Former Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend has given a worrying assessment of the Blues’ predicament under Mauricio Pochettino, as he claims not even the signings of Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe would help them win the Premier League title.
Chelsea have had another slow start to the season, as they sit 11th in the table on just 12 points from 10 matches. They are closer to the relegation zone than the top four, with the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool charging away at the top.
While Chelsea chiefs have put their faith in Pochettino heading up their long-term project, his job came under threat when they won just one of their first six league games. After all, Graham Potter was supposed to be the man to guide Chelsea over the coming years, but he was sacked in April.
Chelsea have improved in recent weeks, overcoming Brighton in the League Cup before beating Fulham and Burnley in the league. They also drew 2-2 with London rivals Arsenal on October 21.
However, the Blues’ progress appeared to stop in its tracks when they lost 2-0 at home to Brentford on Saturday.
Former Chelsea star Joe Cole labelled the result a ‘painful’ one, while also stating that ‘doubt has crept into the players’ minds’.
Pochettino is likely to select a weakened team when Chelsea come up against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup on Wednesday night, but he will still want his side to get back to winning ways after the Brentford setback. Following the Blackburn game, Chelsea face a huge test as they travel to in-form Spurs on Monday November 6.
During an appearance on talkSPORT, Simon Jordan backed Chelsea to win the title in the next three years.
Chelsea Premier League title chances torn apart
However, both Townsend and fellow pundit Ally McCoist do not share that view. Even if Chelsea sign arguably the world’s most in-form player, Bellingham, alongside lethal forward Mbappe, Townsend still does not think they can finish higher than City or Arsenal.
“That is some statement, I don’t see that at all,” Townsend remarked.
“Not unless they sign Mbappe and three of that level. Look, they are acquiring some very good young players.
“There is never any guarantees on young players stepping up and being able to make the difference, never!”
Townsend then asked McCoist if Chelsea could win the league with Mbappe and Bellingham, to which the Scot replied: “Probably not.”
Townsend continued by saying: “Of course they wouldn’t, no chance!”
McCoist added: “I think Chelsea are in the same position as Manchester United.
“In the respect that they’re miles off winning the title.”
It is a brutal assessment of the job that Pochettino is doing, as Bellingham and Mbappe are two game-changing players and Townsend thinks even with the duo in the Chelsea squad, they would probably finish third or lower.
Against Brentford, it was once again clear that Chelsea need to acquire a reliable goalscorer, with Nicolas Jackson not up to standard.
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly would be delighted to sign Mbappe, as he is keen on taking the biggest names to Stamford Bridge. But that move is very unlikely, as Mbappe has his sights set on Real Madrid next.
Instead, Chelsea could land either Napoli forward Victor Osimhen or Brentford’s Ivan Toney.