A lot of players have left Chelsea and succeeded elsewhere in the past; two of the most well-known examples of poor transfer decisions are Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne. But, by relying on their academy instead of searching the market for reinforcements, the Blues may have recently saved themselves £222 million.
Cobham has fostered the growth of innumerable elite players, yet recently those academy products have been sold to make money rather than develop into first team players. And the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, with Todd Boehly just placing Conor Gallagher in the shop window.
To adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations, Chelsea must, however, take the lessons learned from past errors into consideration when choosing which academy product to sell next. Since Boehly arrived at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have spent a lot of money, but they might have saved $222 million by putting their faith in the players who are already on their roster.
Over the past 18 months, Dominic Solanke, who was granted free agency by the Blues in 2017, has been another example of the team’s misstep. The teenager made the choice to sign for Liverpool because, in his opinion, there was no obvious route to regular playing time under Antonio Conte.
His time at Anfield did not live up to expectations, but he moved to Bournemouth, where he is now considered one of the Premier League’s most in-form players after his hat-trick against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. This season, Solanke has outperformed Chelsea’s £32 million summer acquisition Nicolas Jackson, and a transfer to a title challenger in the future will only serve to emphasise how the Blues ought to have done more to hold onto his services.
Along with others who joined Chelsea over the summer, Moises Caicedo left Brighton in a £115 million move and is beginning to show why Mauricio Pochettino considered him a key target. But Billy Gilmour, who took his place at the Amex Stadium, has done just as well.
With his commanding midfield performances under Roberto De Zerbi, the Scotland international is fast becoming as a mainstay and may be among the next big names to see their value surge on the south coast. Gilmour left Chelsea in 2022 for a reported £9 million, which may be considered a steal considering how highly regarded he was among the Blues before to Thomas Tuchel’s exclusion from the starting lineup.
Perhaps the worst mistake made by the Blues in recent years was to let Marc Guehi go despite considering him as a priority defensive target for the summer of 2024. Since joining Crystal Palace, the 23-year-old has flourished and established himself as a mainstay in Gareth Southgate’s plans for England.
Wesley Fofana, a £75 million acquisition, is battling ailments, thus Chelsea seems to be in dire need of a center-back along the lines of Guehi. However, the “first refusal” option in Fofana’s deal might be his contract’s saving grace.