The mood within Chelsea's camp turned from frustration to panic after the Blues were thumped 4-0 by Arsenal to wrap up their pre-season tour of the US in dismal fashion.
A noticeably spiky Thomas Tuchel blamed the defeat on the make-up of his squad, hitting out at the volume of wantaway stars still treading water, as well as at the club's inactivity in the transfer market.
The only positive, according to the German, was Kalidou Koulibaly, who kicked off his Stamford Bridge career with an impressive 17 minute cameo from off the bench against the Gunners.
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"[Koulibaly] was the best player on the pitch for us," Tuchel said after the game. "He was incredibly good I have to say.
"On an evening where nothing felt good, this felt very good."
The 31-year-old former Napoli defender became Chelsea's second signing of the summer, following Raheem Sterling through the door, though with significant holes in the squad still left to plug – notably in defence and up front – Tuchel will be desperate for at least two or three more bodies before the window shuts at the end of next month.
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With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving on free transfers, and Cesar Azpilicueta pushing for a move away, Chelsea are perilously short on numbers at the back.
Having tried, and failed, to sign both Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake – and with long-term target Jules Kounde on the verge of joining Barcelona – the west London club are running out of viable options.
Tuchel admitted last week that he wanted to bring in at least two more defenders, with Milan Skriniar, Josko Gvardiol and Presnel Kimpembe all being linked.
Though with less than two weeks before the return of the Premier League, the chances of Chelsea having to rely on youngsters – like Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr and Ethan Ampadu – to plug the gaps are currently fairly high.
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