Chelsea are undeniably one of the strongest teams in Europe at the moment, but former Ireland centre back Richard Dunne has doubts about their ability to push on from last year's Champions League win.
The Blues came into this season on a high after May's triumph in Porto, but Dunne thinks they have questions to answer before they become a dominant force.
Richard Dunne thinks Chelsea are missing Mason Mount
Richard Dunne was one of Virgin Media's pundits ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League games, and he addressed some of his question marks around last season's champions Chelsea.
One of the unexpected stars of last season for Chelsea was English youngster Mason Mount. Though Chelsea fans had not lost faith that their star of the future would come good, pundits and rival fans alike had doubts about his ability to kick on.
Now, with Chelsea recovering from a sound loss at Man City on Saturday, Dunne has asked whether the absence of Mount through injury is causing issues at Stamford Bridge.
"Chelsea were on a high and seemed to believe they were the team to beat. I think the performance on the weekend showed them they've a bit to go.
"On Saturday we seen Lukaku's old failures from his Manchester United days."
Richard Dunne on Chelsea...#JUVCHE | #UCL pic.twitter.com/D2NsFvzwO1
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) September 29, 2021
I think...not getting carried away, but Chelsea were on a high. They seemed to believe that they were the team to beat, I think, this season. I think the performance on the weekend showed them that they still have a bit of a way to go.
They miss Mason Mount, I think. He was a player who...everybody had the spotlight on him thinking 'is he good enough, is he the real deal' - and I think he's proven himself over the last 18 months, two years, that he is the real deal. He's the one player that can really link the midfield and the front line together and I think they've missed him.
Chelsea's big summer signing Romelu Lukaku has impressed so far for his new club, but Richard Dunne also thinks that Saturday's loss to Man City exposed some issues with the Belgian's playing style.
The signing of Lukaku was meant to be the final piece of the jigsaw and, on Saturday, we still saw his old failures of what happened at Man United. When you're under the kosh in terms of having that first touch and being able to hold play up, I still think he struggles with that. I think for a Chelsea team to go forward, Lukaku needs to improve on that.
Nonetheless, it will have to be a strong team to beat Chelsea to either the Premier League or the Champions League this season, and the loss away to Man City is hardly the end of the world for a team who had won all but one of their games up until then.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 29, 2021
Last season's Champions League win came after only half a season under Thomas Tuchel, and Dunne did take a moment to praise the German's impact on the club.
They're certainly a strong side - the manager is really good in what he does, his tactics change from time to time and he gets the best out of his players. I'm sure he'll look at that defeat as a learning process.
Richard Dunne is among the first to ask questions of Chelsea this season, and the quality of their players can't be denied.
That being said, it will be fascinating to see if more issues emerge for the likes of Lukaku, or if injuries will continue to play a role.