New kit, new transfer policy? Chelsea pay tribute to boss who ‘recruited wisely’ and avoided ‘unreliable big names’

Chelsea have unveiled their new home kit for the 2022-23 season, which pays homage to a former manager whose approach to transfers the club should pay close attention to this summer.

According to the club’s official website, the shirt pays homage to Ted Drake, the manager who joined Chelsea 70 years ago and guided them to their first league title and helped shape their identity ever since.

Drake is responsible for changing the club’s badge to the “lion rampant” image, which remains to this day. He also changed the club’s nickname to ‘The Blues’ when they were previously known as ‘Pensioners’ due to the retired British Army veterans who live at the nearby Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Chelsea unveiled the kit by releasing a ‘Class of ’22’ launch video on social media, which begins with an archive clip of Drake promising to change the club’s nickname and then stars like Pernille Harder, Kai Havertz, Sam Kerr and Mason shows The halls are in turmoil as a besieged Thomas Tuchel attempts to maintain order.

The shirt pays tribute to Drake’s influence with parts of the lion symbol of the badge reproduced in turquoise stitching on the white collar, while the nickname he bestowed is embossed into the single button on the front.

The rest of the kit is the same hue as the club’s iconic blue, but gets added texture with an angular, geometric pattern that catches the eye but is a welcome departure from the wild zig-zags and distorted checks of recent seasons.

Chelsea credited Drake for leading the club to English champions in 1955 “having recruited wisely and in contrast to the past when unreliable big names were signed”.

The manager eschewed the club’s previous approach of signing well-known players to attract large crowds, focusing on producing more youth players of their own and bringing in transfers from the lower leagues, and this change led to their first major trophy of the year their 50th anniversary.

How times change. This summer Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has been loaned to Inter Milan for €115m just a year after signing from the Italian club, while the club’s new co-owner and interim sporting director Todd Boehly has been linked with interest in seemingly every major Names in this transfer window, from Cristiano Ronaldo to Neymar.

Still, Raheem Sterling’s proposed signing – with sources telling ESPN the Manchester City winger could be signed for a fee of around £45million – seems like a smart deal for the Blues. Perhaps Boehly & Co will keep Drake’s methods in mind as they venture into the transfer market this summer. New kit, new transfer policy? Chelsea pay tribute to boss who ‘recruited wisely’ and avoided ‘unreliable big names’

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