Cole Palmer’s £40m move from Manchester City takes Chelsea’s lavish spending under Todd Boehly’s ownership group past £1billion in three transfer windows.
Chelsea became used to unprecedented transfer outlay under former chairman Roman Abramovich but, if anything, Boehly and Behdad Eghbali’s Clearlake consortium have taken it to new levels.
Raheem Sterling was the first signing of the new era for a reported £47.5million last summer, also from City, with defenders Wesley Fofana (£70m), Marc Cucurella (£60m) and Kalidou Koulibaly (£34m) the other stand-out deals in a window that saw them spend over £250m in all.
Carney Chukwuemeka, a £20m arrival from Aston Villa, had broken into the line-up at the start of this season and scored against West Ham before injury sidelined him, while Cesare Casadei (£12m) has shown his potential on loan at Championship Leicester.
A British record £106.8m deal for Enzo Fernandez and an initial £62m, potentially rising to as much as £89m, for Ukraine winger Mykhailo Mudryk followed in January.
Benoit Badiashile and Noni Madueke were £35m signings while Malo Gusto’s £31m arrival from Lyon has begun to demonstrate value this season, with the full-back deputising impressively for injured captain Reece James.
The Premier League’s spending of £815m that month was almost double the previous January record of £430m, while Chelsea’s £308m alone would have ranked second on that chart and was more than the rest of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues combined.
That £650m-plus season expenditure – plus pay-offs to sacked managers Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, and a reported £20m to Brighton to lure Potter in the first place – could not help Chelsea to success as they limped to a 12th-placed finish in the league, their worst since 1994.
The solution, unsurprisingly, has been to spend over £400m and counting this summer on the likes of £100m midfielder Moises Caicedo from Brighton, forwards Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson and defender Axel Disasi.
Midfielder Romeo Lavia’s move from Southampton for an initial £53m brought the billion-pound mark within sight and Palmer’s switch saw it confirmed early on deadline day.