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When Chelsea appointed Graham Potter in September, it felt like a radical break from all that had gone before. The London club had turned managerial short-termism into a badge of honour under Roman Abramovich but here was Todd Boehly, the new owner, engaging in something altogether more different. This was the semblance of a coherent strategy and while previous managers had signed longer-term contracts, the five years given to Potter was perceived as significant.

The Englishman had presided over a bit of a footballing miracle at Brighton and Hove Albion and it appeared Boehly wanted to perform a form of vital organ transplant at Chelsea. Having signed Marc Cucurella from the south coast club during the summer, the 49-year-old set about procuring further parts from Brighton – in came Paul Winstanley as director of international expertise and transfers to add to the five members of Potter's backroom team that arrived to replace Thomas Tuchel's.

Where Brighton have been particularly effective in recent seasons is in their scouting so it stands to reason that those responsible for talent identification would be desirable to a club such as Chelsea which has long been accused of having a scattergun approach to signings. The success stories at Brighton in recent years have tended to focus on under-scouted markets or on players who the big boys looked at initially but chose not to sign leaving the way clear for Brighton to pick up the scraps. Cucurella could have been signed from Getafe the previous summer for a fraction of the £55m Chelsea handed over to Brighton, Spurs looked at Yves Bissouma four seasons ago before eventually committing to a potential £35m transfer for the Mali midfielder. Meanwhile, Brighton's recruitment team purchased Karou Mitoma, Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister, Robert Sanchez and two players from the fringes at Chelsea – Billy Gilmour and Tariq Lamptey – for the combined sum of £25m.

Each of the aforementioned – apart from Gilmour and Lamptey – are likely to be the subject of big money attempts to prise them away from the Amex Stadium in the summer.

Which brings us back to Potter. Tonight he takes his expensively assembled side to Borussia Dortmund. The German club has been in a degree of relative turmoil itself over recent seasons but seems finally to have righted its course and has won six on the bounce to force its way into title consideration in the Bundesliga. Dortmund has long been a club that has managed to make the creative squad building method work through diligence and trusting in the process without spending the kind of money Chelsea have. In short, it does not require half a billion quid to roll out what Chelsea want to do. No, what it takes is having the balls to commit to the strategy. The method followed, thus far, does not suggest a club attempting to follow Brighton or, indeed, Dortmund's model. 

The Herald:

The theory seems to be that Chelsea will be able to take their method lock, stock and barrel and supplant it at Stamford Bridge. But it is not as simplistic as some moneyball kind of formula that says the best young talent will automatically make Chelsea the best team over the next decade. At Brighton, the level of expectation is considerably less than at Chelsea and so it has been an environment that has allowed young players first to find their feet with a degree of freedom and then to flourish as they have got to grips with the Premier League. The early evidence is that it might take a little longer for Chelsea to find their stride and that being the case, what does that mean for Potter?

Already, the natives are restless and the Potterout hashtag has trended during and after most of the London club's games during a recent run which has brought just seven points in seven matches. Defeat at resurgent Dortmund over two legs will only intensify the spotlight on him.

Chelsea seem committed to Potter in the long term but what happens when the noise becomes too loud? Do Chelsea return to Brighton to bring in Roberto de Zerbi as their new head coach or do they stick to the blueprint and accept that if you spend exorbitant sums of money in the hope that a plan will work then you've got to ensure you stick to that plan no matter how uncomfortable it might be at times?

It's not just as simple as transplanting a seagull's head on to a lion's body. Adopting a creative approach to transfer strategy requires giving people time, showing patience and, above all, ensuring there is buy-in from supporters. All three have been noticeably lacking at Chelsea for quite some time.