EPL

Chelsea continue spending spree with Gusto signing

By Sports Desk January 29, 2023

Chelsea have continued their January spending spree with the signing of right-back Malo Gusto from Lyon.

The France Under-21 international has signed a seven-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, but he will spend the remainder of the 2022-23 season on loan at Lyon.

Gusto, who has made 54 appearances for Lyon since making his debut in January 2021, is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial £26.3million (€29.9m) plus various add-ons.

He becomes Chelsea's seventh signing of the window following the arrivals of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, the latter joining on loan from Atletico Madrid.

The 19-year-old attacking full-back will provide long-term competition and cover for Reece James, who has missed the majority of this season through injury. 

Chelsea are also rumoured to still be in the market for a central midfielder, having so far been frustrated in their attempt to sign Argentina World Cup star Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.

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    The meeting with Liverpool at Wembley will be the club’s first final since co-owner Todd Boehly took charge and embarked on a radical overhaul that has so far not brought success.

    It comes after wins away at Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace in the Premier League, which were followed by a fine draw against champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium a week ago.

    Those three performances have significantly changed the perception of Pochettino’s rebuilding of the team, after the last home game – a 4-2 defeat to Wolves at Stamford Bridge early in February – saw Chelsea booed off the pitch by sections of their own support.

    Days earlier they were soundly beaten 4-1 at Anfield by Sunday’s opponents, a disjointed performance in which the team looked to be in disarray and well short of expectations set by the more than £1billion spent by Boehly on recruitment.

    Now the the Argentinian is confident that the last three weeks have brought a significant change in his players’ ability to compete at Wembley with title-chasing Liverpool.

    “We will need to manage some moments during the game,” he said. “But I think in the last few weeks we’ve learned a lot, we’ve stepped up from (the defeat at Anfield). We arrive with very good momentum.

    “After competing against Villa, Palace and Manchester City, it’s provided the team with the confidence and the trust.

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    “The circumstances are completely different (now), for us and for (Liverpool).”

    Since the game at Anfield, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has lost a number of key players to injury including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones.

    Pochettino has selection worries of his own, with Thiago Silva to be assessed having missed the last three games.

    Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is available after injury but Djordje Petrovic, who has impressed since coming into the side early in December, could keep his place.

    Klopp has stated he believes his team are not favourites at Wembley, an idea the Chelsea manager rejects.

    “(Klopp) is clever enough,” said Pochettino. “He knows that when you play a final, anything can happen. If they’re not the favourite, then we are not the favourite.

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    “For our players, it’s new. For some of them it’s maybe their first final. That’s why they are favourites, in my opinion. But he is clever enough to say it’s 50-50.”

    Pochettino added that his team may ultimately be stronger for their chastening night on Merseyside in January.

    “In this type of process, you need that these type of things happen,” he said. “You need to really wake up about the situation.

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