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Chelsea's Transfer Business

As deadline day concluded the transfer window closed and Britain left the EU, much like Brexit our January transfer window has felt poo...


As deadline day concluded the transfer window closed and Britain left the EU, much like Brexit our January transfer window has felt poorly conceived, badly managed and potentially detrimental to our future.

Now we can begin our annual February crisis.

This season’s window

At the end of the window I felt mixed emotions, mainly relieved that we didn’t sell Giroud to Spurs to bring in yet another past it striker. But the 30 days prior were frustrating as the board failed to address huge issues within the first team or even bring in some new players to freshen things up.

As the team news came in for the Leicester City game we were reminded of the deficiencies of the squad. Giroud not with the squad, no players on the bench who could make an impact, Caballero starting, a right-back at left-back, Jorginho preferred to Kovacic and Pedro re-emerged after a lacklustre display in the FA Cup.

We didn’t sign anyone in January which is a big disappointment, especially after Lampard continuously reaffirmed his thoughts on the matter. Similar to Brexit, a smokescreen has seemed to make people forget about more pressing matters at hand. Yes, we could do with more scoring options but we have one of the worse performing goalkeepers in the league and our only adequate left-back is actually a right back.

With the forwards, we should start to use Giroud more frequently. Given the number of crosses we’re putting in, especially from the right-hand side with James and Hudson-Odoi, Giroud could benefit greatly. Given a run of games keeping Giroud could turn out to be a smart piece of business. Frank now has to play Giroud. He simply has to.

Kovacic has been an excellent signing but the happy thoughts end there. It can be difficult to sign good players in January who will improve a team as the selling team usually try to sign a replacement before selling and due to the huge amounts of money in football, clubs aren’t frequently needing to sell players to balance the books. But this doesn’t mean it is impossible, far from it. Haaland, Olmo, Eriksen, Gedson Fernandes, Guimares, Berge, Bruno Fernandes and Bergwin have all transferred clubs. Granted the agent was heavily involved in the Haaland deal but any of those players would have improved our squad.

Looking back over previous season, since the 2015-16 season we’ve only made 2 signings who have had been successful. I deem success as players who have performed well in more than one season. Those 2 being Kante and Pedro (See tables 1-10). Kante is our best midfielder and Pedro being important to Conte’s success and playing a role in the Europa League success with Sarri. I have been very impressed with Kovacic this season under Lampard who appears to be a key player and if he continues this level of performance he will go down as a very good acquisition.

That shows how poor the recruitment has been for years, worsening once Emenalo left. The board backed Mourinho in his second spell, we won the league then they pulled the rug out from beneath him. Conte got backed in his first season and steamrolled the league with a strange system. Building on the success he wanted Koulibaly, Alex Sandro, Van Dijk, Vidal, Lukaku and Bakayoko to back up Matic. Lampard hasn’t even had backing in his first season and if he manages to make the top 4 with this current squad the board need to see his quality and back him appropriately for next 2 seasons.

As for now, I imagine we will proceed to our annual February crisis losing crucial games both domestically and in Europe. Frank has already started to resemble Mourinho in his behaviour. Calling us underdogs in the top 4, highlighting the lack of support from the board along with bringing on Barkley for Abraham against Leicester City just to make a point of the lack of attacking options at his disposal. This doesn’t have to be the case if he put Giroud in the squad he could have a striker with quality on the bench, or at least put Gilmour ahead of Barkley to develop him.

What could we do with the Loan Army

Assuming we keep Ampadu, Guehi and Gallagher we could sell the rest to generate approximately £93 million (See table 11). That would help reduce the wage bill with high earners being removed such as Bakayoko and Drinkwater. 

The current squad who could/ should be sold
Selling Alonso, Emerson, Barkley, Van Ginkel and Batshuayi could generate a minimum of £100mil. Higher earners like Willian, Pedro and Giroud will be moved on in the summer freeing up more wages. We could also consider selling Kepa, Jorginho and Christensen for £165mil (See Table 12). Combined with the loan sales we could generate £373mill on top of player sales from previous seasons to spend on a Goalkeeper, Left back, Centre back, A defensive midfielder, Winger, Attacking midfielder and Striker. It isn’t my place to suggest who we should sign as this should be up to Lampard. Players I would love would be N’didi, Buendia, Sancho, Werner and any top goalkeeper.

What do with the board?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can about the board. Social media is a toxic wasteland of differing opinions. We can’t risk turning the atmosphere in the stadium toxic by being negative because it is difficult to voice concerns with the board while backing the team. A banner reading ‘We support the team but the board need to do more because the players aren’t good enough’ doesn’t exactly have a good ring to it. A stark contrast to ‘Get Brexit done’.

Perhaps a banner reading ‘Back Frank’ being a permanent feature at Stamford Bridge would be effective.

