Chelsea have committed themselves to €570m in transfers this season with 10 players on 6 years or more contracts. And either this is a stroke of pure genius on their part – setting them up for a long-term future of dominance – or the first step into a bear trap that will shackle them for nearly a decade. Only time will tell.
While we don’t know how good Mudryk, Enzo, Badiashile, Fofana I and Fofana II, Chukwuemeka, Cucurella, Santos, Gusto, Madueke, and Raheem Sterling (remember him? he was Tuchel’s “#1 target”) will be over the next five plus years, we do know that Chelsea will be paying their transfer fees which total €570m.
Chelsea have signed a huge number of players to 7.5, 6.5, 6 year, and even 8 year contracts. The purpose of doing this is to use amortization to avoid problems with FFP. See, the trick here is that they spread the transfer fee for, say Enzo, over the 8 year length of his contract, they “only” pay 14m € per year. Then if they sell a player like, say Lukaku, for €40m next summer they book that entire sale as profit, thus offsetting the €14m they are paying for Enzo and others this year and putting profit into their books. It’s a strategy that can work, depending on player sales. Arsenal actually survived for years under Wenger because of player sales, so we know that you can balance the books that way, but you have to sell big every year.
Chelsea do have quite a few assets out on loan and socked away around the world and these could prove vital to the project. The aforementioned Lukaku is a good example of both the strategy and what could possibly go very very wrong. Lukaku was purchased for €113m from Inter in 2021, put on a 5 year contract (which was “the norm” back then), his amortization costs Chelsea €22.6m per year. He’s on loan back to Inter this season (for a fee of ~€8m) but crucially, he’s been severely injured all season. He’s only managed to play 454 minutes and scored two goals. And at 29 years old, and with his well-documented flaws and injury history, one wonders who will buy Lukaku from Chelsea? Surely someone will take a chance? After all, this is a player with 169 top flight League goals between the PL and Serie A.
But there is always the chance that this will turn into another situation like what happened with Danny Drinkwater. Drinkwater was signed by Chelsea the season after Leicester won the League and given all of his well-documented problems, Chelsea were never able to transfer him off the books.
And of this season’s new purchases, the problems have already started. Chelsea paid Leicester €80.4m for Wesley Fofana and signed the Frenchman to a 7 year deal. Fofana suffered a horrific broken leg last season and this season picked up a knee injury. He’s a promising young player, no doubt, but this just shows the danger of tying the club to massive long-term deals like they have done for guys like Mudryk, Fofana, and Enzo Fernandez.
Of course “all transfers are a gamble” you say and that’s true. The trick is the length of exposure. So, if you gamble on a 4 year deal and lose, it’s a lot less expensive than if you gamble on an 8 year deal and lose. If Mudryk flops, for example, Chelsea will be stuck paying his salary/amortization for 8 years. Trust me, I’ve seen football clubs get stuck with flops where the best you can hope for is that some other team will pick up part of his salary (which isn’t easy given the hyper-inflation in the Premier League compared to the rest of the world). The opposite is true as well: if you gamble on an 8 year deal and it comes up great, it’s a lot cheaper than gambling on a 4 year deal and then having to renegotiate with the player while other teams circle, waiting to take him from you on a knock-down price because he’s in the last year of his contract or worse, take him on a free.
I hope it’s clear that I don’t assume that Chelsea have made grave errors or have had a brilliant transfer season. We just flat out don’t know. Enzo looks like a good player, Mudryk seems to have the raw attributes to be a good player, but there are far too many variables at play here to say definitively that “Chelsea won the transfer market” or that “this will be a disaster for Chelsea”. I suspect there will be a little bit of A and a little bit of B with a whole lot of “meh”.
I do know that Chelsea have locked themselves in to quite a bit of “amortization” over the next 4 years. Just looking at the length of contracts, transfer fee, and working out the amortization, I’ve figured out that they are locked in to about €90m per year over the next 4 years. That’s in addition to the player amortization that they are already paying. In 2021, it was the highest in the League at £162m per year. No doubt that will be reduced prior to the addition of the 90m from this season, but this is exactly the kind of long-term gamble that would have me deeply worried if it was going on at Arsenal.
But more than the fees and accounting the one thing that’s not at all clear is what the strategy was here from Chelsea. In terms of team building, there seems to be more of a scattergun approach rather than methodical planning. Imagine if you had to build something from Lego, blindfold, using a box of random pieces. That’s what it looks like Chelsea have done this season.
