Chelsea will aim to
add more silverware when the European champions face Europa League winners
Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup in Belfast on Wednesday.
Thomas Tuchel’s stunning impact since taking charge of the
Blues in January has raised expectations for Chelsea to challenge in all
competitions this season, particularly with Romelu Lukaku on the verge of
returning to Stamford Bridge for a club record fee of £97 million ($135
Tuchel’s men beat Manchester City to lift the Champions
League in May, just five months after he replaced the sacked Frank Lampard with
Chelsea languishing in ninth in the Premier League.
Victory in Porto was Chelsea’s third over City in six weeks
towards the end of the season. Now they have the longer term goal of dethroning
Pep Guardiola’s side as English champions.
“We want to win, we want to compete and of course we
want to be successful,” said Tuchel ahead of his side’s return to
competitive action in Northern Ireland.
“This is in Chelsea’s nature and of course we are up
for the challenge.
“We will try to compete for every title in every
competition we enter but I also think it will be a huge step forward if we can
maintain the same quality, attitude and effort that we showed last
No Covid cash crisis
As many of Europe’s traditional giants have been squeezed by
the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the backing of
billionaire Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has again allowed Chelsea to
strengthen at a time of crisis.
A £220 million spending spree on Edouard Mendy, Ben
Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner last summer was rewarded
with Champions League glory.
Now Lukaku looks set to return for nearly four times the
amount he was sold seven years ago to provide the missing piece of a proven
The Belgium forward’s move should be completed before
Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but will
not be registered in time to face Villarreal.
Instead, Werner and Havertz will be tasked with starting
their second season in England better than they did their first.
After a slow start, Havertz came good on his £71 million
price tag with the winning goal in the Champions League final.
The 22-year-old was also one of few star performers for
Germany at a disappointing Euro 2020.
“I think we have all a lot of goals this season. The
Champions League title is not enough for us, we want to win more and that’s our
aim for the season,” said Havertz, who attributed the turnaround in his
form to the return of fans to stadiums.
“With the fans now in the stadium, they give you a lot
of support. I feel very comfortable. I like it here, I like the city and I like
the club, so all good.”
A crowd of 13,000 will fill 70 percent of Windsor Park this
While Chelsea have become accustomed to lifting trophies on
an annual basis in nearly two decades since Abramovich took charge, Villarreal
are aiming to back up their first ever piece of silverware when they beat
Manchester United on penalties in Gdansk.
Unai Emery has now won the Europa League four times, but
never won the Super Cup after his three previous successes with Sevilla.
The former Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain boss believes
Chelsea will become “the best team in the world” this season, but is
hopeful they suffer a European Championship hangover with a number of key
players only just back into pre-season training.
“Chelsea have Italian and English internationals who
haven’t arrived back until this week. Their starting line-up will not be the
same as the Champions League final,” said Emery.
“Hopefully they misfire from the start.”