Why Liverpool and Chelsea are the best Premier League teams in the transfer market - Carragher

Robin Bairner
Chelsea striker romelu Lukaku

Liverpool and Chelsea are the Premier League’s best teams in the transfer market, according to Reds legend Jamie Carragher.

The former centre-back admits that he felt during his playing days that the Blues were “trying to buy and identity” but he says that he has been impressed with how their operation has developed over the years.

Indeed, they are set to have one of the best transfer markets of any team in the league this summer, with the addition of Romelu Lukaku and Jules Kounde for big money but with a virtually neutral net spend.

Carragher, meanwhile, has explained that his former club are also smart operators, despite making only one major signing in the form of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

“Liverpool and Chelsea are the two best operators in the Premier League,” Carragher wrote for The Telegraph ahead of the sides' Premier League meeting. “Correctly, there will be more attention on the key players and coaches on Saturday evening. But Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp know they owe as much to their respective executives Marina Granovskaia, Michael Edwards and Michael Gordon.

“What Chelsea have achieved to sustain their trophy success, maintaining their competitive level at home in Europe despite their constant change of manager, is astounding. Every other Premier League appoints a coach and instantly starts talking about a 'five-year plan', determined to buy themselves time, hiding behind difficult first or even second seasons.

“Chelsea are only interested in winning here and now. It is a culture which can occasionally appear too brutal, especially when managers are sacked having just won the Premier League or Champions League.

“But the formula has brought so many trophies it can no longer be questioned.

Today the club is as self-sustainable as Liverpool, and most of the cold, calculated business decisions they have taken when sacking managers have been vindicated
- Jamie Carragher

“The implication this success is solely down to Abramovich’s investment giving them an advantage over their rivals no longer holds true.

“Today the club is as self-sustainable as Liverpool, and most of the cold, calculated business decisions they have taken when sacking managers have been vindicated.

“Although they spent £98 million on Romelu Lukaku - the kind of deal Liverpool would not have done for a 28-year-old - the imminent exit of Kurt Zouma means they have recouped £125m on sales in the same transfer window, and still emerged with their squad looking stronger.”

Romelu Lukaku, Arsenal v Chelsea, 2021-22

Carragher points to Chelsea’s sale of fringe players as being reminiscent of what Liverpool have done in the recent past.

“The combined fees for fringe players Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi and Valentino Livramento amounted to £52.6m. Between them, they made only 17 Premier League appearances for Chelsea. All were Tomori’s,” he noted.

“These are the kinds of transactions which Liverpool have been specialising in. This summer Liverpool have received a combined £22.5m for Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic. A year ago, Sheffield United paid £23.5m for Rhian Brewster, and Wolves bought Ki-Jana Hoever for £13.5m. Only Grujic ever made a Premier League appearance for Liverpool.

“Granovskaia and Edwards must be among the most astute negotiators in Europe to continuously maximise this kind of value.”

Liverpool host Chelsea in the Premier League with a 17:30 BST kick-off.