First they added Raheem Sterling, with Tuchel saying that he was Chelsea’s number one target. Sterling is now out with hamstring injury. They then bought Mudryk, who plays in his same position. Cucurella was brought in at great expense but has found it difficult to get consistent playing time as he’s struggled for form. Madueke was signed from PSV for a large fee and comes straight into the Chelsea physio room, having sat out most of the season with ankle problems. Wesley Fofana was Chelsea’s 2nd highest transfer fee this season and he’s out with a knee injury. Auba had been brought in to score them goals and has fallen out of favor with Potter, being dropped after a string of poor performances. They spent 30m on Malo Gusto and re-loaned him right back to OL. Badiashile has had a number of injuries this season but does look like he’s starting for Chelsea at the moment. Koulibaly is his partner (for now) and is starting most matches. Chukwuemeka has played a few matches but will probably find it difficult to get playing time now that Enzo has arrived to much fanfare. And so it goes.
The weird thing is that Chelsea need goals. They are 13th in goals scored (22) and in xG (23.8) and while I’m a huge believer in spending big in the midfield, it’s also a fact that clubs live and die by their goals scored record in League play. Their defense is good (so far) and that will keep them in games but if you can’t score more than 1.5 goals per game, you have little hope of getting into the top six. And I just don’t see who’s going to be their goal scorer. They probably should have bought Harry Kane this January.
Which is the other danger of all this transfer business: what if they shot their wad? What if they can’t afford to bring in a player like Kane next year? Then all of this spend could be a true disaster. Because they will still need to spend big on a goal-scorer and if they can’t?
I don’t know how to make sense of this club any more except as a vehicle for balancing political budgets (more commonly known as corruption). Apparently the previous owner was happy to ‘sell’ it while writing off 1.5 billion in debt owed to him PLUS ring-fencing all sale proceeds for a “Ukraine victims fund”. Just the most stand-up oligarch ever known. Oh and the new owners have to invest 1.75 billion in the club, as an obligation to…. no-one knows exactly. I’m surprised they didn’t offer 300 for Mudryk, they could probably write off the whole thing as charity.
My sentiments exactly. There might be kickbacks involved that we don’t/can’t know of.
Seems like a whole lot of white-washing/round-tripping is happening.
We are generally a slave to a tangible explanation and that would be it for me. Otherwise it’s bonkers!
Europe’s technical directors are united in “puzzlement” – https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/02/sports/soccer/chelsea-transfers.html
They also bought Nkunku, who joins in the summer.
funny fact: they paid OVER the release clause in order to pay in installments
We are going to end up seeing a continental European Super League created as a counter-weight to the Premier League, it’s the only way for the mainland clubs to compete on transfers and salaries. Chelsea are forcing the issue with this spending, they’re demonstrating that there’s no young talent in Europe that can’t be farmed by a Premier League team with motivation. Bournemouth has more money than Napoli – how can Napoli hold onto it’s two or three best players even after they win Serie A? They can’t. The flip side is the Premier League, and teams like Chelsea, would benefit from a European Super League – it would create a market that could buy players from Premier League teams. Right now look at the struggle PL clubs have to offload surplus players – it’s all loans like Lukaku. I give it less than 5 years until we see a new league.
Saw a crazy stat that in this transfer window the combined transfer fees paid out by EVERY team in Ligue 1, Serie A and Bundisliga COMBINED came to about 46 mill.
Compared to Chelsea’s 150 odd million on their own.
Those 3 leagues combined barely paid out more than Arsenal.
It’s way more than £150m. Mudryk and Enzo alone is £195m.
You forgot the Spanish league. This January Chelsea spent £288 millions. More than the Ligue1, Serie A, Bundesliga AND La Liga combined (£220 millions).
Arsenal spent £50.5 millions. https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2023/feb/01/mens-transfer-window-january-2023-premier-league-bundesliga-ligue-1-la-liga-serie-a
Meanwhile, in other news, am Arsenal loanee is lighting up League In and outperforming the PSG front three:
I saw that. We may have an attacking logjam at the Emirates shortly.
Off topic, 1 Nil, but are you planning to catch any of the E Street Band shows?
Yep, complete, utter, and glorious logjam.
