Marco Silva believes Chelsea’s flurry of signings in the January transfer window shows their “power” and “ambition” as a force within English football.
The Blues were the biggest spenders during the January transfer window, as Todd Boehly’s consortium shelled out in excess of £300million including a British record deal for Enzo Fernandez.
Graham Potter has bolstered his options with the arrival of £106.8m Fernandez from Benfica as well as Mykhailo Mudryk, who arrived for £88.5m from Shakhtar Donetsk, and Joao Felix among others.
Silva believes the amount of money spent by Fulham’s local rivals, ahead of the meeting between the two sides at Stamford Bridge on Friday, is not a new phenomenon.
“I think it’s not new. I know everyone is talking about them because it was a big amount of money in January but it is not the first time,” Silva said.
“All of us, we know the difference between certain types of clubs.”
He added: “Last summer, they spent a good amount of money too and they strengthened their squad and they were able to do the same this transfer window and show their power.
“If it is too much money or not, it is not for me to talk about it, but just to show the power and show their ambition to improve the squad.
“It’s clear with younger players and fresh legs what they are trying to do and lucky them they have all this power to sign new players.”
Fulham have made attempts to bolster their own squad after exceeding all expectations in the first half of the year, and go into the match on Friday two points ahead of Chelsea, but Potter’s side have a game in hand.
On deadline day, Fulham signed midfielder Sasa Lukic from Torino and Cedric Soares on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season, and Silva believes they will bolster the squad.
“There were two positions that we wanted to strengthen in our squad, the right-back position and we wanted to create more competition in our midfield as well, to give us different solutions,” the Fulham boss said.
“It was a busy last day for us as a football club, I know you (the press) like it, but we don’t like it so much as a football club.
“But it’s part of the year and part of the market, it’s not easy to do even if we would like to have the players early because it is always better for us with a busy January and a lot of games as well.
“Cedric knows the football club and has played in the Premier League already and has a lot of knowledge that will help us for sure.
“Lukic is another mature player as well in a good age, another quality player who will give something different for us and create competition. I think both of them will raise the level of our team.”