Mourinho’s first Chelsea transfer window that turned Blues into champs

Potter excited to work with Joao Felix after Chelsea loan move

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Chelsea boss Graham Potter recently described his gig in charge at Stamford Bridge as “the hardest job in football”, but Jose Mourinho might disagree with the ex-Brighton man. The Portuguese coach moved from Porto to Chelsea in 2004 and after his first window in charge went on to lift the Premier League title in his first season.

After a strong first transfer window, Mourinho and Chelsea went on that season to lift their first top-flight domestic title in 50 years and recorded the most points ever achieved in the league, until Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City took that record as centurions in 2018. Mourinho, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich, went on to spend over £70m and brought some key figures to the club.

The summer of 2004 saw club icons Petr Cech and Didier Drogba move to Stamford Bridge, while Mourinho brought Porto pair Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Fereira to the club that window. Mourinho’s first few months at the club also saw Arjen Robben, Tiago, Mateja Kezman and Nuno Morais join him.

The previous season Chelsea finished second under Claudio Ranieri and had some clear talent, as Frank Lampard and John Terry with Claude Makelele helped make up the spine of the team. Carlo Cudicini was the Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper, however, and Mourinho moved swiftly to replace him with Cech who would go on to become one of the best stoppers of his generation.

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Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the top scorer in 2002/03 but he alongside Hernan Crespo were let go, as Mourinho identified Drogba as the player he wanted to spearhead his attack. Carvalho was the perfect foil to Terry as Chelsea conceded just 15 goals in the entire league season as they became champions.

Robben provided a needed flair while Fereira became a reliable right-back, in what was one of the most successful transfer windows of the league’s history. Potter will be hoping that Chelsea can repeat the same feat during his first window in charge, and co-owner Todd Boehly has been busy having already spent over £250million in the summer for Thomas Tuchel.

Joao Felix recently joined on loan from Atletico Madrid to bolster Potter’s attacking options, as both Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic are set for a spell on the sidelines.

Benoit Badiashile joined from Monaco for £33m to give Potter another option in defence, while youngsters David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos have also moved to Stamford Bridge this month.

January is a notoriously difficult window to buy players in, but while all four additions in 2023 could prove successful, it looks a far cry from Mourinho’s first window in charge and perhaps calls for Potter to get more time amid speculation over his future, are not so far fetched.

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