Any fan will tell you that the recruitment at Chelsea is one of the most worrying parts about the club at this moment, with many recent signings less than successful. In my opinion there’s two main reasons for this – a lack of a Director of Football and Chelsea’s Head of International Scouting, Scott McLachlan.
For those of you who don’t know who Scott McLachlan is, he came to Chelsea to work as part of the scouting team, having had a background in performance analysis in his previous role at Southampton and then becoming a technical scout at Fulham.
His current official role is as Head of International Scouting but after the departure of Michael Emanalo in November 2017, he has had a larger say in who the club sign, working much more closely with Marina Granovskaia. Before this, his input was still valued by the club and it’s believed he played a major role in convincing the board to sign English midfielders Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley, both of whom have certainly underwhelmed so far.
It’s been 18 months since Emanalo left and McLachlan is the closest thing that Chelsea have to a Director of Football, all the more worrying considering some of his player recommendations over the last few windows. The fact that he remains as influential as he is in the board, signals once more that Chelsea really don’t have a clear direction that they want to head in. It all seems to be a bit of a mess at the top, which leads me onto getting a Director of Football.
Director of Football
Chelsea are currently almost completely controlled by Marina Granovskaia who has taken on all the responsibility since Abramovich was denied his UK visa. There’s absolutely no doubting her abilities as a negotiator, but juggling both the business and footballing sides of the club is too much.
We are in desperate need of a Director of Football, someone who can come in and sort Chelsea out on the pitch, by identifying the right targets and speaking regularly with the manager to give him what he needs to be successful at the club. There’s currently no real vision at Chelsea and Granovskaia needs someone alongside her to help guide that vision and take the responsibility of the footballing side away.
A Director of Football can help realise a vision, which in turn means finding the right players, then signing them and giving them to a manager that can turn that vision into a reality. This all stems back to Roman Abramovich and the fact that he needs to change something within the board for Chelsea to become the success that they once were.
Get rid of Scott McLachlan and appoint a Director of Football with a real vision and the recruitment and success on the pitch will improve. The only worry is Abramovich’s unwavering support of Granovskaia, which is holding the club back.