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The summer transfer window closed on Thursday for Premier League sides, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that it's over, including the Chelsea powerbrokers.

The Blues ran the gauntlet this summer, waiting until deadline day to make some key signings. And even as the clock ticked down, we weren't sure they would get some deals over the line.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte may not have signed all of his targets, but Chelsea have emerged with a squad that looks fresher than it did this time last season. Regardless of whether it's only marginally, the Premier League champions have been able to regenerate a dressing room that's needed change for some time.

But how well have Chelsea performed in the transfer market? Did they do a good enough job with the players they bought and sold? Join us as we grade the Blues' transfer window activity.

Grading Chelsea's most significant signings

Chelsea signed six players this summer, with two coming on deadline day. We've graded them below based on squad requirements and the overall business decision.

Willy Caballero

Fee: Free

Grade: A+

To grade Caballero so highly will undoubtedly raise eyebrows. He arguably has the lowest profile of all Chelsea's summer signings, andBlues fans aren't expecting to see much from him in the club's colours as the back-up toThibautCourtois.

Here's the thing, though: Caballero was brought in as the replacement for Asmir Begovic, who was sold to Bournemouth for 10 million. In so doing, Chelsea got a like-for-like replacement and made a significant profit.

It wasn't a move to get overly excited about, but in terms of the whole package, it was excellent business. Uncharacteristically for the Blues, the deal for Caballero was announced in early July, too.

Tiemoue Bakayoko

Fee: 40 million

Grade: B

Chelsea have signed potential with Bakayoko. His exploits in a Monaco shirt last season suggested he has a fine career ahead of him, but it was just one standout season from the 22-year-old. He still has a lot to achieve if his transfer is to be regarded as shrewd business.

Still, 40 million in this summer's market for a player we're expecting to be a regular does outline some transfer acumen from the Chelsea board. At a time when fees are escalating beyond all sense of logic, Chelsea signing an up-and-coming talent gives them a strong possibility to make a dividend on their investment either in future transfer windows or on the pitch, where it's hoped Bakayoko will excel.

The early signs are promising after his debut against Tottenham Hotspur.

Alvaro Morata

Fee: 58 million

Grade: A

Two games at Stamford Bridge have brought two goals and two assists for Morata. From a personal perspective, it's been a great start for the Spaniard.

Morata has done exactly what all strikers must when they arrive at a new clubhe's made a big impact, and with that, he already has the momentum to suggest he can replace Diego Costa's goal threat.

The 24-year-old is now Chelsea's record signing, with the 58 million paid to Real Madrid surpassing the 50 million Liverpool raked in on the sale of Fernando Torres to the Blues in 2011.

It took Torres 14 games to open his Chelsea account and a full 19 for him to tally the two goals Morata already has to his name. Those early days came to define Torres' Chelsea career, andMorata seems to have overcome any hoodoo immediately.

Antonio Rudiger

Fee: 29 million

Grade: B

By the same token that we've applauded Chelsea for the fee paid to Monaco for Bakayoko, the 29 million invested in Rudiger represents good business in this transfer window.

Transfer fees have spiralled out of control, with the huge figures we're seeing for the most talented players hiking up prices for those below them. Rudiger may not arrive with the same hype as a Virgil van Dijk, for instance, but he cost Chelsea a fraction of the price they would've been expected to pay for the Dutchman.

Rudiger is already showing himself to be a good squad player, and over the course of the season, his attributes will benefit the Blues. He fits into the system Conte likes to play, meaning that, regardless of names and profile, he's an ideal signing.

Danny Drinkwater

Fee: 35 million

Grade: B

Talk about leaving things lateChelsea had to wait until a couple of hours after the transfer window had closed before they announced the capture of Drinkwater. They left fans waiting until the early hours to confirm a deal that had been rolling on for weeks.

It all seemed to be about the price, with the Blues hierarchy haggling with Leicester City, as reported by theTelegraph'sJohn Percy in the days leading up to deadline day. By hook or by crook, they got their man, though, and Conte's midfield looks stronger for it.

Drinkwater adds Premier League and Champions League experience and bolsters the homegrown quota in the Stamford Bridge dressing room. He's not a marquee signing, but he's certainly one of substance.

The only negative here is the fee, with the Blues paying much more than their initial valuation of the former Manchester United man.

Davide Zappacosta

Fee: 23 million

Grade: C

There will be a Costa in the Chelsea squad this season after all. Well, sort of, with Italian Zappacosta's surname giving us a hint of rock'n'roll royalty blended with Chelsea's bad boy frontman who remains in exile.

Zappacosta's signing was a big surprise, with his name only being linked with the Blues on transfer deadline day following their failure to land Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who signed for Liverpool. Chelsea fans won't be feeling too confident with his signing as he plans to compete at wing-back, but remember last season's deadline-day business?

