Chelsea FC 2020 Summer Transfer Window Report Card

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“It’s good to be king,” the old epigram goes. It’s also good to be a Russian oligarch worth $13 billion, making him the richest person in Israel, top ten wealthiest in Russia and the 113th highest net worth individual on the planet.

That’s the stats on Chelsea FC Owner Roman Abramovich, at least according to the latest Forbes rankings. Thus, spending north of 250 million Euro on his soccer team is like us spending the change that we find in the cushions of our couches.

roman-abramovich

Let’s take a look at the most super sensation summer spending spree of all time; arguably. Fee amounts below in Euros. Should more moves get made in the 11th hour, we’ll update accordingly.

Additions:

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes (25 million), left back Ben Chilwell from Leicester City (55m), attacking midfielder Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen (80m), central defender Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain (free), defender Malang Sarr from Nice (free, immediately loaned out), attacker Hakim Ziyech from Ajax (40m), forward Timo Werner from RB Leipzig (53m)

Subtractions:

Midfielder Ross Barkley to Aston Villa (loan), winger Willian to Arsenal (free), winger Pedro to AS Roma (free), defender Ethan Ampadu to Southampton (loan), defender Matt Miazga (yes, he’s actually, technically still on the team) to Anderlecht (loan)

Team Needs Addressed:

At the international break, we’re still waiting on the debut of Ziyech, as he recovers from injury. Werner got off to a slow start, so it’s difficult to assess the true, legitimate value of this summer transfer window, just yet.

Marina Granovskaia, Club Director, was given an astronomical war chest to work with and bring manager Frank Lampard every single thing he needs to compete for big time trophies this year. While the Blues are not exactly off to a rip roaring start, it is a long season.

Havertz broke not only the club transfer fee record, but also became the most expenisve German player in history. With a price tag like that, he’ll be expected to compete for Golden Boot awards. While the attacking players get all the headliners, per usual, Chelsea’s bigger needs were elsewhere.

Yes, they needed to add more pieces in the final third around Christian Pulisic, the club’s most efficient, effective and creative attacking player last season. However, they also really needed to beef up in the back, and upgrade their goalkeeping options.

As has been well documented, they spent like a drunken sailor on every position group. One should expect vast improvement up and down the pitch.

Team Needs Neglected:

Chelsea addressed every need, but whether or not they receive a good return on their investment remains to be seen. Just throwing a bunch of money at your problems isn’t a guaranteed solution. Look at Kepa Arrizabalaga, still today the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.

He’s so out of favor with Lampard that they had to go out and find a replacement this summer. The first half against West Bromwich Albion re-exposed all their vulnerabilities, and reminded us that being summer transfer window champions doesn’t automatically equal silverware.

Synopsis:

Isn’t the whole point of this exercise to do whatever you can to make your team better? And to use whatever means at your disposal to get there? In the first summer transfer window during the COVID-19 pandemic (and hopefully the last!), almost every team was worried about cash, at least to some extent.

Not so in southwest London, where currency was on top and free-flowing all summer long. Grade: A+

Transfer window report cards:  Everton  United   City   Arsenal   Tottenham   Liverpool   Southampton

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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