top of page


Opinion Piece: Assessing Chelsea's Spending Spree under Todd Boehly

Is a player, event, or club all hype or the real deal? Welcome to the home of The Hype Train's opinion pieces, where members of our team discuss a wide array of footballing matters. Here, Ben Hunt combes over Chelsea's spending under new ownership as the close of the January transfer window looms for the club. All aboard.

Good deal or bum-deal? Rating Todd Boehly’s spending spree at Chelsea:

With Todd Boehly’s Chelsea spending spree reaching nearly £450 million, with this figure looking to increase prior to the close of the transfer window on Tuesday evening, I look at how and where this money has been spent. Let’s play Good deal or Bum deal (only players with at least one appearance included)!

Raheem Sterling: Man City (£50m)

The first signing of many in the Boehly era. Still only 28-years-old Raheem Sterling seems to have been around forever.

Regularly tearing it up for Manchester City in years gone by, but perhaps not getting the respect he deserved at the club. As a result Sterling made the £50m move to Chelsea in the hope of becoming the London club’s star-man.

6 goals and 3 assists in 22 games this season suggests Sterling has struggled to replicate his City exploits. However, I do believe that Chelsea’s appalling form this season has contributed to the England International’s underwhelming displays. This, coupled with the fact he has the most goal contributions for the club this season, gives me reason to allow him the benefit of the doubt.

The best is yet to come. Good deal.

Kalidou Koulibaly: Napoli (£34m)

An absolute colossus for years at Napoli and hailed as one of the best centre-backs in the world for a time, Kalidou Koulibaly is next to feature on this list. First of all, £33 million pounds for a 31-year-old is steep. But if Thiago Silva’s signing is anything to go by, age is just a number, right? Unfortunately, for Kouliably it looks as if his age has well and truly caught up with him.

The Senegal captain kicked off his Chelsea career in the worst possible way with a red card in his third appearance for the club, after two reckless challenges in an early season loss against Leeds. Since then, Kouliably has become the muse of twitter trolls as a result of his wayward passing and hapless defending, subsequently being replaced by fellow Boehly signing Benoit Badiashile.

Oh, how the mighty fall. Bum deal.

Carney Chukwuemeka: Aston Villa (£16m)

I don’t have too much to say on this signing. At only 19-years-old he’s regarded as one for the future and has already racked up 8 appearances in a Chelsea shirt this season, in the majority of which he has looked impressive.

This being said, a £16m fee for a 19-year-old is quite the show of faith and it remains to be seen whether he can live up to the price tag. Jury’s out.

Marc Cucurella: Brighton (£58m)

Perhaps I am giving into stereotypes here, but there’s something about a Premier League defender having long, flowing hair that, in my eyes, makes them infinitely more dodgy. Martín Demichelis, David Luiz, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, the list goes on.

Saying this, Cucurella’s form at Brighton in the 2021/22 season was exceptional and led to rave-reviews from pundits and managers alike. Regrettably, since joining Chelsea for an eye-watering £58m, he has struggled to replicate the form that merited these plaudits. I do think however, the Spaniard’s saving grace will be his reunion with Graham Potter, the man who Cucurella excelled under and warranted his big money move to the Blues.

Hopefully he can reignite his form, but at this moment in time it does look to be a poor bit of business. Bum deal.

Wesley Fofana: Leicester (£72m)

Next up is the £72 million-pound, former Leicester City man, Wesley Fofana. Up until this his move to Chelsea Fofana had taken everything in his stride, quickly becoming one of the most complete young defenders in the league and even overcoming a broken leg to re-establish himself in the Leicester City backline.

However, since joining Chelsea in the summer Fofana has once again struggled with injuries, leading to just 2 Premier League appearances this season. Fortunately, the Frenchman has youth on his side and, at 22, still has plenty of time to get his career back on track. But whether he can fulfil his astronomical potential (and price tag) is another question all together.

Personally, I think he is too good not to succeed at Stamford Bridge, but he’s not done nearly enough to warrant the ‘Good deal’ label. Jury’s out.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Barcelona (£10.5m)

Undoubtedly the worst signing of the Boehly era. As a former Arsenal Captain and Premier league Golden boot winner Aubameyang’s signing, on paper, looked like an astute bit of business by Chelsea. It turns out that could not be any further from the truth.

The warning signs were there. The Gabon all-time top scorer's waning form at Arsenal probably should’ve been reason enough for Chelsea to steer clear. This coupled with the player’s disciplinary issues and murky departure from the Gunners should’ve cemented their position as a firm no. However, a fairly successful six months at Barcelona followed, and this was enough to convince Boehly that Aubameyang was the right man for the ‘cursed’ No.9 shirt. True to the curse, Aubameyang has flopped, scoring 3 times in 17 games for the club and looks way past his best, disinterested even. And despite Chelsea’s lack of fire power this season, Aubameyang cannot nail down a place in the starting 11.

Absolutely no doubt about this one, Bum deal.

Denis Zakaria: Juventus (Loan, £2.5m fee)

For a long time, this was looking like a bum deal. The midfielder wasn’t getting any minutes and looked to be way down in the pecking order, despite Chelsea’s woeful injury record.

However, after making his Premier League debut on the 27th December 2022, the Swiss International had somewhat of a resurgence for the Blues and became a growing influence on the pitch. This was until he limped off in Chelsea’s mid-January defeat to Fulham, leaving him out of action for a month.

In true Swiss fashion, I am sitting on the fence. Jury’s out.

Benoit Badiashile: Monaco (£33.5m)

Next up on the list is 6 foot 5, man-mountain Benoit Badiashile. Having only signed for Chelsea from AS Monaco in early January, the 21-year-old French International has already displaced the out-of-form and much-maligned Kalidou Koulibaly in the heart of Chelsea’s defence, and looks infinitely more comfortable.

This paired with the fact he has the perfect mentor and centre-back partner in Thiago Silva, I firmly believe Badiashile will continue to thrive under Graham Potter. Good deal.

Joao Felix: Atletico Madrid (Loan, £9.7m fee)

Felix’s debut red card and subsequent 3-match domestic ban certainly makes it much harder to justify the ‘Good deal’ label.

But considering his pedigree, along with his vibrant performance before being sent off, he will undoubtedly contribute a great deal in the second half of the season.

For that reason, I’m going with my gut and saying, Good deal.

Mykhailo Mudryk Shakhtar Donetsk (£89m)

It’s hard to fathom that spending £88m on a relatively unknown player from the Ukrainian league could ever be deemed a good deal. But in the case of Mykhailo Mudryk I think he has the makings of a top player. Skilful, direct and still only 22-years-old, Mudryk has already been crowned as the fastest player in the Premier League this season, despite only playing 35 minutes. This in itself makes him one-to-watch.

Unfortunately, for Mudryk, and Chelsea, his price was inflated up to £88.5m after Antony’s summer switch to Manchester United for £86m. This price tag could weigh heavily on the Ukrainian’s shoulders and prove to be his downfall, like so many before him.

Despite this, I’m going to stick my neck on the line and suggest that the Ukrainian will go on to be worth every penny.

Good deal.

Want to join in on the discussion? Ben Hunt is a new Contributor at The Hype Train in 2023, and you can have your take on our latest opinion piece by finding the Train on Twitter at @HypeTrainHQ, and Ben at @BenHunt1238

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.

In 2021, we formed the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL), a competitive Sunday League involving 8 teams in its debut season. During the 2021/22 season, we won our first-ever trophy, lifting the East Berkshire Football League's Presidents Cup!

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, visit our club's dedicate website, or visit our website here at

Believe The Hype!



bottom of page