Longstride, They have not announced any Canadian dates yet, but I will be going to the Buffalo, NY show. The first few shows having been amazing according to other Tramps – the band is big (19 people onstage) and absolutely on fire. 73 years young and still playing almost 3-hour shows, with as is the norm – no opening acts and no breaks. Can’t wait for those house lights come on and we get to sing “Born to Run” at the top of our lungs!
I read the same reviews. Really looking forward to catching one. Probably the Monday night show in DC. Word is there will be a stadium tour in the US following the European leg. I’d love to see multiple shows. Don’t know how many more chances there will be.
I like the Lego analogy, Tim. Can’t imagine what Potter is thinking right now. Makes me appreciate what A&E have done for Arsenal over these last couple of years, a methodical rebuild. No pain, no gain.
Speaking of contracts and such, I was reading an article last night about the Denver Broncos trading draft picks for the right to hire Sean Peyton as HC. It mentioned that Russell Wilson renegotiated his contract last year with Denver to the tune of $245mm over 5 years. Many screamed about Ozil and Auba and their reported wages, but Wilson’s works out to approx. $932,000 per week. This for an undersized, 34 yr old quarterback that relied on his speed and elusiveness for success. Good grief. I don’t know if I really have a point other than this world has gone mad.
Bill Simmons (also not a lot of ppl’s cup) made a good point about new owners in the NBA. They have a habit of making terrible decisions because they are so excited to play with their shiny new toy. Exhibit A was the acquisition of Rudy Gobert by the Minnesota Timberwolves for untold draft capital that is already looking like one of the most lopsided deals in NBA history. The TWolves are a middling team after their win now move and there is no path for them to improve without their draft capital. Then there was Pokhorov’s takeover of the newly minted Brooklyn Nets (formerly of New Jersey) which he marked by sending Boston every one of his draft picks for 2-3 years of washed up Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Boston turned those picks into Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and currently have the best record in the NBA with those two leading the charge. The Denver Broncos also have a new owner, and he immediately put his stamp on the franchise by agreeing to a hideously lopsided deal to acquire Russel Wilson, as outlined by Longstride above. His trade partner, the Seahawks, immediately looked better with journeyman Geno Smith under center while the Broncos struggled through the season with a borderline historically poor offense. I’m sure there are many more examples. There is every chance that this is Todd Boehly’s Pokhorov moment, and if that proves to be the case I will be SO here for it.
Good article, I can’t wait for it to all fail so spectacularly but that’s mostly wishful thinking mixed in with a dash of bias and schadenfreude..
One maybe pedantic question I have is about the potential Lukaku sale example of €40m, wouldn’t that actually show up in the books as a loss of ~€27.8 (€113 – €22.6m x 2 = €67.8 still to pay/amortise)?
Ok so, it’s a bit tricky but the short answer is yes, sort of.
Yes, Inter still get paid. The transfer fee doesn’t go away and the player amortization doesn’t magically stop. Chelsea are paying all of these transfer fees.
But! When they sell players they book the entire fee as a one-time windfall. So, if they sell Lukaku for 40m they just put “40m” in the income box. They still lose money on his sale but it looks like profit this one year. If they don’t also sell another player next season worth Lukaku’s amortization for that season, they will start to lose money. Chelsea’s annual amortization is going to be close to 200m a season for the next four years (it will drop in year five, 6, 7, and 8) which will negatively effect the balance sheet. And remember Chelsea’s entire operating budget is like 400m and their wage bill is 250m. This is why a lot of folks are pointing out that Chelsea are going to have to sell a ton of players every year just to break even. And why other folks are saying that’s not going to be that easy because there are precious few teams who can afford to take their players and most of them are in the Premier League. We know what this is like. This is deadwood territory. This is why Lukaku is on loan, rather than being sold. And with Lukaku’s current injury problems he will never be sold and Chelsea will find it more and more difficult to even loan him out. The problem they had with Drinkwater.
I do have to say in Boehly’s defense (gross), I always thought it made sense to try and lock in longer contracts when massive transfer fees were paid. Not just for the amortization shenanigans but because the transfer fee only “buys” you the exclusive contractual rights of the player for the duration of the contract. And if a player is good enough to invest that kind of fee, I want longer contractual control.
I think the thing that will kill Chelsea is the high salaries they committed to on several players. Those players will be impossible to offload. Best case is a loan with only partial salary coverage by the receiving team.
Too many expensive players to move over there. A bloated squad with bloated and unmoveable salaries. They need to hit the lottery with Mudryk and Enzo.
