Gus Poyet says Chelsea’s recruits are perfect to play under Mauricio Pochettino, who believes the Blues can surprise their Premier League rivals this season.
Chelsea have continued to invest heavily ahead of their second full season under Todd Boly’s regime, spending an estimated £328m on Moises Caicedo, Christopher Nkunka, Nicholas Jackson and others in the current transfer window.
Former Brighton & Hove Albion star Caicedo became the most expensive player in Premier League history when he joined the Blues this week in a £115m deal, with fellow midfielder Romeo Lavia also arriving from Southampton. for £58 million.
While Chelsea’s costly recruiting policies have drawn a lot of criticism, former Blues favorite Poyet believes they have acquired players who could do well under Pochettino.
“Obviously they have a new coach. They have too many new players,” Poyet told Stats Perform.
“They are very young and usually young players have such stamina, they will run and create, but then you have this dip in form.
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“What makes me most happy when I think about a coach is that they are made for Pochettino.
“Young players who need to be nurtured, who need to be coached, who need to feel part of the group and be together… something that Pochettino does extremely well.
“A few weeks ago I was worried. Now I have a feeling that perhaps they might be a surprise. I’m not saying they can win the title, but I’m surprised at how they’re going to develop.”
Chelsea had a positive first-season record last Sunday, with 64.9% possession and five big chances in a spectacular 1-1 draw against Liverpool.
Conor Gallagher partnered Enzo Fernandez in Chelsea’s central midfield that game, but Poyet believes the arrival of Caicedo could take the Blues to the next level.
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“I think it was a good call from Pochettino, who suggested that Fernandez move forward a bit,” he said. “For this you need the correct number six seat, which is what Gallagher did the other day.
“I think Gallagher did a great job, he made two or three incredible tackles to get the ball back in difficult circumstances, but they are looking for this athletic South American who can cover the field and handle the ball well.
“(Caicedo) learned a lot from Roberto De Zerbi in terms of positioning and passing, so I think they have an incredible group of players who just need to get close or find the right system.”
Poyet, who coached Brighton between 2009 and 2013, also thinks the transfer is a great piece of business for the Seagulls, adding: “I want to talk about Brighton, who have an outstanding recruitment system.
“Having players from all over the world and selling them for the money they sell them for is amazing.”