Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Havertz to Chelsea: How the Blues´ biggest buys have fared

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Sep 2020

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Chelsea have broken their transfer record once again by signing Germany international Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.

Havertz arrives at Stamford Bridge on an five-year contract for a reported fee of £72million.

The Blues have now shelled out over £200m on reinforcements for the 2020-21 season, while Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr have joined on free transfers.

Havertz leads the list of Chelsea’s most expensive transfers, and we have run the rule over the previous top five to determine whether they were successes or failures.

 

1. Kepa Arrizabalaga (£71.6m) – MISS

Chelsea made Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper in the world when they signed him from Athletic Bilbao in August 2018, but his future is up in the air after just two years at Stamford Bridge. He was dropped by Maurizio Sarri after refusing to be substituted in the EFL Cup final in his first season, while some questionable performances led to Frank Lampard preferring Willy Caballero between the posts in the latter stages of 2019-20. The Blues may have already spent in excess of £200m on reinforcements ahead of the new campaign, but they continue to be linked with a new keeper.

2. Alvaro Morata (£58m) – MISS

Morata struggled to justify what was a club-record fee when he signed from Real Madrid. The striker scored 11 Premier League goals in his debut campaign in 2017-18 and hit five more as he battled for selection with Olivier Giroud in the following season. Sarri lost faith in Morata and started to use Eden Hazard as a false nine, so the Spaniard joined Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan that was made permanent for just over £58m last July.

3. Christian Pulisic (£58m) – HIT

Despite officially becoming a Chelsea player in January 2019, Pulisic spent the remainder of that season on loan at Borussia Dortmund. After a slow start he finally provided an example of why the Blues were keen to sign him with a hat-trick against Burnley last October. A groin issue limited his involvement after the turn of the year, but he recovered during the stoppage amid the coronavirus pandemic and scored four goals and supplied two assists in his final nine Premier League appearances of the season. He also struck in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

4. Jorginho (£57m) – HIT

Italy international Jorginho followed Sarri from Napoli to Stamford Bridge in 2018 and initially appeared indispensable for the club in his specialist defensive midfield role. However, as discontent with the style of football implemented grew, he became a focal point for the frustration of the fans and was booed during games. While he remained a key figure under Frank Lampard and was branded “invaluable” by the head coach, Jorginho has been linked with a move away given Chelsea’s significant outlay in this transfer window. If he stays he could be a mainstay of the midfield for years to come, but a departure would perhaps lead to a negative perception of his time in west London.

5. Fernando Torres (£50m) – MISS

Chelsea’s then club-record swoop for Torres in January 2011 provoked anger on Merseyside, but Liverpool never really missed him as the Spaniard failed to fire in his four-year spell at Stamford Bridge. Although he scored a pivotal goal in a Champions League semi-final triumph over Barcelona, Torres found the net just 45 times in all competitions, eventually leaving for Milan and then a return to Atletico Madrid. He announced his retirement in 2019 after a stint at Sagan Tosu.

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