And the purchase strategy is all over the map. It’s a frankensteined team that doesn’t fit a tactical profile.
Best case scenario is this Chelsea money splurt is a one-off situation due to the amortization of their negative goodwill revenue gain (mentioned in previous post) as revenue, coupled with their obligation to invest set by Abramovich upon the sale.
Smart clubs like ours just need to invest in our youth assets and be patient, while this liquidity maelstrom burns out.
Problem is…. This money spurt is coupled with Chelsea’s crap position in the table along with Man City and Newcastle’s existing source of funds. Selling clubs are going to assume this is the new normal when a large premier league club comes calling.
Do you think that’s part of the game Chelsea are playing? Destroy the market for Liverpool and Arsenal?
Actually no, I think Boehly and his consortium probably had a covenant in their acquisition contract that they had to invest X amount by a certain date. Beyond investing in the ground, training facilities which are much more complicated to execute , player acquisitions are simply the easiest.
But. They can’t just buy ALL the players. A club like Arsenal and Liverpool just has to wait for them to make the first moves before going in for their next targets, and selling clubs will adjust to this next tier of buyers. At the top level, the differences between a 100m player and a 30m player is in the realm of marginal gains with multiple variables coming into play deciding final effectiveness.
Man City for example has stopped splurging and has started looking like the most sustainable of the big clubs, by balancing their recruitment tactically with top class coaching and operation strategy. The common theme amongst these clubs like Liverpool Man City and hopefully Arsenal is a general tactical direction and careful squad planning.
Chelsea doesn’t have that. Spurs too. Lukaku, Havertz, Mudryk were just bought when they were the flavour of the month. They needed genius level managers like Tuchel to improvise and Tetris these haphazardly acquired players into something coherent.
I did some research on Flo Balogun’s stats and so forth. From what I can see, he is used exclusively as a CF and his style of play is very much as an outlet. He is in the 96th percentile for progressive passes received according in to Fbref. He also has a knack for getting into scoring positions and is in the top 10th percentile for xG, shots and goals. Incredibly, he has somewhat UNDER performed his non penalty xG, but is still scoring better than every other time he plays for Reims. He gets important goals too. His 90th minute equalizer versus PSG was his team’s only goal and his hat trick vs Lorient bright then back from 2-0 down to win 4-2.
His link play looks less impressive with numbers in the 20th percentile in expected assists and shot creating actions. I think this is probably more of a result of how he is asked to play rather than inability to combine with others, but it’s an area to watch as we explore his long term fit in the first team. He is likewise poor in terms of defensive output and headers won. Again, this is most likely because they just have him run the channels and stay high all the time but they are areas to watch.
Fbref has a fascinating table of other players who fit a similar statistical profile. Flo’s top comp is another young striker who has been surprising people by the name of… Eddie Nketiah. Eddie’s numbers are crazy by the way. In addition to the excellent shooting and channel running that Flo has, he also passes and dribbles at high rates and with much better defensive metrics. His expected assists are similarly low, suggesting more of a predator than a link artist, as you already know from watching him. Flo’s other top comps include Dusan Vlahovic, Victor Osimhen, Alexander Isak and old friend Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Not bad company.
If Eddie and Flo continue to improve, you could conceivably see a situation where we might want to keep them both and sell Jesus. At present he’s better at link up play, but they may both already be better scorers than he is.
Long post incoming…
Time will tell. This is radical player strategy and seems like a culmination of forces within and outside our club. Right now both our clubs, which sit at the pinnacle of world football, are fighting for limited resources in key positions.
It’s known that there is a dearth of young, prime entering striking and defensive midfield talent. In today’s game everyone has reacted. Selling clubs are saying a decent/good player who should cost 30 will now be 75. Buying clubs giving up on the cost benefit of the existing pipeline are gambling in the faraway leagues and taking punts.
Established clubs like ours are.now spending 30,40,50 million on players we hope will come good. Other clubs have participated in this trend as well(see Real Madrid) We don’t want to wait for a Mudryk or Endrick to develop anymore. We honestly can’t because they’ll be quoted for 100mil.( lol at our club spending basically spending that much 2x this window on a player) This is terrible for football’s ecosystem because I think we can agree it’s crucial for both players and clubs when a talent is allowed to move gradually from smaller leagues to mid level clubs and up. I think a lot of these guys making the jump are undercooked and haven’t personally grown enough to understand their game.(i.e Joao Felix) thus contributing further to this dearth of
I believe Boehly, with his commitments made when buying, is trying to supercharge this process of rebuilding. Instead of waiting to see how the pot of talents melds together and what flavor it takes on, our management ordered every raw ingredient they could get their hands on.