The board hasn’t shown any signs of changing their ways, if PSG or Napoli accepted our offer we would have signed another past it striker who’d fail to make any impact… AGAIN. I imagine we’ll sign some players in the summer but not enough quality and deadwood will still exist in our squad and we will continue to meander in this state while our rivals like Spurs get stronger. I cannot see anything improving in the future.

To Summarise, we have money to spend on players and many players should be sold and some who could be sold to add to a potential war chest. However, the incompetence of the board both in terms of recruiting players and selling players doesn’t give me any confidence that we will get back to the glory days we once enjoyed. But I will naively talk myself into believing that we won’t wait until the end of the Euro 2020 before trying to sign players because things are different and that the board will want us to have one of the strongest squads in Europe. But I don’t think they do want that.

Appendix

Table 1
2015-16 Notable deals – Net spend  -£7.75Mil
In
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil )
Success rating High-Low

Begovic
Goalkeeper
8
Medium
Rahman
Left Back
14 
Low
Pedro
Winger
21.4
High
Kenedy
Winger
6.3
Low
Falcao
Striker
Loan
Low
Pato
Striker
Loan
Low

Table 2
Out
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success post-Chelsea High-Low

Hazard
Winger
5.8
Medium
Cech
Goalkeeper
10
Medium
Drogba
Striker
Free
Medium
Luis
Left Back
11
High
Ramires
Midfielder
25
Medium

2016-17 Notable signings Net spend -£17.8Mil
Table 3
In
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success rating High-Low

Batshuayi
Striker
33.2
Low
Kante
Midfielder
32
High
Alonso
Wing back
23
Medium
Luiz
Centre Back
30
Medium

Table 4
Out
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success post-Chelsea High-Low

Salah
Winger
14.5
High
Oscar
Midfielder
60
Medium
Mikel
Midfielder
Und
Low
Ivanovic
Defender
Free
Medium

2017-18 Notable signings Net spend -£75mil
Table 5
In
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success rating High-Low

Cabellero
Goalkeeper
Free
Low
Rudiger
Centre back
29
Medium
Bakayuko
Midfielder
40
Low
Morata
Striker
58
Low
Zappacosta
Wing back
23
Low
Drinkwater
Midfielder
35
Low
Barkley
Midfielder
15
Low
Emerson
Left-back
17
Low
Giroud
Striker
18
Medium

Table 6
Out
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success post-Chelsea High-Low

Begovic
Goalkeeper
10
Medium
Ake
Centre back
20
High
Cuadrado
Winger
17.3
High
Terry
Centre back
Free
Medium
Matic
Midfielder
40
High
Costa
Striker
50
Low

2018-19 Notable signings Net spend £-121mil
Table 7
In
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success rating High-Low

Jorginho
Midfielder
58
Medium
Kepa
Goalkeeper
72
Low
Pulisic
Winger
58
Medium
Higuain
Striker
Loan
Low
Kovacic
Midfielder
Loan
Medium

Table 8
Out
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success post-Chelsea High-Low

Courtois
Goalkeeper
32
High
Fabregas
Midfielder
9
Medium

2019-20 Notable signings Net spend +£122mil
Table 9
In
Name
Position
Fee (£Mil)
Success rating High-Low

Kovacic
Midfielder
40
High





Table 10
Out
Name
Position
Fee (Mil)
Success post-Chelsea High-Low

Hazard
Winger
90
Medium
Cahill
Centre back
Free
Medium
Luiz
Centre back
7.8
Medium
Morata
Striker
50
Low
Bakayuoko
Centre midfielder
Loan
Low
Moses
Winger
7
Medium
Zappacosta
Right-back
Loan
Low
Drinkwater
Centre midfielder
Loan
Low
Pasalic
Centre midfielder
15
Medium

Table 11
Loan list
Name
Position
Value
Blackman
Goalkeeper
£500k
Baxter
Goalkeeper
£100k
Rahman
Defender
£4mil
Chalobah
Defender
£4mil
Clarke-Salter
Defender
£3mil
Grant
Defender
£300k
Guehi
Defender
£2mil
Miazga
Defender
£3mil
Nartey
Defender
£500k
Sterling
Defender
£2mil
Zappacosta
Defender
£17mil
Castillo
Defender
£500k
Ampadu
Midfielder
£10mil
Bakayoko
Midfielder
£30mil
Drinkwater
Midfielder
£7mil
Gallagher
Midfielder
£2mil
Nathan
Midfielder
£1mil
Pantic
Midfielder
£2mil
McEachran
Midfielder
£500k
Brown
Midfielder
£3mil
Kenedy
Forward
£12mil
Musonda
Forward
£2mil
Piazon
Forward
£1mil
Ugbo
Forward
£300k
Valuations found from sofascore (31/1/2020).
Table 12
Kepa
Anything over £65mil
Alonso
£25mil
Emerson
£25mil
Christensen
Anything over £30mil
Jorginho
Anything over £70mil
Barkley
£25mil
Van Ginkel
£10mil
Batshuayi
£25mil
Value from Sofascore (31/1/2020)

Written by - @benbell98


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