Chelsea's Incredible Extravagance

London Chelsea became the main newsmaker of the winter transfer window in Europe.

In January, the Blues' new management acquired and loaned eight players for a total reinforcement spending of €329.5m excluding bonuses.

This is more than spent by all the clubs of the championships in Spain, Germany, Italy and France combined.

At the same time, it cannot be said that in most cases the colossal investments were justified.

Earlier, the controversial transfer from Shakhtar of Mykhailo Mudrik, who played at a high level for only half of the season, was already discussed.

However, on the final day of the additional application period, the “aristocrats” pulled off another incredible deal.

Benfica received €121 million, and the best young player of the 2022 World Cup, Enzo Fernandez, went to the capital of Great Britain.

The Portuguese were adamant and did not make concessions, forcing Chelsea to pay the full amount of the release clause specified in the agreement.

This transfer was a record for English football, and the Argentine became one of the most expensive players in history.

Of course, Fernandez has a certain talent, which he demonstrated in Qatar, becoming one of the main assistants to Lionel Messi.

But is it worth that much?

The authoritative portal Transfermarkt estimates him at €55 million, and so far the midfielder has not given reason to doubt this opinion.

It is clear that it is difficult to measure the benefit of a central midfielder solely by effective actions, but a football player invited for such money is obliged to “make a difference” on the field.

Is Enzo famous for this?


In 29 club appearances this season, he has scored four goals and seven assists.

And this is far from being the strongest Portuguese league.

However, not only this decision of the leadership of the "blue" raises questions.

In addition to Fernandez, Mudrik, Joao Felix and Benoit Badiashile, they got four more players, and overpaid for each.

Malo Gusteau (€ 30 million) cost twice as much as the declared price, immediately returned to Lyon for six months, David Fofana and Andrei Santos were bought with an extra charge.

But the most surprising is the acquisition of Noni Madueke for € 35 million. In 80 meetings for PSV, he scored 20 goals and 14 assists, but this season he played only 471 minutes and limited himself to two accurate shots.

The reason for this is the injury that has tormented the Englishman over the past year and a half.

During this time, he missed a total of 231 days.

And there is no guarantee that in the future his health problems will be solved by themselves.

  • Chelsea forward Noni Madueke


  • © BSR Agency / Contributor

Strengthening of the English giants

Against the background of such a campaign, the sale of one of the leaders of Chelsea in recent years seems surprising.

This season, Jorginho was also an indisputable base player and spent 1760 minutes on the field in all tournaments (only Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Thiago Silva played more), but was transferred to Arsenal for almost nothing.

The Gunners spent just €11.3 million and got a quality point guard at their disposal, with experience of winning not only the Champions League and the Europa League, but also the European Championship.

It is these performers that the team of Mikel Arteta needs, fighting for the main trophy of the Premier League.

Only Albert Sambi Lokonga, who was forced to go to Crystal Palace, suffered from this.

Long before the closing of the period of additional applications, the “gunners” also strengthened the attacking line.

After Chelsea stole Mudrik from under their noses, the leaders of the Premier League turned their attention to a less hyped and expensive winger.

Brighton did not break the price and released Leandro Trossard for € 24 million. The Belgian is able not only to replace Gabriel Martinelli, but also to play a false nine if Edward Nketia suddenly “deflates” and will no longer be so effective as a replacement for Gabriel Jesus.

Tottenham has also taken care of the personnel issue, which is waiting for a fierce struggle for the top 4 with Newcastle and Manchester United.

And while the Magpies pour €45.6 million into the talented but not yet well-established Anthony Gordon, the Spurs are leasing more proven fighters.

One of them was Arno Danzhuma.

Last season, he scored 16 goals in all competitions and helped Villarreal reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, although at times he lost the competition to 21-year-old Senegalese Nicholas Jackson.

In London, he is unlikely to become the main one, but rivalry with him may well have a positive effect on Son Heung Min.

In the first half of the championship, the Korean scored only four goals - negligible compared to last year, when he upset his opponents 23 times.

The deficit in the right-back position will try to compensate for Pedro Porro.

In 2019, the Spaniard was bought by Manchester City, but, as expected, did not receive a place in the squad and went to Sporting - first on a temporary basis, and then on a permanent basis.

