Chelsea’s transfer strategy has had a “scatter-gun” approach according to YouTube star Rory Jennings, and it is hard to disagree with him. Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix backs up this idea as he joins Stamford Bridge on a 6-month loan, and his signing doesn’t seem to make sense.
The signing all but confirms the departure of Diego Simeone from Atletico Madrid, as superstar Felix and the coach didn’t get along, but Felix is going back to Spain after 6 months as he is extending his contract with Atletico Madrid after this loan.
For Chelsea, this seems like a strange signing. The forward has a lot of quality but isn’t particularly needed in West London. He plays in a “second striker” role, behind the strikers but in front of the midfield, where Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech can all operate.
One argument to bringing in the forward is due to his similar play style to Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig, who has already agreed a deal to join Chelsea in the summer. Felix could be acting as a trial run to get the rest of the team used to have a “second-striker” or “shadow-striker” in the team.
This comes at a hefty cost though. To keep the player on loan for 6 months, Boehly is forking out £11m, on top of covering his £280k a week wages which are 100% covered by Chelsea. After his red card against Fulham, Chelsea will be paying £985k a game to play Joao Felix, and that’s if he plays every single game until the end of the season!
It is almost as if Graham Potter has suffered from working off tight budgets at his former clubs, such as Brighton and Hove Albion. Now, he manages a wealthy club like Chelsea, he enjoys so-called ‘shiny’ things.
Anything that the 47-year-old hasn’t been able to utilise in the past, for example Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix, he wants. Shiny new toys might be fun, but they don’t win you trophies, or places in the league table, as he is experiencing now.
If Potter is smarter than this and has a long-term strategy for Chelsea, there is clearly a disconnect in communications between himself and owner Todd Boehly, who seems to be buying every trend on the transfer market at the minute, without any strategy at all.