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Thomas Tuchel defends Chelsea co-owners following Gary Neville's 'panicky' comments

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Thomas Tuchel defends Chelsea co-owners following Gary Neville's 'panicky' comments

Thomas Tuchel has defended Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali after they came under criticism from Gary Neville for being ‘panicky’ during the summer transfer window.

Since the £4.25 billion takeover was confirmed on 30 May, the new Chelsea hierarchy took their time to get settled in before making any transfers, which saw Raheem Sterling become the first player through the door last month.

Many negotiations and deals have failed, but in the last week the business has started to happen following the addition of Kalidou Koulibaly last month. 

Gabriel Slonina and Carney Chukwuemeka were both signed, while on Friday the club announced the £63 million signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton.  

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Departures of Levi Colwill on loan and Matt Miazga on a permanent deal have also been confirmed, while several other futures are working to be resolved to give Thomas Tuchel his most preferred squad for the 2022/23 season.

Talks are ongoing for more signings with the likes of Wesley Fofana, Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all linked. 

There is just under four weeks to go until the window closes on 1 September, and although Chelsea have started to speed up their business, Gary Neville was quick to criticise the way the new owners were operating, suggesting they were playing Football Manager.

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“The American guy Boehly, looks like he wants to play Football Manager,” Neville said when on Sky Bet’s The Overlap.

“He’s wandering around a little bit and they’re a bit panicky now. They’re almost like bouncing around because it feels like he has to do something.

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“You’re wondering, ‘Oh they’re coming in for De Jong this morning’, because he feels like he has to do something, that pressure is on him.

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“He wouldn’t have had that pressure if he’d have kept the people that have been there before and just let them operate for a year or two, but it’ll be an interesting season for Chelsea.”

Tuchel was asked about Neville’s comments in his pre-match press conference ahead of their Premier League opener versus Everton and lauded Boehly, Eghbali and co. 

He said: “Panicking? No. I would describe it as super hard working, learning new on the job so it is pretty much going on.

"New ownership, stepping in the transfer market is one of the toughest things you can do.

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Thomas Tuchel speaking to the press ahead of Chelsea's Premier League opener. (Chelsea FC)
Thomas Tuchel speaking to the press ahead of Chelsea's Premier League opener. (Chelsea FC)

“I have nothing but the biggest respect and compliments for both Todd and Behdad.

"I don’t know when they sleep, maybe they never sleep. We have a very honest, open, direct line of communication. The transfers so far speak for themselves.

"We have a delay, of course. Nobody is guilty, it’s because of the sanctions. This led to the loss of key players but like I said both of the owners involved in the daily business do fantastic jobs so far. The transfer market speaks for itself.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea, Football, Premier League, Gary Neville

Matthew Debono
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