Graham Potter excited about Chelsea squad despite team-building ‘challenges’

Graham Potter admits he faces “challenges” in integrating more than £300m of new talent at Chelsea but is confident his side will be up front for the champions’ trip to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

The Blues have never faced BVB in European competition and will be hoping for a second win in 2023 as a result of their first league meeting to begin the winning streak, despite a significant spending spree in January.

Chelsea’s form since the close of the window has fueled rumors of tensions at Stamford Bridge due to the influx of new faces, but Potter said: “It’s a squad we’re really excited about but at the same time, there’s we know there are challenges and work we have to do.

“When you’re starting a new group, if we all start working together, we’d have to take some time, understand what makes us tick, understand how we can help each other.

“That’s the impression I get when I see the boys every day. There is a good spirit, a good spouse, they are pushing each other in a good way. We had a good session today and you can see that the guys are working hard to support the team and each other.

“So while there are challenges there is also a lot to be happy about.”

Potter’s stuttering 10th-placed side are in superb form, with six wins in a row in all competitions.

BVB are third in the tight Bundesliga table, just three points behind leaders Bayern Munich and two shy of second-placed Union Berlin.

Raheem Sterling was not on Chelsea’s flight to Germany but Wesley Fofana, Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic will return to Potter’s squad as they continue to build up their fitness.

January additions Mykhailo Mudryk, Joao Felix and £106.8 million man Enzo Fernandez will all be looking to make their first European appearances in Chelsea blue.

While Potter was happy to bolster his ranks, he was convinced it will take more than new owners with deep pockets to recreate Chelsea’s Champions League-winning formula in 2021.

The former Brighton boss said: “There’s more pressure and expectation when you spend money you should win. Thankfully, we know football doesn’t work exactly like that. You need resources to win but you need more than that – and that’s the challenge.

Record Premier League signing Enzo Fernandez could make his first European appearance for Chelsea

Premier League record signing Enzo Fernandez could make his first European appearance for Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

“There are things that money can’t buy you and that’s where you have to do your work. My experience is that you have to align your resources very well, understand your opportunities and your strengths, and the way you can compete against teams with more resources than yourself. It can be done.

“Can Brighton win the Premier League four times out of five? No, I probably wouldn’t say because 95 percent of leagues are decided by finance. But if you’re not in those big ones, you want to be in the five percent who are bucking the trend.

“The way you do that is to understand your idea, the opportunity you have, and align whatever resources you have in a good way.

“It’s like warfare, sometimes guerrilla warfare can be won. You don’t always have to have the big guns and the big ammo. But sometimes it helps too.”

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