Marcos Alonso came in under the radar, seemingly a move from left field that stunned many. And now look at him; the Spaniard has become an essential part of Conte's side, adding something to defence and attack.

Zappacosta has a reputation for being strong in attack and is a fine crosser of the ball. With Morata getting on the end of his crosses, he may well prove a fine asset himself.

We've given Zappacosta's signing a C grade, as it comes with a sense of the unknown and being knee-jerk. With nothing linking him to Chelsea until all else failed, he smacks of being a last resort.

But let's hope he can have an impact in the same way Alonso did.

Grading Chelsea's most significant departures

More players left Chelsea than came in this summer, but that isn't necessarily a negative thing. The Blues were able to offload some ageing stars and made good money from them in the process. We're only grading the most significant permanent transfers here, so this does not include the ever-growing loan army.

John Terry

Fee: Free

Grade: A+

All good things come to an end, and this summer Chelsea fans discovered that when Terry departed for Aston Villa on a free transfer. It's a sad moment when legends eventually have to leave, but Terry's departure should've come much earlier than it did.

There isn't a bigger hero in west London than the former Blues captain, yet his presence at Stamford Bridge held Chelsea back at times in recent seasons. It meant managers could only play one way with him at the back, so when he was injured in the early part of 2016/17, it was the ideal time for Conte to change things around.

The manager did, and it revolutionised the way his team performed. It made Chelsea Premier League champions and ended Terry's Blues career in the process.

Nemanja Matic

Fee: 40 million

Grade: A

Forget that Matic has joined Manchester United, a direct rival of Chelsea. The point with this transfer and why we've given it an A grade is simple economics. Chelsea sold a 29-year-old for 40 million; they made a 19 million profit on a player in decline.

Matic moving to United is a short-term answer to the club's midfield problems. But with the overall fee Chelsea were paid for him effectively bringing in Bakayoko from Monaco, it has provided a long-term solution to theirs.

We don't buy the notion that Matic will win United the title this season, either. Before he was sold, Matic was among the most criticised players at Chelsea for good reason; the Serb was seen as a weak link, with his presence in midfield overshadowed by team-mate N'Golo Kante in a defensive sense, while he failed to matchCesc Fabregas' effectiveness going forward.

The Matic Chelsea signed in January 2014 was a different player to the one United paid 40 million for. In the long term, Chelsea will be happy with the business they did here.

Nathan Ake

Fee: 20 million

Grade: B

It's a shame Ake has been sold, as he has more than hinted at having a bright future in the Premier League. But like an old gun-slinging western town from a Sergio Leone movie, Stamford Bridge isn't big enough for two outlaws or, in this case, a pair of up-and-coming defenders.

Ake's sale to Bournemouth for a healthy 20 million has meant Andreas Christensen has taken his spot in the Chelsea squad after returning from loan. So, with the addition of Rudiger, the Blues now have a solid-looking setup at the back that also includes David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill.

Without Christensen, it would have been disappointing for Ake to have been sold. But Chelsea seem to be putting their faith in the Dane, and that meant Ake was pushed out. And that's footballChelsea can't hoard every talented young player.

Bertrand Traore

Fee: 8.8 million

Grade: D

With Diego Costa's problems this summer and Chelsea also needing reinforcements in their attacking-midfield options, losing Traore was a disappointment.

Is he talented enough to be starting every week at Stamford Bridge? No. But that's not the point with Traore. His season on loan with Ajax proved he could play a supporting role for the Blues, earning more experience with the view to eventually becoming a regular.

He is just 21, and his age alone tells us he has so much more time to develop his game. Allowing him to join Lyon for an initial 8.8 million, regardless of buy-back clauses, is short-sighted from Chelsea at a time when they don't boast hordes of attacking stars.

Nathaniel Chalobah

Fee: 5 million

Grade: D

While Traore still has some developing to do, Chalobah was arguably ready for first-team football at Chelsea. Clearly, the player himself believed that and forced through his move to Watford.

Had the Blues signed a world-class player to take his place in the squad, Chalobah's sale wouldn't grate so much. The fact is they haven'talthough Drinkwater's capture was astute enough to hint at the Blues being a strong midfield unit.

Chalobah left at the wrong timethe time when Chelsea needed him most, as they faced the beginning stages of 2017/18 with just three central midfielders, and one of them was Cesc Fabregas, who is far from adept when it comes to competing physically.

Chelsea should've done more to keep Chalobah, as he has everything that hints at him being a star of the future. He's still young and has his career ahead of him.

Dominic Solanke

Fee: TBC by tribunal

Grade: B

How do you grade Solanke's move to Liverpool this summer? Do we applaud Chelsea for making a stand in refusing to give a young player a bumper contract when he'd made just one senior appearance? Or do we side with Solanke and suggest the Blues should've shown more faith in one of England's best prospects?

Continue reading here:
Grading Chelsea's Transfer Window Activity - Bleacher Report

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