Arsene Wenger believes that despite making some changes to their first team this summer, Chelsea will still be one of the clubs fighting for the title next season.
Wenger spoke about Chelsea’s recent transfers on Thursday ahead of Arsenal’s Community Shield clash against them this weekend.
The boss reckons that while Antonio Conte has allowed some big players to leave, their replacements are almost as good.
“Time will decide that. They look like they have kept the basis of the squad. They have added Bakayoko who is a very strong player,” Wenger said.
“He is a strong ball winner, similar to Matic. Maybe less of a distance runner but more of an impact player.
“They have replaced Costa with Morata. Morata is maybe less of a goalscorer than Costa but he can score and provide as well.
“And against us in Asia, Batshuayi played very well. He is a young striker who is promising as well.
“So I expect them to fight for the title again.”
Chelsea have spent almost £140m this summer so far, having signed Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko for a reported £40m, Alvaro Morata for £70m, and Antonio Rudiger for £29m.
They’ve sold Nemanja Matic to Manchester United for a reported £40m and Diego Costa is set to sign for Atletico Madrid for around £50m.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have signed Alexandre Lacazette for £52m.
It’ll be interesting to see which of Chelsea’s newbies feature in the Community Shield on Sunday since the Blues hadn’t signed Morata when they beat Arsenal 3-0 earlier in pre-season in Bejing.
Wenger fielded a young team at the Bird’s Nest Stadium back in July as most of the first team were either being rested or still sunning themselves on holiday, but he’ll most likely put out a starting XI, which closely resembles his Premier League side, at Wembley.
Therefore, the Community Shield, while technically a friendly, could be a huge match in terms of figuring out how Arsenal stack up against last season’s title winners.