Chelsea's Transfer Window So Far: The Round Up
Chelsea fans recently saw the start of a new era at the club. Abramovich’s departure as owner sparked questions over the future of Chelsea Football Club, and how they were going to continue to be a financial powerhouse in English football. For a long while, Chelsea’s summer looked bleak, however, since the takeover of the club, new owner Todd Boehly and his American Consortium have made it crystal clear that Chelsea mean business in this summer’s transfer market.
Transfers In (So Far)
Despite their loss of players and change in ownership, Chelsea have made big money moves in the market ahead of the new Premier League season. Their first purchase was a statement, signing out of favour Manchester City and England International Raheem Sterling. Securing the winger’s signature looks as if it is very smart business for the Blues.
Paying a fee in and around the region of £47.5 million, Chelsea have signed a 4x Premier League winner, who at the age of 27, looks to still have a lot to give at the England’s elite level. Tuchel’s side last season often looked like a team who needed dynamism and consistency going forward, something of which Sterling offers. With other forwards at the club looking to move onto pastures new, Sterling looks like a perfect fit for the West London side.
After the losses of Rudiger and Christensen, it was obvious that Chelsea was in desperate need of a new centre-back. Shortly after the signing of Raheem Sterling, Senegalese International Kalidou Koulibaly walked through the door at Chelsea. A mainstay in the defence at Napoli, and captain of his country, Koulibaly looks to be an excellent addition for the Blues. He has often been deemed as one of Europe’s best defenders throughout his career, and at £33 million, for a player of his calibre, the move was a non-brainer for Chelsea.
Young MLS goal-keeper Gabriel Slonina’s signature has also been secured this summer by the Blues. The American looks to be a real prospect, attaining the most clean sheets of any goalkeeper in the MLS this season (10). At only 18 years old, the Blues look like they have a very good player on their books. For his development, Chelsea opted to loan him back to the MLS club they bought him from, Chicago Fire, for the upcoming season.
The signing of 18-year-old Aston Villa starlet Carney Chukwuemeka, came as a surprise to the footballing world. Nevertheless, it appears to be another very good piece of business from the London club. £15 million does initially look like a steep tag for such a young player but with inflation on the rise, price tags of footballers only seem to be increasing.
The England Under 19 international has been regarded as one of England’s most exciting talents, having represented his country at 3 age levels already, as well as making his Premier League debut at the age of 17. The signing of Chukwuemeka has made it clear that Chelsea is investing in their squad depth and their future. They are also very smartly preparing for the future departures of their current midfielders Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, with their current contracts expiring in 2023.
Chelsea’s most recent, and most expensive signing is Brighton and Hove Albion’s player of the season and Spanish International Marc Cucurella. Several different deals were discussed for the player, and in the end, an agreement was reached within the region of £52.5 million. Young Chelsea defender Levi Colwill will go on loan again to Brighton instead of the initial £20 million fee that was reported.
Chelsea’s main starting left back is Ben Chilwell, who has recently recovered from an ACL tear that kept him out for the whole season. Therefore, he needs rotating this season to prevent the chance of re-injury. His replacement Marcos Alonso is seeking a move to Barcelona. Malang Sarr is also looking likely to leave Chelsea, as talks progress with Napoli. Cucurella provides Chelsea with quality depth on the left-hand side of their defence, as well as versatility.
A left back by trade, Cucurella spent a part of last season at left centre back and has done a stellar job in doing so. He also has excellent attacking abilities, and with this, he gives head coach Thomas Tuchel options at left centre back, left back and left wing-back. The fee paid by Chelsea is substantial, but he has penned a 6-year contract, and it has also allowed Chelsea to send one of their brightest stars Colwill, on loan for regular Premier League game time and development.
Transfers Out (So Far)
To say that Lukaku’s return to his boyhood club didn’t work out is an understatement. After scoring just 8 goals in 26 Premier League appearances and being at the centre of media attention for all the wrong reasons, Lukaku has been loaned back to former club Inter Milan for the 2022/23 season. An £8 million loan fee was agreed between the clubs, after he expressed his desire to return to Italy.
Antonio Rudiger was an outstanding performer for Chelsea last season. In the wake of the change of ownership at the club, the German decided that he wanted to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season for European Champions Real Madrid. It was a massive loss to the team, and to Chelsea’s books, who couldn’t even recoup a fee for him.
Much like Rudiger, Christensen came to the end of his contract last season, after being at Chelsea since the age of 14. He opted not to take an extension at the club, and to move to La Liga at the end of the season. He joined Barcelona on a free transfer.
Matt Miazga has been a Chelsea player since 2016, having played just twice for the Blues professionally. He has had loan spells at Vitesse, FC Nantes, Reading, Anderlecht and Alaves while on the books at Stamford Bridge. After coming to the end of his contract, Miazga has left the Bridge permanently, and has signed for MLS club FC Cincinnati, leaving on a free.
Jake Clarke-Salter has had a story much like Matt Miazga while at Chelsea. Having played for the senior team just once, he has spent most of his professional career on Chelsea’s wage bill but had been loaned out every season since becoming a senior player. Having spent most of his time on loan in England, bar one season at Vitesse, Clarke-Salter has been signed by QPR, on a free permanent transfer.
Danny Drinkwater’s time at Chelsea has been troubled. Having had injuries and very public personal issues, his career at Chelsea never really got off the ground. Drinkwater hasn’t been anywhere the first team for a few seasons now, and on a wage of £120,000 a week, releasing him this summer at the end of his contract, will have benefitted Chelsea’s books massively.
Timo Werner signing for Chelsea initially looked like it was going to be an excellent piece of business for the Blues after beating off Liverpool for his signature, however, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. The Premier League just hasn’t suited Werner and his style of play, which is a shame for all parties involved. Having recently been reported by Fabrizio Romano, Werner looks to be moving back to the German Bundesliga, to former club RB Leipzig, for a fee within the region of £30 million.
Whilst Marcos Alonso’s move to Barcelona isn’t yet complete, but it was confirmed by Thomas Tuchel in a press conference a few days ago, that Alonso seeks a move to the Spanish Giants, and that Chelsea are allowing him to leave. Alonso’s future at the club was all but sealed with the signing of Marc Cucurella. A fee around £10 million has been discussed for the Spaniard, as talks progress.
It must be said, that in this season’s transfer window, Chelsea have addressed the main areas in their team that needed players, and they have done so with real quality. Their window has also thrown up a surprise signing or two, and they are more than likely not yet finished in the transfer market for the new season. They have had a couple of big losses in Rudiger and Christensen, but these were expected by both the fans and the club. A few players have also been lifted off the books, something the club have needed to do for a while.
Chelsea needs to consolidate the futures of a few of their players before the window closes. The futures of players such as Hakim Ziyech, Michy Batshuayi, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Malang Sarr have all been discussed in the media, as all of them are rumoured to be leaving Stamford Bridge. This of course would make Chelsea’s wage bill look a lot healthier. Before the 1st of September rolls around, the club need to ensure that a few more players have left the club for new ventures.
With Timo Werner leaving the club, the signing of a new striker seems logical, as Kai Havertz needs some healthy competition in the squad. After losing 2 defenders, and loaning out another, the signing of another centre back for Chelsea seems necessary, especially for the style of play and formation that Thomas Tuchel implements. Chelsea’s pursuit of Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana hasn’t exactly been quiet; therefore, it will be interesting to see how Chelsea’s squad looks after the transfer window closes.