Mauricio Pochettino warned Chelsea of transfer failure as January demands arise

 Mauricio Pochettino has made his desire to be active in the transfer market following defeat to Everton and it perhaps should come as no surprise given what the Blues boss said on the Blues' pre-season tour

Mauricio Pochettino reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea

Less than a month into his Chelsea career, Mauricio Pochettino sat in a press conference in Philadelphia's Lincoln Field Stadium and in a rare moment, outlined what he wanted his squad to find in the transfer market. The Blues boss had just watched his young side, with only three weeks of his tutelage deliver a positive performance as they beat Brighton with Nicolas Jackson and Mykhailo Mudryk offering something for supporters to get excited about heading into the new season.

Chelsea's 51-year-old head coach in large has accepted that the timing of his staff's arrival meant that Chelsea's summer plans were made in advance and that his input would be greater as his stay at the club extended. Even in that stage, Pochettino noted his desire for experienced players.

A significant overhaul had already taken place at this stage of pre-season and the youthful composition of the group was clear. When the Blues' boss was asked about persisting with the opportunity provided to young players to experience a run of games, Pochettino was more matter-of-fact.

He hoped to facilitate a possibility should they prove themselves worthy. He rather acknowledged the culture of Chelsea - to win, not simply develop players.

Pochettino explained: "It is about the project, it is about building a squad with the possibility to give the space that they deserve or the space that we believe they deserve. Then it's about numbers, if you have a big squad with 30 senior players, it's difficult for the young guys to get a place. It's important if we detect that they can use the space we want to create for them, of course, we are going to give them equality. We also need to understand also we are in Chelsea. Chelsea is to win, it's not about developing player.

"Of course, we are going to have a few numbers of places for them with the possibility and potential to be a senior footballer in this football club. We need to be careful because people expect to win, when you play for Chelsea it's about winning, it's not about playing good football only. Yes we have many young but we need some experienced players also. We are working really hard to add some players that can help this year also but help today and try to get what we want. In my side, and for my side I think I would love to have these places for them to help them, if we see the potential to arrive as a senior player for Chelsea."

Following that day, Chelsea added Lesley Ugochukwu, Axel Disasi, Robert Sanchez, Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Deivid Washington, Djordje Petrovic, Cole Palmer. Only Sanchez, Disasi and Petrovic were older than 21 at that time. The goalkeepers come with the caveat that they were not necessarily considered players for the starting lineup, with Kepa Arrizabalaga still present at Stamford Bridge in Sanchez's first week at the club.

Thus, it should perhaps be no surprise that there is a temptation to once again delve into the transfer market. Saturday's defeat to Everton inspired Pochettino to open up publically about a desire for movement in January.

While it was not experience the former Spurs coach called for on this occasion, he clearly hopes for a known quantity. A greater guarantee of goals.

Chelsea's 26 goals in 16 outings is an improvement upon their single goal per game average of last term but there remains a sense they are no achieving what they would hope in front of goal.

"I think it's about to improve," Pochettino said on Sunday. "We were talking after nearly four or five months, or 16 games, it's about to assess. We were not able today with all of the chances we had. We need to score if we want to win the game and we want to be in a different position in the table."

He added: "Then there's a massive assessment from the beginning of the season, from day one until today. When the transfer window opens, we will see what we can do. I will not say I need to ask for more players or fewer players but it's to see if the perception matches the reality. Is expectation here, the reality here because we are missing something in the middle. That is the reality, maybe we need to improve our reality."

With the Blues currently sitting in 12th, pressure will be mounting on both the team and Pochettino and the debate between expectation and reality will be very much at the forefront. The season has of course been impacted by a plethora of injury issues, with Christopher Nkunku perhaps being a figure that could provide experience and clinical finishing, though he too lacks experience in the Premier League.

The ability to recover players and whether the club meets Pochettino's demands will go a long way to establishing a platform for the club to build upon for the remainder of the season.

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