Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has urged for fans to be patient with their new signings, claiming that even the great Zinedine Zidane struggled when he first joined Real Madrid.
The Blues have spent over £1bn on transfers since being taken over by Todd Boehly’s BlueCo consortium in the summer of 2022.
Last season, Chelsea finished 12th in the Premier League – their lowest finish in nearly three decades – and cycled their way through four managers before appointing Pochettino for the 2023/24 campaign.
The former Tottenham Hotspur manager has not enjoyed a tremendous start to life back in London however, with Chelsea taking just four points from their opening four games.
They also overhauled their squad for a second successive summer, bringing in 12 players over the transfer window.
Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth, Pochettino stressed that he and his players need time to maximise their potential, pointing to Zidane’s slow start after his world-record move to Real Madrid back in 2001 as a reference point.
“At Chelsea the expectation is always massive,” he said.
“When you arrive at Chelsea as a player or coaching staff, the people expect to win, lift some trophies, perform and score.
“‘We now have a really young squad, players that are good investments for the club. We need to know that they are young and need to adapt and the circumstances and stay calm. It is not fair to assess after one games, two games, three games and say he is not performing.
“I always use the same example…Real Madrid paid 70 or 80 million for a player named Zinedine Zidane. He was an amazing player but after six months, you can ask the fans at the Bernabeu and they were saying; ‘oh, what have we bought?’
“He started to perform after seven or eight months. Zinedine Zidane was 26 or 27. When you buy players who are 20 or 21 you have to be careful.
“They are not machines. They need to settle with all the circumstances that happened in the last few months. We need to give time.
“That’s why it can maybe effect the results that didn’t arrive but we are happy with the process and the way that the team is showing the way we want to play.
“We were better than Liverpool and West Ham. I think we deserved [more]. After five games if we are talking about 12 points and through to the next round of the Carabao Cup, you say ‘fantastic, what a job’ but maybe it hides something.
“No, there’s a bad feeling because of the result and another feeling because the process is in a good way. We need to recover the injured players and then for sure we will be in a good way and it will be tough to play against us.”