Chelsea FC’s Transfers: An Evaluation


The transfer window is now shut. Amidst a tirade of thick Scottish-accented cries hailing the movements of mostly journeyman professionals for various (undisclosed) fees as the most exciting event that has ever happened, everyone can now take a deep breath and reflect on this momentous biannual occasion. I’ve just about regained some stability following the heart attack I so nearly had as the thundering chimes of Big Ben rang out to signal the passing of the deadline (although deals could still be completed later). So, shall we take a look at Chelsea FC‘s transfer dealings?

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Let’s start with a quick summary of Chelsea’s transfer window transactions (do bear in mind that only 1st team squad players are being dealt with here). Leaving the club officially during January are Fernando Torres, Ryan Bertrand, Mark Schwarzer, Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah.

The first two are permanent deals on the back of existing loans to AC Milan and Southampton respectively. Schwarzer (Leicester City) and Schurrle (Wolfsburg) also move permanently, while Salah joins Fiorentina until the end of the season. Meanwhile, the lone ranger joining Chelsea also from Fiorentina is Juan Cuadrado. Is this a net gain for Chelsea? Or does the fact that 5 players have left in lieu of 1 newcomer carry too much weight?

Schurrle scores against AC Milan. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Torres is no longer on the books. Playing in 179 games for Chelsea (61 as a substitute), Fernando claimed 46 goals and 27 assists in all competitive fixtures, scoring once every 7.6 shots over his 3 years here. To put that last stat into context, Remy has scored at a rate of 4.6 shots, and Costa has got his 17 goals at 4.7. Frankly, this is no big loss to Chelsea, in fact many fans may be relieved that the monotony of watching him try to remember how to kick a ball around for 30 minutes will no longer be an experience to endure. Similarly Schwarzer won’t be too sorely missed at the Bridge, as he hasn’t been very potent in front of goal either (that was a joke). Seriously, though, he’s been getting games at Leicester and this was a smart move for all parties involved.

However, this is when I start to get concerned. Ryan Bertrand is off having played just over 50 times for the club, but having racked up an FA Cup, a Europa League, and a Champions League – not many others can put that on their resume. Salah also leaves, but on loan. The Egyptian winger just hasn’t been getting any game time, and looked unlikely to unseat any of the incumbents. Lastly, Schurrle is off for a mega fee (around £24m) to his native land and takes with him a knack for scoring key goals.

Meanwhile, Juan Cuadrado comes in for a fee that essentially cancels out Schurrle’s. He scored 11 goals with 5 assists in Serie A last season, and has racked up 4 and 4 so far this time round. Now, although these stats aren’t mind-blowing, the quality of the player is unanimously undoubted. Furthermore, the competition for these tricky wing places will increase almost exponentially and all attacking players will need to keep their performance levels off the chart in order to get a starting berth.

Perhaps more importantly, Cuadrado knows he’ll have to step up his game and prove his worth in order for Mourinho to swap him in. There may be fears that his arrival may unsettle the likes of Hazard and Oscar, but when you think about it, Chelsea have lost 2 wingers and gained 1, essentially competition by the numbers has fallen.

all attacking players will need to keep their performance levels off the chart in order to get a starting berth

With regards to Bertrand, he’s been showing his quality week in, week out for the Saints, but would he get in the Chelsea team over Azpilicueta and Filipe Luis? The answer to that is probably no, and thus it is, like the Schwarzer move, good for all involved. Schurrle, though, is a bit more tricky. With 15 goals and 2 assists, he has no mean record, but the man did seem to get some big ones (PSG, Man City?).

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However because of the the amount of money which the club is receiving for him, and with the FFP regulations, it means that this deal is also a good one for the Chelsea execs. Turning our attention to Salah, he needs game time which he just wouldn’t get by staying at Chelsea and if he impresses over in Italy, he can be ours next season.

Overall I give these moves my seal of approval (because I’m sure that’s all that Mourinho really wants). A number of good moves that have either allowed fringe players to play some football or swelled the club coffers has both cut down the squad size and helped service the purchase of a very exciting talented football player who is sure to boost the team as the title push continues.

Now over to you guys. What do you think of Chelsea’s mid-season exploits? Are there any gaps you felt were not filled? Sound off in the comments below!

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