Home BETTING TIPS A new era at Chelsea: on-field success or off-field profit?

A new era at Chelsea: on-field success or off-field profit?



Chelsea could have used a tranquil summer for once. Instead, they hired their fourth manager in two seasons by confirming the appointment of Enzo Maresca on Monday and look set for yet another frantic transfer window with several homegrown players, including Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah, believed to be up for sale.

This was reportedly one of the reasons Mauricio Pochettino ended up leaving Stamford Bridge. The Argentine apparently clashed with Chelsea’s plans to sell Gallagher and Chalobah despite being players being seen as key figures by the Blues boss. Pochettino felt he had no control over the club’s transfer strategy.

In the age of Financial Fair Play (FFP) and the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR), the sale of homegrown players is attractive to clubs because they can put them down on the balance sheet as pure profit. This is why Chelsea have started to tout academy graduates to stay on the right side of the spending limits.

Last summer, Mason Mount was sold to Manchester United for £55m which helped Chelsea balance the books after an expensive 2023 which saw the club spend roughly £350m on the signing of Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia and a number of others. It was a way for the Blues to stay in the black.

Recently, it seems Chelsea are more interested in player trading than building a successful team. Maresca clearly could have used Gallagher and Chalobah to remould the Blues over the summer, but the new man in the job has almost certainly been told that Chelsea will attempt to move them on as pure profit in the transfer market.

After sacking Pochettino, Chelsea reportedly targeted an emerging manager. This is what led them to Maresca who had just achieved promotion from the Championship with Leicester City. Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna was another name strongly linked with the vacancy at Stamford Bridge this summer.

By targeting an emerging manager, though, Chelsea gave away what they truly want from the man in the dugout. They want someone who will fall in line. They want someone who will focus on coaching the team on the pitch and leave transfer strategy to sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, both of whom clashed with Pochettino.

“To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach,” said Maresca upon his appointment on Monday. “It is why I am so excited by this opportunity. I look forward to working with a very ­talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

Chelsea’s tradition of success has faded since the Roman Abramovich era. With Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital in charge, Stamford Bridge has become a circus. Chelsea showed significant signs of improvement towards the end of last season, but put themselves back to square one by showing Pochettino the exit door.

There’s no guarantee Maresca will bring the sort of success Chelsea want. What’s more, the Italian’s style of football was seen by some at Leicester City as dull. Maresca likes his team to keep the ball, but that sometimes comes at the cost of forward trust and dynamism. Chelsea won’t be as exciting to watch as they were under Pochettino last season.

For all that Chelsea have tried their best to make the transfer market work in their favour, it has only complicated their efforts to reach the top of English football again. Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Pochettino were all hindered by the squad turnover that took place under their stewardship and Maresca could face a similar distraction.