Who Have Chelsea Signed from Brighton?

Chelsea have long been known for their extravagant spending and since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003, the club have regularly shopped at the top end of the transfer market. If anything, the scale of their spending actually increased when the Russian billionaire left the Blues and Todd Boehly and his merry consortium bought the club.

The wholesale changes within the squad have not been the only influx of new staff to the Bridge though. Abramovich was somewhat trigger-happy with his managers too, demanding success – generally on his terms too – and being more than happy to change bosses if they didn’t deliver. And sometimes even when they did. The new owners seem equally happy to recruit new non-playing staff on a regular basis.

Chelsea’s new players, coaches and analysts have been drawn from all over the world. They have signed players from Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, USA, Germany and Brazil in the 2023/24 season alone. They have spent huge sums in recent seasons, with a figure of more than £1bn – on 28 players – quoted, just since Boehly took over. However, one club in particular has benefited more than any other from Chelsea’s largesse.

Over the past 10 seasons, more than £200m has flowed south from Chelsea’s coffers to the balance sheet of Brighton & Hove Albion. Brighton made a Premier League record gain in 2022/23 – and that was before Chelsea’s biggest purchase from them even hits the books!

In this article, we take a look at the players that the Blues have bought from the Seagulls and assess whether they have proved to be shrewd acquisitions or not. We will also consider the non-playing staff that have made the same move north to west London.

Which Players have Chelsea Signed from Brighton?

Brighton and Hove AlbionIt might surprise some people to learn that the Blues have “only” actually signed three players from Brighton in recent times. However, for comparison, since the 2013/14 season, the most footballers they have brought in from any single club is four. Moreover, they have only made more than three permanent signings from one single club in that timeframe (Leicester, with four, a total matched by their deals with Monaco and Atletico Madrid but those included loans too).

However, aside from that, two things make Chelsea’s player dealings with Brighton stand out. First, the money paid (around €210m) is greater than they have paid to any other side, and second, the short space of time in which the Brighton players have been acquired. All three former Seagulls were added to the Chelsea squad between August 2022 and August 2023, in a space of just 374 days. That means that over the past couple of seasons, Brighton have been Chelsea’s most regular footballer “shop”.

Moises Caicedo – €116m, 14 August 2023

Caicedo was wanted by Liverpool but Chelsea outbid the Reds and the young Ecuadorian favoured the Blues. The fee was £100m, potentially rising to £115m so was great business for Brighton, who signed the defensive midfielder for just £4m early in 2021.

Caicedo was given a huge eight-year deal as the club sought to use amortisation to mitigate the large outlay. He struggled to settle initially and even at this stage it is hard to say he has been a great buy. However, he has featured in the starting XI very regularly and not 23 until November 2024 he still has plenty of time to prove his huge fee was a bargain – or at least justified.

Marc Cucurella – €65m, 5th August 2022

Cucurella was the first Brighton player brought in by the Pensioners in recent times and was another whose fee was inflated due to interest from another PL giant, in this instance Man City. The Spain international has disappointed and with this his second season at the Bridge one might have expected him to be coming to terms with things better by now.

The attacking left-back was brought in for over £60m but has done little to justify that fee. The Seagulls also made a huge earnings on him, and again in a very short period, and at this stage it certainly seems that Brighton and Cucurella himself got the best of the deal.

Robert Sanchez – €29m, 5th August 2023

Goalkeeper Sanchez was brought in despite the Blues having spent huge sums on Kepa Arrizabalaga in 2018 and Edouard Mendy in 2020. Unhappy with their options, chucking another £25 or so Brighton’s way probably seemed like a relatively insignificant amount.

The Spanish keeper, who has played for his country – not to mention Forest Green Rovers and Rochdale! – is another with time on his side. Sanchez was 26 in November 2023 but again, has hardly set the Bridge alight, with some good saves being offset by the odd howler and he has only made relatively limited appearances in his debut campaign.

Coaches and Other Staff that Swapped Brighton for Chelsea

Graham Potter
Graham Potter (James Boyes | Flickr)

As said, Chelsea’s plundering on the south coast has not been limited to players. The highest profile raid they made on Brighton was possibly for manager Graham Potter. He was Boehly’s first managerial appointment but lasted just 31 games at the club, a win percentage of less than 39% meaning he was not given much time to get across his methods.

Potter brought with him other members of his staff at Brighton and in all Chelsea parted with around £22m in compensation (to the Seagulls) to get their man. And their man’s men. Potter brought along Kyle MacAulay, his recruitment expert, his assistant Billy Reid, goalkeeper coach Ben Roberts and additional coaches in the shape of Bruno Saltor and Bjorn Hamberg.

However, not only did the Blues pay to get Potter, they also had to pay to get rid of him! It is believed Potter received around £13m following his dismissal, making his stay at the Bridge short and incredibly lucrative.

Proving they clearly admire what is happening at Brighton – and who wouldn’t? – Chelsea have brought in yet more former Seagulls staff. In February 2024 Boehly poached Sam Jewell, the south-coast side’s latest head of recruitment and the man who was largely credited with Brighton’s signing of Caicedo for less than £5m. And they may not be done yet!