Football Features

Ranked: Every Chelsea signing of the Todd Boehly era

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:56, 7 March 2024

The new era at Chelsea isn’t even two years old and the Blues have already signed 30 players.

Although Chelsea are officially owned by the company BlueCo, Todd Boehly is often the one referenced when mentioning the club’s new ownership, as co-controlling owner and chairman. Backing the Blues with a lot of cash to try to get them back to the top of English and European football, Boehly has been very busy since taking over in May 2022.

But, it hasn’t been a success yet. Instead of buying ready-made stars, as Chelsea did some 20 years ago, Boehly and his board have instead looked to the future, trying to build long-term. And it’s cost them over £1billion already!

There are talks of more money being spent this summer as Boehly and co. trying to find a remedy for Chelsea’s continuing on-field problems. But among fans there’s a lack of confidence that the ownership can sort things out.

The main reason is the performances of a large number of Chelsea’s signings over the past two years. So, just how well have all 30 got on so far?

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Too early to rate

Players: Alex Matos, Angelo Gabriel, Deivid Washington, Omari Hutchinson, Diego Moreira, Gabriel Slonina, Kendry Paez, Andrey Santos

We start with a group that it would just be too unfair to give a rating to, as they were largely signed for the future. This includes Kendry Paez, who hasn’t officially joined Chelsea, but has been signed to link up with the club when he turns 18. Between them, this group of players have made seven first-team appearances, with both Deivid Washington and Alex Matos regulars on the subs bench in the Premier League this season. Omari Hutchinson also played 49 minutes across two appearances for Chelsea last season, and is very much thriving on loan at Ipswich right now.

Physio room regulars

Players: Christopher Nkunku, Lesley Ugochukwu, Romeo Lavia

Moving up slightly, we have the players who also haven’t played too much for Chelsea since signing, but this time due to injuries. Lesley Ugochukwu, Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia were all signed last summer but between them haven’t clocked 1,000 minutes just yet. Nkunku was the star signing of the summer and looked good in pre-season but then suffered a knee injury that ruled him out until just before Christmas. And now, after 394 minutes across 10 games, he’s injured again. Ugochukwu has the most minutes of this trio, but even he has been limited to 540, playing just one game since the start of December. And Lavia, who Chelsea beat Liverpool to sign, has played 32 minutes in one game which saw him return to the sidelines.

Bizarre moves

Players: Denis Zakaria, David Datro Fofana

Two bizarre moves for differing reasons. Denis Zakaria was a loan signing from Juventus that didn’t play a game until November and just made 11 appearances across all competitions. He had his positive moments but there was never any doubt that he wouldn’t be making his move permanent. David Datro Fofana, meanwhile, was signed last winter from Molde but barely featured at a time when Chelsea were seriously missing a striker. At their worst, he wasn’t even afforded a chance, and this season he’s been on loan at Union Berlin and then Burnley. It doesn’t look like he has a future at Chelsea, which makes the move even weirder.

Underwhelming

Players: Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Kalidou Koulibaly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella

Joao Felix was another loan signings last season, with a fee, from Atletico Madrid. On his debut against Fulham, he got a straight red card and missed the next three games, with the memes rolling in. A player of obvious class, Felix did score four goals for Chelsea, but it just didn’t click for him in London. That same window, Mykhaylo Mudryk had looked so close to joining Arsenal, but instead moved to Stamford Bridge. A largely unknown quantity outside of Ukraine, Chelsea spent a chunk of money on Mudryk and his debut against Liverpool was dynamite. But he hasn’t hit those levels since. Playing under a lot of scrutiny, Mudryk has had his moments, but it’s clear that this is a confidence player who is playing with none. There is a chance for him to move up this list though, if given time and backing.

