From Havertz to Werner: Rating all of Chelsea’s 2020/21 signings
After a transfer ban prevented them from making any additions during the 2019/20 season, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich spent big last summer on the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in an attempt to close the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City.
The club spent £222.48 million on seven players, and also recouped over £50m from departures, with Alvaro Morata the most prominent. Malang Sarr was signed on a free from Nice, but as he has been on loan at Porto all season, he is not included in this list.
But how have the new signings fared? Here at FootballTransfers we take a look.
Kai Havertz (£72m) – 5/10
For a move that promised so much, it has not been an ideal start to life at Chelsea for Havertz.
The German excelled at Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 46 goals and assisting 29 in just 150 appearances for the club, but has struggled to adapt to English football, often looking lightweight and lacking the confidence he was filled with in the Bundesliga.
Mason Mount was expected to make way for Havertz this season, but the English midfielder has outshone his teammate and hence Havertz has been reduced to just 14 Premier League starts this season, with injuries also an issue.
One goal and two assists in the league simply isn’t good enough, but with 10 goal contributions in all competitions, a goal or an assist ever 178 minutes, and at just 21, Havertz has time on his side.
Furthermore, with Thomas Tuchel now at the helm Havertz seems to be more in favour, and may well have found his role as a number nine in the former PSG head coach’s system.
Timo Werner (£47.7m) – 5/10
Almost every club in world football wanted to sign Werner last summer after he ripped up the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig in 2019/20.
He scored 34 goals and assisted 12 in all competitions last time around, and his electric pace and instinctive finishing were so eye-catching that Chelsea were willing to pay nearly £50m for his services, and it was viewed as somewhat of a bargain.
However, just as with Havertz, it has not gone according to plan.
He has looked uncertain in possession, uneasy against a low block and unable to replicate his Leipzig form.
Whilst Werner has still contributed 18 goals in all competitions this season, 10 goals and eight assists, which is more than Sadio Mane’s 17, only five goals have come in the Premier League, less than Jorginho, David McGoldrick and Anwar El Ghazi (all six).
He will need to find his shooting boots soon, or Chelsea may already start looking for a replacement.
Hakim Ziyech (£36m) – 5/10
Hakim Ziyech is a wonderful footballer, a wizard at work, but only on his day. It’s his inconsistency that has meant he has been unable to replicate the form he displayed at Ajax so regularly before the move to Chelsea.
Injuries have hampered his progression at his new club, but after a bright start, he hasn’t quite been himself since. Whilst in recent weeks it appears as though Tuchel trusts him, Ziyech has still only amassed eight goal contributions, which is less than the aforementioned Havertz, who has been criticised far more than the Moroccan.
The reason for that is the discrepancy in price tag, but with one goal and three assists in the Premier League this year, Ziyech needs to improve.
With his dribbles per 90 falling from 2.8 last year, to 1.4 at Chelsea this year, it’s clear that Ziyech has not adjusted to life in England as well as some may have thought; at 28, he needs to start showing his form soon, or he may be facing an early exit to his Chelsea career.
Ben Chilwell (£45.2m) – 6/10
It started so well for Ben Chilwell at Chelsea. The full-back pairing of himself and Reece James were arguably the most in-form in the Premier League, and he was grabbing goals and assists for fun.
He is on two goals and six assists in all competitions for the season, his best attacking campaign to date, but while he was favoured under Frank Lampard, he has been reduced to a rotation role under Tuchel.
With the German manager switching to a back three with wing-backs, Chilwell has started six games and Alonso has started eight; the Englishman is no longer first-choice.
His form has dipped recently, and while he has been an upgrade, on the whole, from Alonso and Emerson, his £45m price tag drags his score down; his performances haven’t quite justified that fee.
Thiago Silva (Free) – 9/10
A leaky Chelsea defence has improved massively thanks to the influence of the monumentally experienced Thiago Silva. The Brazilian has solidified the backline, and whilst he has been injured recently, with Andreas Christensen expertly stepping in, his work alongside Kurt Zouma at the start of the season was a fundamental reason for Chelsea’s rise to the summit of the table at one point.
To have signed a player with such quality on a free transfer is exceptionally shrewd business from Chelsea, and despite being 36-years-old, Silva has adapted to the intensity of the league so well.
Only Manchester City have conceded less Premier League goals than Chelsea this season, and even if Silva hasn’t been present for every game, his presence in the dressing room and on the training ground can’t be underestimated.
The factor of a free signing has been taken into account here, and Silva certainly deserves to be appreciated.
Edouard Mendy (£21.6m) – 9/10
Signing goalkeepers from Rennes has become a good omen for Chelsea in the Abramovich era. First came Petr Cech, and now Edouard Mendy.
At 6″6, Mendy is a giant in goal and has used every inch of that frame to help Chelsea to the second best defensive record in the country as he proves any doubters wrong.
Mendy was not the high profile signing of a Havertz, a Werner or a Ziyech, but he has been better than all three of them, quietly going about his business between the sticks for the Blues.
No Chelsea fan expected Mendy to be this consistent and reliable, especially after the woes facing Kepa at the club, but he has calmed nerves and his distribution in particular has been exceptional.
Shot-stopping and immense calmness on the ball, Mendy has everything a modern day goalkeeper needs, and he has been an excellent addition.