Chelsea transfer update: Blues face double setback on Champions League opening night

Chelsea have spent over €1 billion during Todd Boehly’s reign as owner, but their transfer activity has been far from flawless, with several big-money moves not working out and some sales already coming back to bite them.

Billy Gilmour was sold to Brighton & Hove Albion for just €8.3 million in 2022, while Callum Hudson-Odoi joined Nottingham Forest for a mere €3.5m this summer.

Gilmour has started to shine under Roberto De Zerbi and Hudson-Odoi scored on his Forest debut against Burnley on Monday night. Mykhailo Mudryk, on the other hand, has not yet scored for Chelsea since his €70m January transfer to Stamford Bridge.

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However, those two are far from the only transfer mistakes that Chelsea have made in recent years.

Joao Felix and Fikayo Tomori are two such examples. The former joined Chelsea on loan in January, but the Blues opted against signing him this summer, while the latter was sold to AC Milan in January 2021.

Both players stood out during the opening set of matches in the 2023-24 Champions League campaign, with Felix netting a brace for Barcelona against Royal Antwerp and Tomori keeping Alexander Isak quiet in Milan’s 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle.

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Tomori & Felix: Two more Chelsea transfer mistakes

Despite being favoured in Frank Lampard’s first season in charge, Tomori lost his place in the starting XI when Thiago Silva joined in 2020 and he was sold to Milan for a mere €31.6m in 2021.

Fikayo Tomori, AC Milan
– Fikayo Tomori, AC Milan

Given Chelsea have splashed over €200m on central defenders since then, keeping Tomori would have been a sensible option, especially given how injury-prone Wesley Fofana has proven to be.

The England international was sensational in Milan’s first UCL game of the 2023-24 campaign, with Isak not given a sniff against the former Chelsea man.

Tomori played the full 90 minutes – after missing the Milan derby through suspension – and enjoyed a sensational 100% pass accuracy (49 completed passes), made five tackles, two interceptions and two clearances.

He also won five of his seven ground duels and completed one key pass as Isak failed to register a shot.

As for Joao Felix, he netted a brace and provided an assist for Barcelona after scoring his first goal for the club against Real Betis on Saturday. The first was an excellent near-post finish after shaping for the opposite corner, while the second was a neat header at the back post after an inch-perfect Raphinha cross.

Joao Felix, Barcelona
– Joao Felix, Barcelona

Felix also produced an assist for Robert Lewandowski’s 19th minute goal. After receiving the ball in the penalty area, the Portugal international jinked inside before lifting a cross for Lewandowski to nod home at the far post.

The 23-year-old, who is on loan at Barca from Atletico Madrid, now has three goals and one assist in just three appearances for the club. By contrast, Chelsea have only scored seven goals as a team in six matches this campaign.

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