Aside from that if these punts do blossom together, you better believe we are scared of the new era of player empowerment, leading to run down contacts and loss of talent. Right now the club is acting in a reactionary way. We almost got burned with Hazard. Definitely did with Courtois. And most definitely with 3/4 of our defense when Christensen, Rudiger, and Azi all wanted mega contracts or an exit.
We already lost on a number of gambles and didn’t structure/stagger our existing contracts well. As far as moving people, I think we’ll be ok. Many of our undesirables have suitors and are on 90,000 to 100,000 pound contracts max. But I can’t lie, there are some players who can’t be moved to lower tier clubs and a big reason why we might have to do more business with fellow rivals in the premier league.
Finally, I can somewhat see what we’re going for with the team. The depth chart suggests we’ll continue with a 3 mans defense as a base. 325 will our likely formation going forward.
1) I believe we’ll have Reece and Chilwell as wide operators crossing from wide to stretch teams.
2)The inside forwards will perform their figure 8s like a traditional 9 would to attack space in behind. These will be Sterling, Murdyk,madueke, nkunku
3) Our striker in name, Havertz, will play as the most advanced midfielder. He will be the defacto 10.
4) Enzo is the ball progressor that we never replaced, our new version of Cesc Fabregas. He is allowed to roam, but will mainly hurt teams with his ultra aggressive passing style. Kante sits alongside him for now, however the little man’s health is a concern, and ultimately why we are looking for a destroyer.
5) the back three will be a combination of speed, aerial ability and progressive passing. Koulibaly, Silva, Badu, and Fofana are a nice blend.
BTW you guys can have Rice. He has great physical tools but lacks in key areas. He’s not composed in possession play and his off ball movement/space appreciation is amateur. And if you’re going to get a marauding 8, you might as well buy Bellingham. I think he can eat up space and tackle like a Partey, but I doubt you’re gonna be happy with Rice when it’s time to be cerebral, anticipate, and control the game. It’s actually an interesting topic as the English very rarely produce scholesque type controllers. Academies there love to create chaos makers or bombers in midfield.I’d actually get a good laugh out of the fact that you guys would spend close to 100 million on him. I think because he’s association trained we might even get some compensation. there’s a reason management under Lampard and Tuchel didn’t cave and buy him even with a gaping size hole in CDM for our team.
I have a lot of conflicting feelings about Rice.
1. I’m wary of the Rice hype because I know how English people are about their national team players.
2. I’m also impressed with him when I see him play.
3. He’s also insanely one-footed.
4. Is he a DM or is he a replacement for Xhaka? I think TIFO football ids him as sort of both.
5. Didn’t we just offer 70m for Caicedo? Wait, isn’t he very similar to Rice? Are we supposedly buying both?? Do I like in a dream world where Arsenal splash £230m in one summer rebuilding the midfield with Rice and Caicedo?? Are they supposed to be able to play together? If Rice is the real target, why did we bid so much for Caicedo if they AREN’T planning on buying both? WHAT IS HAPPENING???
6. West Ham are on record saying they want £150m for Rice, at that price I’d rather have Jude Bellingham, hands down, no questions.
The stories that buying Caicedo would not preclude Arsenal buying Rice in the summer have to be fantasy. Caicedo was gettable in January because Brighton are not in a relegation battle like West Ham and Arsenal needed immediate reinforcement in midfield, because Sambi Lokonga was not up to standards. The Caicedo ship has sailed, he’ll end up at City, Liverpool or United.
Rice is homegrown and Arsenal have shown a willingness to pay over market fees for Ramsdale and Ben White. Agree with Kante that he’s not a pure single pivot DM. Part of what’s wrong with West Ham this year is confusion in midfield and the breakdown in the double pivot with Rice and Soucek because Rice has been pushing up, which is what Soucek had been doing as well and it’s left their defense exposed, a defense with a lot of injuries.
Rice + Zubimendi or Bamba. Patino has been doing very well at Blackpool also. Generate funds by selling Balogun, Tierney and Tavares.
