With their omnipresent oligarch stirred into transfer action by his Premier league cash cow’s continuing on-field malaise, Chelsea’s money men threw a last-ditch £75 million wodge at the club’s collective problem (i.e. the very real possibility of missing out on £100 million’s worth of Champions League football next season) by shelling out for Benfica’s David Luiz and, in case it passed you by, Fernando Torres – who signed a considerable £50 million, £175,000-a-week, five-and-a-smidge year deal at Stamford Bridge just as the window began to dwindle away.
On the very day that Chelsea also announced the news (with an understandably small amount of accompanying fanfare) that they had suffered a £75 million overall loss in their previous double-winning season (2009/’10), owner Roman Abramovich approved two speculative deals worth the exact same amount – two deals which, to the outside world, seemed to verge just slightly on the ‘panicky’ side.
With wages, bonuses and the like all factored in, Chelsea’s two deadline deals will end up costing the club well over £100 million. Of course the coincidental timing of the two transactions only serves to exacerbate the outlay, but it sure as sh*t looks like an expensive and knee-jerk way to address the relatively long-standing need for the rejuvenation of the club’s aging (and ailing) stable of players.
That said, if Torres’ pricey acquisition in particular conspires to win Chelsea the elusive trinket that Abramovich has been lusting after so zealously for all these years (the Champions League), then maybe £100 million will soon seem like chicken feed.
With a net spend of just £7.8 million or thereabouts, it’s a feasible argument that Liverpool, by adding both Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll to their midst, did rather well out of the bi-annual deadline day farrago that engulfed the footballing world yesterday – with the sole caveat being that they were forcibly co-erced into relinquishing their fervent hold on to the aforementioned Señor Torres.
How manager Carlo Ancelotti will re-configure his system to incorporate Torres remains to be seen (4-1-3-2…4-1-1-3-1…0-0-10?) though it’s worth nothing that there will be an ominous spectre hovering over his head when it comes to bedding in his new superstar – an ominous spectre that has perhaps come to characterise Abramovich’s oil-soaked tenure in West London, the £30 million signing of Andriy Shevchenko.
For all intents and purposes, that was the last time Chelsea paid big money for a big name.
Shevchenko arrived at Chelsea for a hugely inflated fee. A once-undeniably world-class striker, hampered by sporadic injuries and potentially on the wane as a footballing entity.
As a result of Abramovich’s myopic, ‘damn the expense’ pursuit, he left the club having made just 40 (mostly substitute) appearances in four-and-a-half seasons.
I know it’s just a bit of baseless conjecture at this point (crucify me for it if you so wish…), and I genuinely wish Nando all the best, but I’m just saying…