Chelsea needs to go back to its old ways. Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, and N’Golo Kante are all part of a very successful Chelsea team. These four players cost a total of £127 million. Chelsea used to have a knack for buying relatively affordable options, which turned out to be world-class ballers. There have been some astronomical price tags placed on some arrivals over the last decade, however, it seems that the most effective players have cost less than £50 million.
It hurts me to see Liverpool adopting that same business blueprint to acquire some extremely talented players for less than £50 million each. Diogo Jota, Luis Dias, Thiago Alcantara and Ibrahim Konate cost the Reds around £138 million in total. As one of the best teams in the world, Liverpool has clearly cracked the code of efficient spending, and Chelsea will need to do their best to readopt this regime.
“Winning” the transfer window battle often comes with a hefty price. Spending a ridiculous amount of money would usually make a statement, and Chelsea has never been a team shy of doing so. However, apart from Kai Havertz, transfers worth more than £50 million haven’t necessarily tipped the scales of positivity in our favour. Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Romelu Lukaku in total cost the Blues a whopping, £285 million according to Transfer Market.
Considering the lack of stellar performances produced by each of these signings, it’s clear that our most successful signings have not had the largest price tags on their backs. There seems to be a negative correlation between price tag and pressure. Yes, I’d expect high-quality performances from an expensive signing, but it’s often proven that those players have crumbled under immense pressure. This does not only apply to Chelsea, it also applies to Manchester United, who has famously failed to squeeze the best out of their £80 million prize, Paul Pogba, over the last six years.
Liverpool has taken a smart approach in recent years with their transfer windows. It’s so smart that many of us didn’t see it coming. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane cost the Reds around £37 million each. What a bargain for two elite forwards in world football! Many would have said the same about Hazard and Costa in hindsight. It’s scary because Liverpool would have their big-money signing once in a while just like Chelsea would, but somewhere along the line, the Blues crumbled in recruitment.
Take Romelu Lukaku and compare him with Diogo Jota. Both forwards are proven in the Premier League, and they are playing under two of the best managers in the world, yet one is succeeding more than the other. Jota cost less than half the price of Lukaku (£45M), but he has nine more goals this season
Take me back to the good old days when Hazard, Pedro, Willian and Costa caused havoc on the opposition’s defence. They were a reliable attack with Fabregas at the helm of their creativity. Fans forget just how cheap these Chelsea players were compared to the prices of some of those in the team today. Not to say today’s team would have been better off with lower price tags, but we could have saved a couple of them the pressure.