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Chelsea back sporting directors Paul Winstanley & Laurence Stewart despite uncertainty surrounding Pochettino

Chelsea sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart will keep their jobs and are not under any pressure, according to The Telegraph

With an end-of-the-season review looming following the final game against AFC Bournemouth, all eyes are on head coach Mauricio Pochettino, with a decision regarding his future expected after the match.

However, unlike Pochettino, Winstanley and Stewart reportedly retain the confidence of key figures within the Chelsea hierarchy, including co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali. 

The pair will continue overseeing the club’s transfer strategy this summer. They plan to sign a forward, left-back, central defender, and a new goalkeeper in the coming transfer window.

Winstanley and Stewart’s responsibilities extend beyond player recruitment, with insiders suggesting their contributions behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge and the Cobham training ground often go unnoticed. 

Despite facing criticism earlier in the season for the squad overhaul that reduced average player age, the duo’s overall performance has garnered praise from upper management.

The appointment of director of global recruitment, Sam Jewell, will bolster the team’s scouting network under Winstanley and Stewart’s guidance. 

The club has somewhat acknowledged past mistakes during the first transfer window under new ownership in 2022, but there’s a sense within that the duo’s efforts are beginning to yield positive results.

Winstanley, who commenced his role in November 2022, was joined by Stewart in February 2023, and they will look to Chelsea’s current form as positives from their recruitment. 

Since January 2024, only Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal have accrued more points than Chelsea in the Premier League. 

The team is on a three-game win streak and has only one loss in their last 13 games (W7, D5). 

Signings like Nicolas Jackson, Cole Palmer, Malo Gusto, and Moises Caicedo have been excellent for the Blues and can form a strong core for the future. 

There will be discussions regarding Chelsea’s recruitment policy, including the possibility of revisiting the emphasis on signing younger players versus pursuing seasoned professionals.

All eyes are now on the upcoming meeting(s) between Pochettino, Winstanley, Stewart, and the club’s ownership, where they will map out Chelsea’s squad building and managerial situation for the coming season.

The sporting directors should face the fire like Pochettino

The arrival of Caicedo is exciting, and he has begun to show his bags of potential, but spending £115m on a young, unproven talent is a risky gamble.  

Jackson, while talented, should be learning from a seasoned striker, not leading the line alone.  

The insistence on selling Cobham graduates like Trevoh Chalobah, Ian Maatsen, and Pochettino favourite Conor Gallagher weakens the squad’s core and loyalty, a strategy that has proven successful for many teams.  

Perhaps most concerning is the goalkeeper situation. The sporting directors signed Djordje Petrovic and Robert Sanchez last summer.

If they are confident in their previous acquisitions, why is there a need for another shot-stopper? 

These decisions raise serious questions about the club’s overall transfer strategy. Unless a clear vision and a more measured approach emerge, fans may continue to see their club fall short of its potential.

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