Premier League • England

Chelsea January signing ‘not ready’ as Hoddle asks questions of two forwards but spares Potter of blame

David Datro Fofana, Chelsea, February 2023

Glenn Hoddle believes David Datro Fofana is “not ready” and has also raised questions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but doesn’t believe blame should go to Graham Potter.

Chelsea had a hugely busy January transfer window. They signed eight players, and spent in the region of £300million in doing so.

All eyes will be on the fresh faces as they start to filter into the side. Naturally, some are going to perform better than others.

Indeed, some are already being billed to be household names: Mykhaylo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez fall into that category. They’ll certainly hope the latter is, after he was signed for a British world-record fee of around £107million.

However, there are some that are just starting out their careers. Indeed, it will surely take some time for some of the fresh faces to adapt to their new system.

The side that stepped out against Fulham in their first game after the window closed had a new look to it. Three January signings were on show from the start.

Another two of the recent additions were also introduced from the bench.

None of their performances could be categorised as overly successful. Indeed, there’s not much praise to be given following a 0-0 draw.

Hoddle feels Fofana is ‘not ready’

However, former Chelsea man Hoddle has already made an assessment of new striker Fofana. The 20-year-old joined from Molde at the start of January, and got 15 minutes off the bench against Fulham.

From that 15 minutes, as well as a full half in the FA Cup, he’s decided Fofana is not yet at the level to play for the Blues.

“No, he’s not the answer. He’s not ready now. Even if he had an absolute blinder and scored two goals he wouldn’t be the answer yet, you’ve got to have a lot of longevity as a youngster to come in at that level at Chelsea,” he said, quoted by Metro.

“He can do a job, he’d be a good substitution maybe.”

Chelsea likely know that a 20-year-old signed from the Norwegian top flight is not going to come in and be a star straight away. However, that there is promise there for the future is something they will be happy with.

Aubameyang situation in question

Hoddle has also questioned the situation surrounding Aubameyang. The striker was left out of the squad for the Fulham game, and has been dropped from the Champions League squad to accommodate new players.

“Aubameyang’s a strange one, it’s not really Graham’s fault in many ways, [Thomas] Tuchel bought him, Tuchel had got the best out of Aubameyang at Dortmund and then suddenly the manager’s gone,” Hoddle said.

“He [Potter] has got that problem. It’s not the player’s fault, it’s not the manager’s fault, he can only choose that amount, the new players they’ve spent money on they’re obviously going to be in the Champions League.

“The only one , I don’t know, perhaps leave [Kalidou] Koulibaly out maybe, I don’t know, it’s a difficult one for him with those rules. Maybe the owners didn’t really think about that.”

Indeed, Chelsea had a hard decision to make over who to include in the Champions League squad. Potter has had to make that decision, despite perhaps not being all too involved in recruiting some of the new talent.

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