Just three members of the Chelsea squad that won the Champions League in 2021 remain at the club today, with their massive team change in recent years seeing many key players leave. The Blues have been the Premier League’s biggest moneylenders over the past two transfer windows, but sales have also been high in recent times, with no less than seven players leaving the club since the end of the previous campaign.
Chelsea have already made more than £134 million this summer selling Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Joao Felix and Denis Zakaria have returned to their parent clubs after spending the season on loan at Stamford Bridge, while N’Golo Kante and Cesar Azpilicueta have left on a free transfer to Al-Ittihad and Atletico Madrid respectively.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Mason Mount is widely expected to join Manchester United before the start of next season, with the Red Devils having agreed a deal worth around £60 million to give the England playmaker a five-year contract.
His imminent departure leaves Thiago Silva, Reece James and Ben Chilwell as the only remaining members of the team that beat Manchester City in the Champions League final two years ago. Mendy, Kante and Mount were all selected to start the game by former boss Thomas Tuchel, as Havertz scored the only goal of the game to seal a narrow win for the Blues on the biggest stage of all.
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The other members of the squad were sold in previous transfer windows, with Antonio Rüdiger joining Real Madrid last summer before Timo Werner made a permanent return to RB Leipzig. Jorginho also played in midfield against City, but moved to Arsenal in January to give the Gunners extra cover in the engine room.
It seems Todd Boehly is determined to usher in an era of his own at Chelsea. His aggressive recruiting strategy has completely transformed the Blues locker room since he took over from ex-owner Roman Abramovich last year. The West Londoners are also expected to sign a number of extra players this summer, following the early arrival of Nicolas Jackson, Diego Moreira and Christopher Nkunku.
Not everyone is impressed with Chelsea’s free transfer policy, with the likes of Gary Neville criticizing The Blues for binding many of their expensive new recruits to lengthy eight-year contracts. This approach is widely believed to be an attempt to amortize costs, allowing the club to stay within Financial Fair Play rules despite their exorbitant spending.
“I don’t see how it brings any benefit to the club apart from the FFP and the accounting mechanism, the accounting benefit,” Neville told Sky Sports. “For me, I’m struggling, that the wheel can be reinvented and that they’ve found something really clever here that no one else has seen.
“They could look like the smartest people in the room in two years, or they could look pretty stupid. I don’t know what it will be, but it will be one or the other, it won’t be in the middle. It will either be: What the hell was that? Or they’ve changed the model in English football and done it right. We’ll have to see how this plays out.”
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