisher
DoB: 15/12/1999
Place of Birth: Oldham
Nationality: English
Position: Right Winger

Dayton's Diary: March 2016

Bit-Part: Pedro scored on only his 6th start of the season against Villa, and his time at Chelsea may be limited

As we approach the business end of the season, it is imperative to continue our recent form, and improve on it, as we head through March and into April. Personally, i'm targeting Domestic victory ahead of European Glory - an FA Cup final, and a shot at the League Title, is not too far from my mind - any chance at a domestic double would be a great start to my Chelsea career.
2-1 v WEST HAM
Diego Costa
3-0 v FC BASEL
Diego Costa, Willian (2)
Eden Hazard, Diego Costa
Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa

Player of the Month: Diego Costa

5 Games| 4 Goals
Big signing landing Stones, not a bad fee either. I certainly wouldn't of let him go for that! :P

Hazard gets the Balon d'Or as well, you are definitely getting the best out of him too. KIU! :)

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