4. Eintracht Frankfurt
The Bundesliga side played some thrilling football last season and were astonishingly close to reaching the Europa League final, not to mention a Champions League spot that ultimately slipped from their grasp. But much of that came through the brilliance of their front three, Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic – but none of them will be on show at Commerzbank-Arena over the coming campaign.
Those players will represent Real Madrid, West Ham and AC Milan respectively, the latter being confirmed when Rebic joined AC Milan in a season-long loan late on Tuesday. Eintracht have received more than €100 million in return but it is impossible not to feel that a golden chance to establish themselves among Germany’s front runners has gone begging.
Andre Silva, Bas Dost and the exciting Red Star Belgrade forward Dejan Joveljic go some way towards filling the gap they have left, but the drop-off in firepower is stark and Eintracht may well count the cost.
With a transfer ban in place, Chelsea were always going to suffer this summer. At least they made a real fist of the situation, appointing club legend Frank Lampard as manager and turning to their talented youth setup for fresh options. But their five points from four Premier League games speaks volumes – they have fallen behind in squad strength terms as they sold Eden Hazard and couldn’t replace him with another big-name star.
Christian Pulisic was acquired in January so he doesn’t count towards the summer work. He is an incredible player, but would have to perform miracles to make Blues fans forget all about Hazard. Mateo Kovacic was acquired permanently having spent 2018-19 on loan at Stamford Bridge, but he is not the player he was last season. The Croat is inconsistent and rarely brings the creativity part in the table.
Young Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have done well, but their defence continue to be a calamity. Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma have struggled and it could be the story until the season ends. With no ban in place, it’s highly likely we would have seen Chelsea bolster at centre-back, left-back, winger and striker. These are now the positions in which they look a little short and they weren’t able to do anything about it.