Chelsea: what does half a billion pounds give you?

by FMP50 on Feb 02, 2023 9:19 am

Chelsea FC logo on a blue jersey

Since Chelsea was taken over by Todd Boehly, the club has been extremely active on the transfer market, with a dozen of young high potential players acquired, and often overpaid. Over the summer and winter 2022/2023 transfer windows, the club has spent around £550m in transfer fees.

By aligning only the players signed during this period, Chelsea has almost enough to make a brand new starting eleven, and a very competitive one. But will that strategy pay off and allow the club to be back in Champions League in the next seasons? Here is an overview of the players who joined Chelsea during this winter transfer window:

Chelsea FC players profile

Chelsea has defined a clear profile for the players they hope to attract: under 23 years old, and having already reached a high level in prominent European clubs. The price to pay for such players is very high, but the managers don’t seem to mind. Undoubtedly, aligning very talented players is a great way to improve the performances of the team. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City would agree. Yet, pursuing this strategy so relentlessly has also negative consequences on the overall balance and competitiveness of the squad:

  • Unstable team. With deep changes in the starting eleven at each transfer window, the club does not allow the team and the coach to develop affinities between the players and a playing identity that can be applied consistently.

  • Unmotivated players. While competition is good, having too many options per position will leave a lot of talented players inactive and unsatisfied with their situation. That will impact the morale and solidarity of the squad.

  • Waste of resources. Young players who don’t play do not progress and can quickly regress as well. The ones who can’t secure a regular spot on the field are likely to leave after 2 or 3 seasons for a much lower fee than they were acquired.

  • Long contracts issues. Most players joined with long-term contracts of 6 or 7 seasons. This secures Chelsea’s investment, but can become a real pain later on. Players who disappoint won’t accept easily to leave the club for a lower salary.

    Todd Boehly and his management team might believe they made a very clever move with all these expensive acquisitions. And Chelsea fans won’t comply either! But football transfers are a very sensitive domain that requires a solid understanding of how a team can play and how a player can adapt to this. Right now, Chelsea has over 30 players under contract, with some positions that are not just doubled, but tripled and even quadrupled. 

    This incredible sum of talent will help Chelsea beat anyone on a good day, Man City and Arsenal included. But the negative points will also take a toll on the overall team preparation and organization. That will put Chelsea at risk of unusual defeats against better prepared squads at tactical and mental level. Keep this in mind when betting on Chelsea in the next few months!

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