Manchester United are ready to become a hurdle in Chelsea’s way.
It was the summertime in the year 2003. Chelsea devotees all around were excited yet nervous at the prospect of their club being sold to a foreign businessman, owing to the fact that their former owners were running out of ideas amidst the financial crisis and massive debts the London club had overlooked in the prior years.
On an unclouded June afternoon, the Blues finally announced that the club had now been taken over by a British-based Israeli-Russian billionaire businessman and politician in Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich paying a club value of £60 million and £80 million of debt.
The takeover was labelled as the first acquisition of a Premier League club by a major foreign investor, and it can still be remembered that the word ‘foreign’ had aroused a lot of noise amongst and fanbase and media outlets. Back then, the major concern was how Abramovich, who had spent most of his time in politics and business, would plan out Chelsea’s progress in the upcoming years.
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But what followed the illustrious takeover has been a fairy tale for those Chelsea supporters, who doubted that Abramovich might not be a good owner for Chelsea at first glance.
Since the takeover, the Stamford Bridge club has seen massive development in terms of both the value of the club and the footballing status, winning 16 major titles in total — that include 5 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cup trophies, 3 EFL Cup (s), 2 Europa League (s), and one devoted Champions League title.
Even though some might accuse the owner of being less patience with the managers of the club at times, it is believed that Abramovich would provide Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s former legend and current boss, with the resources the gaffer needs to build a team of his dream.
And since the start of the year 2020, Abramovich has demonstrated his intention to build a team for the future, signing the up-and-coming stars in Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively, having endured a campaign without any new arrival last season due to the ill-fated transfer ban.
With the ban now being lifted, Abramovich is desperate to show his money power in the middle of the coronavirus crisis. With two arrivals already confirmed, Chelsea are reportedly in the hunt for a new left-back, a goalkeeper, and an attacking midfielder in Bayer Leverkusen’s 21-year-old Kai Havertz.
Taking about the goalkeepers targetted by Chelsea, Manchester United’s on-loan prodigy Dean Henderson, 23, is understood to have made Chelsea’s wishlist, with the Londoner’s current no. 1, Kepa Arrizabalaga, having massively failed to construct a firm reputation under the direction of Frank Lampard, who re-joined the club as their manager last summer.
For the English goalkeeper, it was his second season on loan from Manchester United at Bramall Lane where he helped Sheffield United keep 13 clean sheets in the 2019-20 Premier League, having made numerous eye-catching saves over the course of the campaign.
A recently-emerged report from Sky Sports has claimed Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is set to hand Henderson a new five-year deal that would see him spend another year on loan for Chris Wilder’s men next season.
A new deal for Henderson, who has already proclaimed his intention to become United’s no. 1 one day, means Chelsea will have to start looking for the alternatives.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is relaxed about Henderson’s situation at the club as he believes David de Gea will remain United’s leading goalkeeper next season, with the club now edging closer to a long-awaited deal for Jadon Sancho.
Do you think Dean Henderson should replace David de Gea in United’s starting line-up?