The Evolution of Chelsea – From a Buying Club to a Selling Club?

Roman Abramovich, the name is very dear to each and every Chelsea fan, the Russian millionaire is criticized for his short of patience with managers and has often followed a ‘hire and fire’ policy in the past, but not a single Chelsea fan would disagree with the fact that his Russian rubles were the reason why Chelsea has become a dominant force in England and Europe, 3 Premier League titles, 1 Europa League and the much coveted, the holy grail of Club Football, 1 Champions League.

But equal share and credit if not more is also bestowed upon the ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho for making a team that lasted a decade and won all those trophies mentioned below. But Chelsea and Jose Mourinho when he was first appointed manager in the summer of 2004 were often criticized for buying their way to success.

In the summer of 2004 we spent a whopping £91,350,000 in the summer transfer window bringing in the likes of Paulo Ferriera, Petr Cech, Ricardo Carvalho and so on. Then again we spent another £3m in the winter transfer period, while we only earned £2.2m from selling players.

In the 2005-06 season we again spent £58.4 million but we did better business as we made £22.6m from selling players too. The years following it were also marked with some really heavy spending, like:

2006-07:- spent:- £56.6m, earned:- £31m
2007-08:- spent:- £43.75m, earned:- £25m and so on.

In the 2010-2011 season we made some huge splashes in the transfer market spending around £101.3m, out of which £71.5m was spent in the winter transfer period alone, must be a club record for the holiday shopping. We are a team who paid £30.8 million for Andriy Shevchenko(9 goals in 48 appearances), £50 million for Fernando Torres(20 goals in 110 appearances).

But since the return of our beloved manager Jose Mourinho, the club had become very smart and tactful in the transfer market. Juan Mata, our very beloved little magician from Spain who had taken to Chelsea just like how a fish takes to water, he was our player of the season for 2 seasons back to back, but he fell out of favour under Jose. Juan would find himself cooling his heels on the bench a lot with playing time limited to a bare minimum. There was no question about his quality, but he wasn’t a fit in Jose’s plans and hence our 2-time player of the season would just end up a bench warmer under Jose.

Mata arrived at Chelsea for £23.5m from Valencia. But the star man who had scored 33 goals and provided 58 assists in 135 appearances over two-and-a-half seasons with Chelsea, had just made 18 appearances for Chelsea before being sold for £37.1m becoming Manchester United’s then record signing, that is a huge sum for a player who barely played and was benched.

Kevin De Bruyne was also sold off for £16.5m while we paid a meagre £7m for him, that’s less than half of what we sold him for. Given that he featured in just 3 matches(made 1 assist) the transfer sum received for him was pretty big.

Selling them helped us fund bringing back our former Chelsea man,
Nemanja Matic for £21m and acquiring the services of Kurt Zouma for £12.5m. These two players have turned out to be really important cog in the wheels for our march towards Premier League glory. So we sold two bench warmers and brought in these players, now that’s good business.

In the summer of 2014 Romelu Lukaku left the club for £28m, he was brought in for £10m with it rising to £17m with add-ons. Lukaku had impressed with his loan spells at West Brom(17 goals from 35 appearances) and Everton(15 goals from 31 appearances), but he wasn’t ready to play second fiddle to the expected arrival of Diego Costa, spent more time talking to the press and hence ended up being sold. He so far has managed 7 goals from 22 appearances this season.

David Luiz was brought in for a deal which included €25m+Matic. He was a lovely character and fun to watch, but as a centre back, he had questions being asked a lot, he performed well as holding midfielder but with the arrival of Matic, his time on the bench was eminent. Rumours of interest from Barcelona and Bayern were doing the rounds, but PSG jumped the gun in order to beat them and acquired his signature for a world record £50m making David Luiz the costliest defender till date, well his defensive abilities has been there for everyone to see.

Andre Schurrle arrived at the Bridge for a reported £18m last summer, he scored 11 goals in 44 matches including a goal in Chelsea’s second leg UEFA Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain to help the Blues overturn a 3–1 first leg deficit, in a match that eventually ended in a 2–0 win. He returned to London in the summer of 2014 with a World Cup winners medal, after he provided the assist for the only goal of the final. Plagued with injuries and fatigue after a long and successful World Cup he couldn’t become a regular in the Chelsea XI, he did start and score from a Fabregas assist on the opening day and against Manchester City away, yet he managed only 5 starts.

He rarely made the team, and the lack of action saw him depart in the January of 2015 for a transfer fee estimated to be in the region of £24m. The players sold are talented, but we made good profit given these players were all misfits for us, and what counts more is that each of these players were replaced by players who turned out to be a lot more important to our cause.

So the new transfer policy has done wonders and kept us in check with FFP, we can no longer we called a ‘buying club’. With this tag removed, what is next? Try and introduce youth academy graduates into the first team squad? Well, time will tell, but it sure is one hell of a time to be following Chelsea FC. KTBFFH

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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt

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