Carabao Cup final loss a result of Chelsea's woeful transfer recruitment

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 25 Feb 2024 18:56 GMT
  • 4 min read
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea

Chelsea fans have blasted their team following Liverpool’s 1-0 win in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Virgil van Dijk netted a 118th minute winner in extra-time to succumb Chelsea to their sixth successive cup final defeat, with the Dutchman’s goal the latest League Cup final winner since Bryan Little’s strike for Aston Villa against Everton in 1977.

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Gary Neville dubbed Mauricio Pochettino’s side as ‘The Blue Billion Pound Bottlejobs’ after Van Dijk’s winner and that statement holds significant merit considering the chances missed by Chelsea and Liverpool’s injury crisis.

Jurgen Klopp was forced to deal with 11 senior injuries - including to the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez - yet Chelsea were still unable to get over the line.

Liverpool relied on their kids and were rewarded, while Chelsea couldn’t achieve success despite their huge investment over the past 18 months. Over €1 billion has been spent on new signings since Todd Boehly became owner in 2022, yet the Blues still look toothless in attack and their midfield duo of Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo have not delivered on their immense promise.

Caoimhin Kelleher was excellent in between the sticks for Liverpool, granted, but Chelsea paid the price for poor finishing on numerous occasions.

Cole Palmer missed a close-range chance in the first-half, before Conor Gallagher failed to capitalise on a glorious one-on-one opportunity in the second-half. Ultimately, Chelsea’s finishing let them down once again and their recruitment must be questioned as a result.

Nicolas Jackson actually occupied both Ibrahima Konate and Van Dijk rather well and caused the pair several issues, however Chelsea still lack a clinical finisher.

Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke cost a combined total of €161.2 million, yet they continue to be hugely inconsistent, which is a huge issue for Pochettino.

The Blues have embarked on a long-term project, but the early signs suggest that reaching their intended destination will require years of work and plenty more investment.

Their forward line simply isn’t threatening enough considering the level of financial help it has received and signing Victor Osimhen must be an absolute priority this summer, otherwise Chelsea will likely find themselves in a similar scenario in 2024-25.

The Blues evidently have potential, but they have failed on the biggest stage, despite the obstacles thrown Liverpool’s way, and Pochettino is now under massive pressure as a result.

What have Chelsea fans said about their Carabao Cup final performance?

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