Bellingham is going to PSG, Real or City. Arsenal would have to offer him 350k a week and that would break the salary structure when Arsenal are trying to convince Saliba and Saka to sign extensions. Martinelli is on 180k a week now with new deal. That is crazy because it sets the bar. Saka will have to be on 220k+ and Saliba 200k. Odegaard needs to be in the 200k+ range now as well, based on importance. This is what happens when you start getting successful, salaries get out of hand.
All the hard work that went into rationalizing our wage structure is about to be undone. How can EPL clubs be self-sustaining with these crazy transfer fees and player wages? I don’t get it!
Arsenal’s salary structure was not in line with an 8th place team. It was never justified to have Ozil (300k), Aubemayang (250k), Willian (200k), Mustafi (120k), Luiz (150k), Lacazette (150k), etc. Arsenal’s wages were 3rd highest in the league in the late Wenger and Emery years. If you are winning, and bringing in Champions League money, you can afford it. As soon as the team slips, it becomes a burden and particularly if the club is paying older players those high salaries. Arsenal will need to be careful. Martinelli is locked in at 180k until 2027 – the club might see salaries continuing to escalate, in which case that could be a reasonable salary in 2-3 years time for a still young star player. Paying younger star players high salaries to lock them down for the next 5+ years can stabilize the team. But bringing in a Bellingham at a rumoured ask of 350k per week would destabilize the team.
Declan Rice is absolutely worth pretty much any fee south of 200 in my eyes. He’s already the finished product with virtually no weaknesses and several seasons of experience in the PL, and an excellent fitness record. How many pure passers are there in the world with his physique? Chelsea just payed 150 million for a lad with his passing range but half his size and half his experience. It’s just our luck that he has been playing for a tactically moribund West Ham under David Moyes because it makes people under estimate him. His profile is of a player who’s been made in a lab to play the 6 in Arteta’s system. 24 years old, physically imposing monster in duels, secure, progressive passer, ability to control games with elite press resistance. Rice has all of that. And, crucially, he WANTS to play for Arteta. We have to get this deal over the line in the summer.
Caicedo is also an excellent player. I do think the squad could and should absolutely use both players. Both he and Declan could play the 8 or the 6. They can play together or they can alternate. They can both still develop as well, espeically Caicedo. If we had Xhaka, Partey, Caicedo and Rice for the two positions of the left 8 and the 6, that would be the best midfield foursome in football. That should be the aim. We should not let ourselves think we have no chance. The Arsenal brass have shown they are not afraid to spend and they have a clear vision that they are trying to execute. Securing high quality depth in midfield is part of that vision. Jorghino is a wonderful stop gap, but he is just that. The future of the 6 and the left 8 are not yet at the club.
3. Rice is VERY two footed, his issue is he is quite stiff. Can’t turn away from pressure but you will see him play amazing long passes with both feet. He is like a more athletic two footed xhaka actually.
4. He can do both, but he is the best MF defensively itw so short term, he benches xhaka but long term he benches Partey.
5. We would have dropped rice if we got caicedo, but we are going to buy 2 CMs in the summer( atleast I thought we were but Jorginho and giving Elneny a new deal might change plans).
Caicedo is like 70% of Rice with better turning radius but almost gurantees the league title this season.
What I would have done is buy Rice and say, Khephren Thuram this summer and try to sell BOTH xhaka and partey in Summer 2024.
6. West Ham aren’t getting 150 mil for Rice. He will go for 80-100.
In his career, Rice has 115 right footed shots and 14 left footed shots. The reason why he struggles to dribble and turn out of trouble is that he’s one of the most right footed players in the world. Opponents have figured this out, he was dispossessed several times yesterday trying to dribble,
Chelsea have brought great players.
The problem with their plan is susceptibility to injuries. On such a long contract, you will get stuck.
Fofana and madueke are already huge fitness concerns.
They made a big mistake by signing nkunku.
They need Osimhen/balogun.
By the time they recognize that, they may get transfer banned.
If they find the right #9, the right DM, the right GK, they will challenge in 2024/25.
It would be extremely funny if Chelsea don’t win the league in the next few seasons.
It’s not just the spending.
Their academy is insane and they produced an amazing generation of footballers.
They stupidly sold a few and some got unfortunate injuries.
You don’t need Enzo Fernandez when you have Charlie Webster coming through your academy.
You don’t need badiashile when you have levi Colwill.
Crazy crazy football club.
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