Since Todd Boehly took over from Roman Abramovich as Chelsea owner last year, the West London giants have dominated world football in one category: spending money! In just three transfer windows, the club have spent over £1 billion on new players, despite finishing 12th in the 2022/23 Premier League.
This summer alone, the Blues have spent an eye-watering £452m on new arrivals, despite already having splashed a record-breaking £323m in January! The club’s immense spending has drawn criticism from many in the footballing world, particularly as Chelsea appear to be paying over the odds for highly rated young players from other clubs, despite having plenty of top homegrown talents who are desperate to fight for a place.
In this article, we will round up the players who have both come and gone at Chelsea this summer, as it is worth mentioning that the Blues have, alongside signing vast swathes of players, made shifting on some of the supposed “deadwood” at the club a clear priority. That is, after Mauricio Pochettino made headlines for not knowing who Malang Sarr was, despite the defender being paid £100k a week by the Blues!
Which Players Have Chelsea Signed This Summer?
This summer, the West London giants have brought in 12 new players, with all of these arriving on permanent transfers, often on very long-term contracts! Below, we have compiled a table to show who the club have signed and how much they cost, as well as rounding up each player’s age and nationality.
|New England Revolution
As you can see, the Blues have exclusively signed young players this season, with it being reported that the club’s transfer policy prevented them from even looking at any players over the age of 25! Furthermore, given that the west London side have only signed one English player, Cole Palmer, it appears that there will still be plenty of opportunities for the club’s homegrown talent, as each Premier League side is required to have at least eight designated “homegrown” players in the squad. Below, we will round up each of the club’s acquisitions in more detail.
Throughout this summer’s transfer window, Brighton midfielder Moisés Caicedo was almost constantly being talked about, and on 13 August, he finally signed for the Blues. This came after Liverpool found themselves rejected by the Ecuadorian, despite having a £111m deal accepted by Brighton, as the player only wanted to join Chelsea.
The Seagulls signed Caicedo for just £4 million back in 2021, making him another in a long line of extremely talented Brighton players who seem to appear out of nowhere (and then go to Chelsea). The central midfielder, who only made 53 senior appearances for Brighton in all competitions, became Chelsea’s second £100m-plus signing of the year, after Enzo Fernandez was purchased for £107m in January.
Both were British record transfers, and Chelsea will hope the duo form a formidable partnership in the middle of the park, as new boss Pochettino looks to turn the club’s recent poor form around. As is customary with Todd Boehly signings, the Ecuadorian international, who has 32 caps for his country, has signed an eight-year contract with Chelsea, to allow the club to comply with FFP regulations by paying his transfer fee over a number of years.
Completing the Blues’ new look midfield, and another player who seemingly turned down Liverpool for Chelsea, we have Belgian defensive midfielder Romeo Lavia, who joined from Southampton this summer in a £58m deal. A shining light in Southampton’s relegated squad, Lavia showed impressive maturity and steel in midfield, despite being just 19 years old, and has signed a seven-year contract with the Blues.
The ex-Man City academy player, who made his international debut earlier this year, joined Southampton for just £10.5 million last summer, giving the Saints a healthy return on their investment! Whilst Lavia is currently injured, the Belgian is likely to play a large part in Chelsea’s plans for this season, completing a midfield trio with Caicedo and Fernandez.
Before the window had even opened, Chelsea had already triggered the release clause of Christopher Nkunku, who cost the west London giants £52m. Unfortunately, the French international suffered a fairly serious knee injury in a pre-season match against Dortmund, and the Blues will be praying that the immensely talented striker will still be able to play for a decent chunk of the season.
Nkunku scored 70 goals in 172 games for Leipzig, and was named Bundesliga player of the year in 2021/22, after netting an impressive 35 goals in all competitions that season. The Frenchman, who started his career with PSG, was born in Paris but moved to Leipzig in search of more first-team opportunities. Now, he has joined Chelsea as a forward in his prime, having also made his international debut in 2022, off the back of scoring 16 and setting up six in just 25 league appearances last season! One to watch, when he comes back from injury.