There, he showed himself well and helped the Lions win the championship and the League Cup, and now he has a second chance to gain a foothold in the Premier League.

Like Danzhuma, the lateral is leased, but with a mandatory buyout option.

In the summer, the treasury of the Portuguese club will be replenished by €45 million.

Three leases in January were issued by Manchester United, and all were forced.

Jack Butland came in as David de Gea's backup instead of Martin Dubravka, while Wout Weghorst was brought in to close the hole left in the attacking line by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

And already on the flag, I had to agree with Bayern on the transfer of Marcel Sabitzer.

After Christian Eriksen ended up in the infirmary, the Red Devils had a clear shortage of central midfielders.

Thus, the team will close the gap, and the Austrian will have a great chance to redeem himself for an unsuccessful period at Bayern and prove that he is capable of performing at the highest level.

  • Bayern midfielder Marcel Sabitzer


  • © DeFodi Images / Contributor

New faces in Munich and Madrid

Similar reasons forced Bayern to be active in the market.

Manuel Neuer's unsuccessful trip to the mountains cost the Munichers dearly.

Initially, they wanted to sign Jan Sommer for €5 million, but ended up having to shell out almost twice as much.

€8 million will immediately be transferred to Borussia's accounts from Mönchengladbach, and another one and a half will go to them later - in the form of bonuses.

The contract is designed for two and a half years, during which the Swiss will finally be able to replenish the collection of trophies.

At the moment, he has only four victories in his native championship and one in the national cup, as well as silver in the youth European Championship 2011.

In turn, Joao Cancelo will add depth to the defensive line of the German giant.

Able to close both the left and right edges, the Portuguese is not going through the best period: in Manchester City he has ceased to be considered an uncontested option on the left flank, and in the national team he lost the competition to Rafael Guerreiro.

The icing on the cake was the conflict with Pep Guardiola, which took him out to change Manchester to Munich.

There he will certainly have a chance to prove himself.

Nussair Mazraoui is injured, Benjamin Pavard is not always stable, and Josip Stanisic and Buna Sarr are hardly up to the level of Bayern.

  • Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo


  • © Helge Prang - GES Sportfoto / Contributor

While Real Madrid and Barcelona are calmly preparing for the battle for the championship, Atlético are patching holes.

After the departure of João Felix and Matheus Cunha, the "mattress" needed to strengthen the attack, and it was the blaugrana that suddenly came to the rescue.

Depay, who lost his place in Memphis, moved to Madrid, where he will try to revive his career.

In the capital of Catalonia, the Dutch striker did not become a replacement for the departed Lionel Messi and was sold for only €3 million. True, the start of performances for the new team was not in the best way.

With Valladolid, he played only a quarter of an hour, and in the cup derby, although he spent 46 minutes on the field, he looked extremely unpresentable.

In turn, Matt Doherty was taken to the right flank of the defense.

The Irishman failed to break into the base of Tottenham, and now he will try to do it at Atlético.

True, the chances of this are just as small.

After all, he will have to compete with the reigning world champion Nahuel Molina and the universal Marcos Llorente.

However, in Madrid, for sure, they are satisfied, because they got the player for free.

Among other things, the winter transfer window included several transfers that, for one reason or another, remained in the shadows.

So, two heroes of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar went on promotion at once.

Barcelona and Napoli were interested in the services of midfielder Azzedine Unai, but in the end he ended up in Marseille.

For the 22-year-old Moroccan, they paid only € 8 million - a huge success for the southerners.

If the promising midfielder continues in the same spirit, then in a couple of years he will be able to bring good revenue to his new club.

The bronze medalist of the World Cup Josip Yuranovich cost a little more.

In Qatar, he proved that he deserves to play in one of the top 5 leagues of the Old World, which was agreed in the capital of Germany.

The local Union paid €8.55 million for him and thus closed the vacancy on the right flank of the defense that appeared after Julian Ruerson left for Borussia Dortmund.

Florian Thauvin and Thorgan Azar also changed their residences.

But if the once promising Frenchman decided to leave the Mexican championship and try his hand at Udinese, then the Belgian was exiled to PSV.

He's been a total failure this season.

In 21 matches for Borussia, the younger brother of Eden Hazard scored only one goal and never assisted his partners, and played only 739 minutes in all tournaments.