Then we have a quartet of players who joined in the first window under Boehly. Kalidou Koulibaly was a name Chelsea had been chasing for years, and they finally got their man from Napoli. But, sometimes what we think we want, isn’t what we need. Koulibaly really struggled to settle in at Chelsea, clearly declining from the man that had dominated at the back in Serie A, and he left after a year. Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng amassed just 550 minutes in the Premier League despite Chelsea’s obvious need for a striker, and he really wasn’t afforded time to make his mark before leaving. Wesley Fofana is still at Chelsea and did okay when he played, but he has been injury prone with two separate knee injuries, one an ACL, hampering his career. Marc Cucurella is an opinion-splitter. He’s been underwhelming at times, but also has his good spells, especially when Chelsea needed something different on the left. However, overall when you include how much Chelsea played, underwhelming may just take it.

Promising signs

Players: Cesare Casadei, Carney Chukwuemeka, Noni Madueke

Now one of these has only made two first-team appearances, but Cesare Casadei’s performances in the U21s have been enough to prove this was a move worth doing. He was a level above playing in the U21s so was sent on loan to Leicester this season. He did well in the Championship and was recalled to be a part of Chelsea’s squad for the remainder of the season. We’ll see how much he features in the run-in. Carney Chukwuemeka signed for Chelsea last season and was involved in the first team squad, though he was never going to threaten for a start. Even then, he did show signs of promise, which carried into this season. Chukwuemeka has a goal and assist this season, with a well-taken strike against West Ham in August, but injury has halted his progress. And Noni Madueke has definitely shown more signs of promise than Mudryk since joining in the same window, but Chelsea are waiting for consistency.

Doing the job

Players: Robert Sanchez, Raheem Sterling, Benoit Badiashile, Axel Disasi.

Raheem Sterling, depending on who you ask, could be higher or lower on this list. He’s been reliable at times for Chelsea, but also a frustrating figure, missing key chances at big moments. Still, with 17 goals, no Chelsea player has score more than Sterling since the start of last season. Benoit Badiashile has suffered with injury at times, but looks solid when on the pitch, definitely in the higher groups of Boehly signings. The same can be said for Axel Disasi. He had that great performance against Man City that might lead some to want him higher, but there have also been times of struggle. He’s doing well and could climb. Finally, Robert Sanchez was Chelsea’s number one at the start of the season and did his job well. But there was just something missing about him, and Chelsea have fared well despite his injury.

Great starts

Players: Djordje Petrovic, Nicolas Jackson, Malo Gusto

One of the reason Sanchez isn’t in this tier is because the man who has replaced him, Djordje Petrovic, has been so much better. Chelsea look a lot more confident at the back with Petrovic between the sticks. He has an aura that Sanchez doesn’t have, and he looks to have solidified himself as No.1.

Nicolas Jackson has been a bit of a meme at times, but that shouldn’t take away from his start. Sure, he has struggled for goals and isn’t the goalscorer that Chelsea needed, but the Blues look so much better with him on the pitch. He brings a threat to the team that no one else can replicate and once he finds his shooting boots, Jackson will thrive. And finally, Malo Gusto. On another day, Gusto may even move up a tier, but for now we’re being a bit more sensible. Breaking into the first team this season, after a loan move in 2022/23, Gusto has been fantastic for Chelsea as they deal without Reece James. Gusto has almost made it so Chelsea don’t actually miss their captain, one of their most dangerous players in attack.

Immediate stars

Players: Enzo Fernandez, Cole Palmer

If you had to pick the two best signings of the Boehly era so far, it would be these two. Enzo Fernandez was the £100m superstar midfielder signed last winter and his quality was immediately noticeable. His only problem was the players around him. For most of his Chelsea career, Fernandez has had to do the midfield work of multiple players, which has hampered him at times. But that doesn’t take away from his quality, and his standing as one of the best players in Chelsea’s squad.

The other, Cole Palmer was signed in the summer and raised a few eyebrows. But he’s proved any doubters wrong. Palmer is Chelsea’s most important player this year, and will surely win their Player of the Season award. He leads the club for goals and assists, and when he’s not having a good game, Chelsea struggle. It genuinely is a close battle between Palmer and Fernandez for the best signing of the Boehly era.

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