Chelsea closing in on transfer record in historic summer

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 21 Jul 2023 16:00 BST
  • 4 min read
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea, 2022/23
© ProShots

Chelsea could be on course to break a transfer record this summer thanks to the huge overhaul of their first-team squad.

The Blues have been on a wild ride over the past 12 months, with Todd Boehly’s first season as owner seeing the club spend over €600 million on transfers, go through four different managers and finish in 12th place with their lowest points tally in Premier League history.

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However, the west London club have sought to eradicate the past year by undergoing a mass overhaul of the senior squad. The appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s new head coach brought a much-needed freshness, but also a sense of direction and purpose from an experienced manager at the top level.

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Reports from within the club have suggested that pre-season has been the most intense and productive in recent memory, with players keen to impress Pochettino and the former Spurs boss instilling a mindset of hard-work and togetherness.

Therefore, it’s perhaps unsurprising the Chelsea board sought to offload the deadwood in the squad and sell any players uncommitted to the project.

The Blues undoubtedly had the most bloated squad in world football last year; reports of players being forced to get changed in the corridors at Cobham, rather than the dressing room, due to space issues was testament to that.

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Chelsea’s historic summer sales

While the Blues have been rightly criticised for their ludicrous spending and seemingly incohesive transfer strategy over the past year, their sales this summer have been exemplary.

N'Golo Kante has left Chelsea to join Al-Ittihad
© ProShots - N'Golo Kante has left Chelsea to join Al-Ittihad

It is, however, worth pointing out that Chelsea have not extracted every last pound from their sales this window. For example, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a reliable Premier League performer, was sold to AC Milan for only €4m more than Southampton paid for Manchester City youngster Shea Charles, who has played for the City first-team just once.

But, Chelsea have been able to drastically reduce their weekly wage bill by offloading some of their highest earners. In total, the Blues have seen 12 players depart on permanent deals this summer, while David Datro Fofana (Union Berlin) and Charlie Webster (Heerenveen) have been loaned out.

Of those 12, eight have fetched a fee, with Kai Havertz (€75m) and Mason Mount (€64.2m) by far the most profitable. The likes of Mateo Kovacic, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy were deemed surplus to requirements and were sold, while Cesar Azpilicueta and N’Golo Kante departed on free transfers.

So far this summer, Chelsea have earned €254m from player sales, which already puts them in third place for the highest income earned during a single summer transfer window. Only Monaco’s 2018/19 summer (€365m) and Atletico Madrid’s 2019/20 summer (€316m) have ever exceeded Chelsea’s record of sales this window.

But, the Blues have not yet shifted everyone that’s expected to leave. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech all remain at the club, but are likely to be sold before the window shuts, meaning Chelsea could make history and become the club with the most money generated through sales in any summer transfer window ever.

Romelu Lukaku is set to leave Chelsea
© ProShots - Romelu Lukaku is set to leave Chelsea

A new era has been beckoned in with the arrival of Pochettino and the early signs are extremely positive. A 5-0 win over Wrexham kicked off pre-season and the Chelsea squad appear far more cohesive and motivated than this time last year - a pre-season that was described as the worst ever by several sources.

But, the pursuit of Moises Caicedo could dictate how well Chelsea perform next season - the Ecuadorian is simply essential and the Blues can’t afford to play cat-and-mouse with Brighton for too much longer.

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