Chelsea manager Graham Potter has admitted some of Chelsea’s stars will have to “be patient” when it comes to playing time now.
The Blues had a busy transfer window in January, spending over £300million which saw them sign eight players – including the Premier League record signing Enzo Fernandez for £106.8million.
Chelsea are currently tenth in the Premier League and have not played for almost a fortnight since their 0-0 draw with underachieving compatriots Liverpool.
It means Potter will have had time to think about how best to use his side against west London rivals Fulham on Friday – which is exclusively live on talkSPORT.
And when he spoke to the media before the game, he was clearly delighted to have Fernandez available to him for that.
“I found out when it was done and I’m very happy because he’s a fantastic player,” he said.
“We have to go through the paperwork and get clearance and all that. My Spanish isn’t very good and his English isn’t very good, but we’ll get there. He is an impressive young man and we look forward to working with him.
But while Potter says he’s delighted to have new stars to help them rise through the ranks after struggling through an injury crisis, he also admits his new challenge won’t come without its challenges.
Potter also said he was aware there would be a lot of outside noise urging them to prove their new signings were worth their transfer fee.
Greenwood dropped police charges, Varane quits France job, Everton snubbed again
Man United striker Mason Greenwood has dropped all criminal charges against him
Agbonlahor executes spin move from Antony as host mocks Man United ace and calls him ‘bluffer’
Watch Edu’s ‘loose’ tackle on Arteta 20 years before they team up for title bid
‘Idiot’ landed ‘flat on his face’ in pitch invasion gone wrong in Man United’s Cup win
Fans are cracking up over footage showing Arsenal’s new sign of Jorginho’s lack of pace for Chelsea
” I am not complaining [the squad size]. It’s exciting but a test for me and the staff. We have a lot of good players and we need to create an environment of healthy competition. Only 11 can play, that’s how it is, but it’s about being ready and supporting the team,” he said.
“Coaching is a process, time helps with that, but I’m not going to sit here and say we need it. It helps, but you’ll talk about time and pressure as you go.
“There will be some awkward conversations as only 11 can play. You have to be as honest as possible and respect that the players want to play and compete, but they have to be patient and help the team.
Spending big in the window, Potter said: “We had an unprecedented injury situation. We hope that we have learned a lot of things and strength from this. Now we can attack the second part of the season and look forward to it.
“If you spend money, the noise outside increases. Resources are one thing, but you have to align them, make the right decisions, create an environment.
One player Potter didn’t expect to have in his squad for the rest of the campaign is winger Hakim Ziyech.
The Moroccan World Cup star was due to join Paris Saint-Germain on loan for the rest of the season, but that move fell through on deadline day due to late handling of documents by Chelsea, according to the club French.
But despite reports that Ziyech was “fulminant” after the failed transfer, Potter insists his player is ready to give Chelsea his all for the rest of the season.
“He is back home and trained this morning. He’s a professional player and he understands the situation,” revealed the Blues coach.
“He’s committed to us.”
Keep up to date with all the latest news, rumors and gossip with our live transfer blog