Next up, we have a signing that will certainly have shocked many. In a fee that could rise to £45 million, the Blues signed Man City’s Cole Palmer on August 30, despite the winger having already scored in both the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup for the Cityzens this season! However, the England U21 International, who joined City’s academy aged just eight, has now departed his boyhood club in search of more game time, after the signing of Jeremy Doku left him surplus to requirements. As you may be expecting, Palmer has signed a very long contract (seven years), and will likely get plenty of opportunities under Pochettino, who was keen to add a versatile forward to the club’s attack following Nkunku’s long-term injury.
Centre-half Axel Disasi is one of three French players signed by the Blues this summer, and was initially signed as cover for his injured compatriot, Wesley Fofana, who will be out for most of the season. The France international, 25, has put pen to paper on a six-year deal and is likely to start for the Blues this season, following an impressive three years at Monaco.
Disasi also boasts a very solid injury record, having played 38, 32 and 29 league games respectively in his three seasons at Monaco, and will look to shore up a defence that shipped 47 goals last season. In contrast to the other players signed by the Blues, the 25-year-old will look to bring some much-needed experience to a young dressing room, as the defender has 250 career appearances to his name.
Another addition to the Blues’ forward line this season is Senegalese striker Nicolas Jackson. The 22-year-old moved to west London from Spanish side Villarreal early in the window, and has joined in red-hot form, having scored nine goals in his last eight league games last term. Jackson also represented his country at last year’s World Cup, and has bags of potential. The Senegalese forward has signed a seven-year contract, and is likely to be a mainstay in Chelsea’s starting XI, especially due to Nkunku’s injury.
Like the majority of Chelsea’s new players, Jackson has only really got one full season of top-flight football under his belt, so represents a bit of a gamble, one that Boehly will be hoping pays off (at least more than the signing of Mykhailo Mudryk, so far). The striker has thankfully avoided the dreaded no.9 shirt, so that should give him a better chance of succeeding!
Next up, we have another acquisition from Brighton, and Chelsea’s new first-choice keeper, following the departures of Kepa and Edouard Mendy, Robert Sanchez. The Spanish stopper, 25, has joined the Blues for a reported £25 million, and vitally counts as a homegrown player, having moved to Brighton way back in 2013 aged just 15.
Sanchez, who found himself second-choice behind Jason Steele last year, made 90 appearances for Brighton in all competitions, and has also made two for the Spanish national team. As a Premier League-proven player, the keeper hopefully shouldn’t need too long to settle in, and will be competing with fellow new signing Djordje Petrovic for a starting spot between the sticks.
Other New Signings
Due to the enormous number of new players that the Blues have signed, we have decided to group the last few together. Lesley Ugochukwu is a 19-year old defensive midfielder who has signed a seven-year deal with the club, having already made 60 appearances for Rennes, despite his young age. Deivid Washington is an 18-year-old Brazilian forward who has also signed a seven-year contract with the club, having made 16 senior appearances for Santos last term.
Angelo Gabriel also joins from Santos, and is an 18-year-old winger who made his debut for the Brazilian side aged just 15! The youngster has already made 129 senior appearances, and will spend the 2023/24 campaign on loan at Strasbourg in Ligue 1. As previously mentioned, Djordje Petrovic is a Serbian goalkeeper who has joined from New England Revolution for £12.5m, a record fee for an MLS player.
Last but not least, we have Diego Moreira, a 19-year-old Portuguese winger who has been signed from Benfica, where he made two senior appearances but impressed for the B team. The youngster will spend the 2023/24 season on loan at Lyon, where he will hope to find regular game time.
Which Players Have Departed Chelsea?
Whilst the Blues have spent an absolute fortune on bringing new players in, it is worth mentioning that they have recouped at least some of the money they’ve paid out, as a number of players have left Stamford Bridge this season, including some of the club’s most senior players! 14 footballers have left the club on permanent deals, whilst a load more have left on loan, with many of the loan agreements including options or even obligations to buy. Below, we have compiled a table to show all of the players that have left Chelsea in this summer’s window, and the details of their move away.
|Loan: £7m fee
|Loan: £2.4m fee
|Abdul Rahman Baba
|David Datro Fofana
*Lewis Hall has joined Newcastle on an initial loan deal with a £35m obligation to buy.
First up, we have a move that would have seemed nothing short of ludicrous to predict when the Blues initially signed German forward Kai Havertz back in 2020 for a whopping £72 million, but here we are! The German international has joined London rivals Arsenal, who have taken on their fair share of Chelsea players over the years, for a deal worth a reported £65 million.
