Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has stated his belief that the Premier League will be harder to win this season, as teams not considered to be challenging for the title have players good enough to be.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the Special One selected three players, including Newcastle United new boy Georginio Wijnaldum, who he deemed good enough to play for his Blues side, insisting that English sides in the top tier were getting stronger.
Wijnaldum good enough?
Wijnaldum signed for Newcastle despite being linked to a host of perceived bigger clubs, and Magpies fans are sure to take comfort from the fact that Mourinho of all people is offering him appraisal.
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"There will be more times when the non-title contenders win matches against the title contenders," Mourinho said.
"It's also difficult because they have players who could play in our teams - Cabaye could play for Chelsea, Wijnaldum could play for Chelsea, Gradel could play for Chelsea."
Is Mourinho right?
It remains to be seen whether or not Mourinho is right with his opinion that Chelsea will find it more difficult to win the Premier League this season, however.
The Blues strolled to the English title last term, finishing on 87 points having lost just three games, and so there is a small margin for them to be worse but probably still retain their crown.
That said those around them have strengthened significantly in the transfer market, and since Chelsea have only purchased Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan deal and Asmir Begovic as backup to Thibaut Courtois, there could be fears creeping in that Mourinho’s men won’t be able to fend off resurgent sides like Manchester City and Manchester United.
As for the man of the hour, Wijnaldum, his ambitions for this season with Newcastle won’t be nearly so high as if he had joined a side looking to fight for European qualification.
Though his new outfit are a club steeped in rich history they’ve looked poor of late. Given the option most St. James’ Park fans would probably take a top ten finish if offered it at the start of the season, though they’ll need their best players to be consistently on song if that’s to be possible.
Chelsea fans, do you agree with Mourinho? Is Wijnaldum good enough to play for the Blues? Let us know in the comments box below.