The Star (Kenya)

Stakes high for Lam­pard

- Sports · Soccer · Soccer Business · Chelsea F.C. · Hakim Ziyech · Thiago Emiliano da Silva · Bayer 04 Leverkusen · Bayer Leverkusen · Leverkusen · Bayer · Rennes · Frank Lampard · Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. · Roman Abramovich · Eden Hazard · Real Madrid F.C. · Madrid · Atlético de Madrid · Marina Granovskaia · Pat Nevin

Chelsea agreed a deal with Hakim Ziyech in Fe­bru­ary and have con­tin­ued their spend­ing with Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Thi­ago Silva.

“Statue for Ma­rina please” was one tweet that summed up the feel­ings of many Chelsea fans af­ter the club signed Kai Havertz in a £71m deal on Fri­day.

That praise for di­rec­tor Ma­rina Gra­novskaia re­flected her part in ne­go­ti­at­ing a price with Bayer Lev­erkusen £18m short of the Ger­man side’s pre­vi­ous val­u­a­tion and showed fur­ther ev­i­dence of her ruth­less streak.

Chelsea have now spent about £200m on six ma­jor sign­ings, with two of them free, mak­ing them by far the most ac­tive Pre­mier League team dur­ing this trans­fer win­dow. And it might not stop there, with the club also hav­ing sub­mit­ted a bid for Rennes goal­keeper Edouard Mendy.

It is also the most they have spent in one sum­mer, eclips­ing the £186m they in­vested at the start of the 201718 sea­son, which in­cluded a then club record £60m on flop Al­varo Mo­rata.

For­mer Blues winger Pat Nevin says Chelsea “aren’t just build­ing a team, they’re build­ing a dy­nasty” un­der man­ager Frank Lam­pard, who starts his sec­ond sea­son in charge when his team travel to Brighton on Mon­day.

But how did Chelsea come to spend so much money when oth­ers are tight­en­ing their belts, and what can we ex­pect from them?

Chelsea’s chief ne­go­tia­tor Gra­novskaia is highly re­garded for her abil­ity to get a good deal, but there is no doubt­ing the club has also ben­e­fited from a unique com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors this sum­mer.

While ev­ery other club has been tak­ing a more cau­tious fi­nan­cial ap­proach be­cause of the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing coronaviru­s, Chelsea did their sav­ing last sum­mer, thanks to a trans­fer ban —al­though they still paid £40m for Ma­teo Ko­vacic, who was al­ready with them on loan.

Of course Rus­sian bil­lion­aire owner Ro­man Abramovich is not short of a few rou­bles, but his spend­ing has been in line with Fi­nan­cial Fair Play reg­u­la­tions, which were in­tro­duced in 2011 and will now be sus­pended for 12 months be­cause of the pandemic.

Chelsea also banked money from sell­ing Eden Haz­ard to Real Madrid in a deal that could ex­ceed £150m, and have since re­ceived about £60m from Mo­rata’s move to Atletico Madrid.

So al­though Lam­pard was frus­trated at fail­ing to land any tar­gets in Jan­uary once the trans­fer ban was lifted, the de­lay has al­lowed him to strike while other clubs have been more cau­tious.

Nevin, who played for the Blues from 1983-1988, ar­gues Chelsea’s trans­fer pol­icy might look “ex­treme”

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