Keeping pace with Chelsea’s volume of signings and lavish outlay has been a dizzying business since American Todd Boehly’s takeover of the club was confirmed on May 31, 2022.
Former owner Roman Abramovich transformed Chelsea into one of European football’s financial heavyweights when the Russian bought them in 2003, and their spending has been supercharged under the leadership of new billionaire owner Boehly and his group.
Chelsea narrowly eclipsed the routine highest spenders, Manchester United, in the transfer market in the summer of 2022, with their total spree during that period of more than £251 million ($305m) and net investment of almost £206m ($250m) both representing the highest figures in the Premier League.
Here’s how much Boehly has spent in total, who is in charge of their transfers and more — starting with a full list of signings since his arrival.
Chelsea transfers in the Todd Boehly era
After a relative drought during the first month of Boehly’s ownership, Chelsea made nine signings in under two months before the summer transfer window closed and added four during the first half of the winter window to take their total to 13 players by January 11.
|At your place||Player||Position||fee|
|July 13, 2022||Raheem Sterling||Forward||£47.5m / $57.6m|
|July 16, 2022||Kalidou Koulibaly||defender||£33m / $40m|
|Aug. 3, 2022||Gabriel Slonina||goalkeeper||£8m / $9.7m|
|Aug. 4, 2022||Carney Chukwuemeka||Midfielder||£20m / $24.3m|
|Aug. 5, 2022||Marc Cucurella||defender||£57.5m / $69.8m|
|Aug. 19, 2022||Cesare Casadei||Midfielder||£13.3m / $16.1m|
|Aug. 31, 2022||Wesley Fofana||defender||£70m / $84.9m|
|Sept. 2, 2022||Pierre Emerick
|Forward||£10.3m / $12.5m|
|Sept. 2, 2022||Denis Zakaria||Midfielder||£2.7m / $3.2m (loan fees)
£30m / $36.7m (options)
|Dec. 29 2022||David Datro Fofana||Forward||£10.6m / $12.9m|
|Jan. 5, 2023||Benoit Badiashile||defender||£33.7m / $40.9m|
|Jan. 6, 2023||Andrey Santos||Midfielder||£11.1m / $13.5m|
|Jan. 11, 2023||Joao Felix||Forward||£9.7m / $11.8m (loan fees)|
|TOTALS||(13 players)||GKs: 1
|£327.4m / $397.2m|
‘I want to play with happiness’ – Joao Felix. 💬 pic.twitter.com/oIlOnbmvVt
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 11, 2023
How much money has Todd Boehly spent as Chelsea owner?
Part of the sale agreement Boehly entered into, which was ordered by the UK government after Abramovich was sanctioned over his alleged links with Russian president Vladmir Putin, requires the part-owner of baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers to provide £1.75 billion ($2.1bn) to Chelsea.
That investment, which comes in addition to buying the club for £2.5bn ($3.2bn), must be made over 10 years.
While the exact amount Boehly has spent so far does not factor in performance-related add-ons, the published and reported figures for the 13 players above bring the sum to over £300m of the £1.75 billion committed (nearly $400m of $2.1bn ).
- Total spend: £327.4m ($397.7m) as of January 12 2023
How many players are in Chelsea’s squad?
As of January 12 2023, only one Premier League team has more players than the 30 available to Chelsea in their senior squad, according to Transfermarkt.
Newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, who made headlines for their aggressive recruiting of new players during the summer window deemed by some observers to show a scattershot approach, have 33 players in their squad.
As of January 12, 2022, it is leaders Arsenal with the fewest players in their squad with 23, while second-placed Man City join high-flying Fulham in choosing from just a 24-man first team.
|West Ham United||25|
Are Chelsea overspending for players?
The numbers of acquisitions and the hefty figures being shelled out have led some to criticize Boehly for his transfer approach, citing his inexperience in football. However, the figures suggest that Chelsea have underpaid for the talent acquired by around £18m compared to the fees other clubs were reportedly prepared to pay.
