Chelsea can put right Mohamed Salah blunder if Marina Granovskaia signs Liverpool transfer gem

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Thomas Tuchel has consistently expressed how settled he is at Stamford Bridge.

Having taken the time to reflect on his Chelsea tenure after being awarded Best FIFA Men’s Coach of 2021, he spoke about how the Chelsea environment had helped to get the best out of him.

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“The company here, the support in the club from day one has been outstanding. I feel like I can be the best version of myself. I’ve been trusted, supported, and this you can never ever underestimate.”

These words paint a broader view of Tuchel’s first 12 months in SW6. Culturally he grasps the high expectations of the club, delivering one of the most valued trophies after little more than four months in the role.

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But now, as we take our first steps into the German’s second year at the helm, a major question looms: will Tuchel be fully backed in the summer transfer window to give him the best chance of bringing the Premier League title back to Chelsea?

There were hopes after the Champions League win that the euphoria and confidence injected from that night would propel a group of players who had regularly faltered in title races to another level.

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However, the past month brought up old issues that preceded Tuchel’s tenure and more severe questions over the club’s recruitment with expensive signings struggling to make an impact.

We can look over to Liverpool whose recruitment has appeared to be the opposite under Jurgen Klopp.

Their hit-to-miss ratio of signings has been impressive and consistently Klopp has been provided with players who elevate the quality of his system.

Part of the brilliance behind their recruitment for several years has been the influence of Michael Edwards, the club’s sporting director.

Edwards and Klopp have formed a winning partnership that led Liverpool to not only a European Cup in 2018/19 but their first league title in 30 years in 2019/20.

Famously, Edwards was the man who pushed for Liverpool to sign Mohamed Salah in the 2017 summer window over Julian Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen.

Chelsea can put right Mohamed Salah blunder if Marina Granovskaia signs Liverpool transfer gem
© Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images Mohamed Salah is one of Michael Edwards’ best signings at Liverpool as sporting director.

German football expert Raphael Honigstein explained on the Totally Football Show Podcast in 2018 how vital Edwards had been to changing Klopp’s mind on Salah.

“It’s a real advert for the job of the sporting director Michael Edwards. This is one where Klopp has just stepped aside and said ‘I didn’t really want Salah, but he convinced me to take him’.

“They were going for Julian Brandt, who is very talented but it’s inconceivable what the season would have looked like if it had been Brandt instead of Salah.

“Brandt has been okay but hasn’t turned into one of the best strikers overnight the way that Salah has.”

Salah, who Chelsea and Marina Granovskaia know well, has become one of the world’s best at Liverpool.

Chelsea’s decision to sell the Egyptian to Roma in 2016 for an initial fee of around £12m has been heavily criticised given his incredible transformation at one of the Blues’ bitter Premier League rivals.

When it comes to Edwards, the current Liverpool sporting director confirmed in November that he will be departing Merseyside when his contract expires in the summer of 2022.

Where he goes next is still unclear and the potential of him joining one of Liverpool’s title rivals may seem slim.

But his success leads to a wider discussion over why Chelsea have yet to replace their previous director of football, Michael Emenalo, who left in 2017.

Club legend Petr Cech took the role of technical and performance advisor which has included him being involved in transfer discussions.

Like Edwards did for Salah, Cech promoted the idea of signing Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy over other targets – a move that has turned out to be a stroke of genius.

Having a sense of clarity and a long-term plan will likely determine how successful the rest of Tuchel’s tenure is and bringing in a specialist sporting director to sit between Tuchel and Granovskaia feels like an obvious starting point.

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