Despite impressing at times, including when he rounded Ederson to score the winner in the Champions League final in 2021, the versatile forward has never really been able to find his best position at Chelsea, something that the club’s managerial merry-go-round certainly won’t have helped! Havertz’s best goal return for the Blues came in 2021/22, in which the German international scored 14 goals in 47 games, and he has departed west London having won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. With Chelsea keen to offload players that didn’t fit into new boss Pochettino’s plans, the sale of Havertz provided the club with some handy cash to reinvest elsewhere. The German made 139 appearances for the Blues, scoring 32 goals.
Next, we have the departure at Stamford Bridge that certainly raised the most eyebrows: the club’s “golden boy” Mason Mount, who had been at the Bridge since he was just six years old. The attacking midfielder, who won Chelsea’s Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons in 2020/21 and 2021/22, has now signed a five-year contract with Manchester United.
Just like Havertz, Mount won the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup with the Blues, and has reiterated his desire to add more silverware to his personal collection at Old Trafford. The move was enormously controversial, drawing plenty of criticism from Chelsea supporters, and it will be interesting to see if the England international can regain his form, having somewhat lost his way last term, a season in which he only scored three league goals in 27 appearances.
United will be hoping that the midfielder will recreate his electric form from the 21/22 campaign, in which he scored 11 goals and registered 10 assists, as the Red Devils push to achieve back-to-back Champions League qualification under Erik Ten Hag. Mount made 195 appearances for his boyhood club, scoring 33 goals.
Another player who has been a permanent fixture in Chelsea’s team in recent years, and who has also joined a Premier League rival, is Mateo Kovacic. The Croatian midfielder, who had been at Chelsea since 2019, has joined treble-winning Manchester City, where he is almost guaranteed to win silverware under the genius management of Pep Guardiola.
Kovacic played 221 games in his five years at Chelsea, boasting an impressive injury record, and is likely to be slotted straight into City’s midfield. Although the 29-year-old only scored six goals during his time at Stamford Bridge, they were all top-class strikes, with the Croatian international having a knack for occasionally producing stunners out of nowhere! The world-class centre midfielder has made 95 appearances for his country, and has also provided Chelsea with cash that can be invested in the exclusively younger players that they seem intent on signing.
Christian Pulisic was tipped for greatness at Chelsea. Aged just 21, he became the youngest ever Chelsea player to score a hat-trick, and bagged an impressive 11 goals in 34 games in his debut season, following his £57m move from Borussia Dortmund. The winger was seen by many as the successor to Eden Hazard, due to his speed, impressive dribbling skills and eye for goal, yet unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
The American international lost his place in the side over the last couple of seasons, and only managed one goal last term. Now, the 24-year-old has departed west London hoping to revitalise his career in Italy, where he will be playing alongside former Chelsea stars Olivier Giroud and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has also moved this window. The USMNT star, nicknamed “Captain America”, scored 26 goals in 145 appearances for the Blues.
Other Notable Departures
Other high-profile players leaving Stamford Bridge this year include club legend N’Golo Kante, who has joined Saudi side Al-Ittihad on a free transfer. The French international will go down as one of Chelsea’s best ever players, having made 269 appearances for the club, and having won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, Super Cup and Club World Cup!
Another Blues legend that has left this summer is former captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who made a whopping 508 appearances for the west London giants, and who was a remarkably consistent performer in a team that changed so drastically throughout his 11 seasons at the club. A proper legend, who won everything there is to win at Chelsea.
In the not-so-legendary category of players leaving west London this year, we have Romelu Lukaku. Having spent most of the summer unsure as to where he could be playing, but knowing full well that it wasn’t Chelsea, the Belgian international eventually joined Jose Mourinho’s Roma on loan for the season. The striker has not played for the Blues since May 2022, despite joining for £97.5m back in 2021!
Another player who has moved on loan away from Chelsea after a tumultuous time at the club is Kepa Arrizabalaga. The goalkeeper, who became the world’s most expensive keeper when Chelsea signed him for £72 million in 2018, has struggled in west London, and has now secured a loan move to Real Madrid, as a replacement for the injured Thibaut Courtois.