The likes of Raheem Sterling, Benoit Badiashile, Kalidou Koulibaly, Andrey Santos, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (below) all materialized for fees reportedly under the figures previously banned about.
However, Wesley Fofana’s vast price tag was inevitable after the centre-back signed a deal months earlier contracting him to Leicester City until 2027.
Boehly came in for criticism over the fee paid for Marc Cucurella even before the full-back’s underwhelming start to his Chelsea career, having a year earlier cost Brighton around a quarter of the fee that took him to Stamford Bridge.
Some commentators have claimed that Arsenal were not willing to pay the hefty loan fee Chelsea dished out to Atletico Madrid for Joao Felix. With the Spanish side ruling out a permanent transfer at the end of the loan deal, there are question marks whether that is a transaction that will ultimately deliver value.
*Price reportedly agreed by Chelsea before sanctions prevented original transfer deal
**Option price at end of loan
Who is in charge of signing players for Chelsea?
Any football fan familiar with major Chelsea transfers over recent years would have been used to seeing director Marina Granovskaia at the center of signing photos when the club closed deals.
Granovskaia was known as Abramovich’s “transfer guru” and was regarded as one of the best in the business in European football.
Club goalkeeping legend Petr Cech was also an important part of Abramovich’s team in his role as Technical and Performance Advisor, but Granovskaia, Cech and former chairman Bruce Buck all left the club in 2022 after the takeover by Boehly’s group.
That led to Boehly taking up the role of interim sporting director while Chelsea were in flux, but recent appointments have allowed Boehly to drop the title, becoming less directly involved in transfers.
Joe Shields joined in October as Co-Director of Recruitment and Talent, having been Head of Senior Recruitment at Southampton.
Laurence Stewart arrived as Technical Director from Monaco at the same time and was given a brief to focus on “football globally.”
Paul Winstanley overlook the signing of players including Cucurella during eight years with Potter at Brighton before joining Chelsea in November as Director of Global Talent and Transfers.
Christopher Vivellwho was Salzburg’s head of scouting when they signed Erling Haaland, became Chelsea Technical Director a month after Winstanley was appointed.
🗣️ “I think his greatest asset is his recruitment ability. That’s his bread and butter from him.”
Jesse Marsch who worked with Christopher Vivell, Chelsea’s new Technical Director says he wishes him the best in the Premier League. pic.twitter.com/uRxYysNgzB
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 22, 2022
Viwell described Chelsea as “building the most exciting project in global football”. “There is so much potential for the club to continue to succeed, develop and grow,” he said.
“Under the new ownership, Graham Potter and the broader sporting team, there is a clear and sustainable philosophy underpinned by performance analysis, data and innovation, and I am looking forward to playing a part in that.”
Potter said he expected Vivell to be “a real asset”.
“I’ve met him a few times and I have a really good feeling,” the manager added.
“I think his role is to connect the football club in terms of the different departments, and my normal relationship with technical directors is a supportive one.”
During Potter’s time at the club, Brighton developed a reputation for their shrewd scouting network which has unearthed bargains including Moises Caicedo, a 21-year-old who cost £4.5m ($5.5m) and has been linked with a £70m ($85.1m ) move to the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool after becoming a Premier League regular and impressing for Ecuador.
Kyle Macaulay was Potter’s recruitment specialist when he was at the Seagulls, and he has now joined his boss again, having initially gone to Swedish side Ostersunds with him on a short-term basis after writing a speculative letter requesting a job.
Macaulay is likely to have plenty to do following the departure of Chelsea’s Head of International Scouts, Scott McLachlan, after 11 years at the club.
“Kyle would think how Graham thought and know exactly what he wanted in terms of player profiles because of all their time together,” a Ground Guru training source said of MacAulay and Winstanley.
“Paul would oversee the wider department, which is quite data-driven, with Kyle looking at individual players. Kyle has a very analytical mind and is a good operator.”