One club in particular has taken centre stage in the 2020 summer transfer window so far: Chelsea.
With five deals confirmed and a sixth blockbuster transaction in the offing—Kai Havertz, who B/R’s Dean Jones has confirmed is still expected to arrive—they are the envy of almost every other fanbase.
The Blues have secured the signatures of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Malang Sarr, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva for a combined outlay of approximately £140 million, and Havertz’s signature would tip that total over the £200 million mark.
In contrast, Liverpool and Manchester United have signed a combined total of one player, a back-up left-back, and it feels as though the Blues are closing the gap on the very best (and distancing themselves from the rest) this summer thanks to an aggressive pursuit of top-level talent.
It’s the stuff of dreams; such is the calibre of the players being signed, this has the potential to be one of the best transfer windows ever.
That potential got us thinking: If the collection of Ziyech, Werner, Sarr, Chilwell, Silva and Havertz does turn out to be an all-time great, which other transfer window hauls would we be comparing it against?
If Chelsea’s 2020 recruits live up to their billing, they’ll be battling with the five teams listed below for the title of best-ever club window.
5. Real Madrid, 2010
Angel Di Maria (€33m), Sami Khedira (€14m), Mesut Ozil (€18m), Ricardo Carvalho (€8m), Pedro Leon (€10m), Sergio Canales (€6m)
Andres Kudacki/Associated Press
While the world watched in awe as a young, talented Germany side made waves at the 2010 World Cup, reaching the semi-final, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez picked up the phone.
He secured the signatures of Ozil and Khedira, who were both starring in South Africa, for a combined €32 million, then added Carvalho, Di Maria, Leon and Canales to that haul to make it an all-time great one.
Khedira, Carvalho and Di Maria started and helped win the 2014 UEFA Champions League final, the latter being named man of the match. Ozil left in the summer of 2013 but made his mark at the Bernabeu, linking with Cristiano Ronaldo superbly.
Canales and Leon didn’t make much of an impact, but the former was sold on for a small profit.
4. Barcelona, 2004
Samuel Eto’o (€27m), Deco (€21m), Ludovic Giuly (€8.5m), Edmilson (€8m), Belletti (€6m), Sylvinho (€1.5m), Henrik Larsson (free)
MANU FERNANDEZ/Associated Press
Barcelona’s summer of 2004 laid the foundations for their Champions League triumph in 2006 and rescued them from a nadir not too dissimilar to the one they’re facing right now.
The previous two years had been pretty desperate; in 2003 they finished sixth in La Liga, while in 2004 they rebounded to second but exited the UEFA Cup at the quarter-final stage.
So a big summer ensued, whereby Barca transformed their fortunes thanks to a haul of new superstars.
Six of the seven players purchased featured in the 2006 final, with Eto’o and Belletti scoring the goals to defeat Arsenal, and Larsson creating both. The one who didn’t feature, Sylvinho, was an unused substitute, so all seven made the squad.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst kept Sylvinho out of the XI, and he could be classed as a 2004 addition, too, as his loan from Arsenal had been made permanent that summer.
Barca won La Liga in 2004/05 and 2005/06, with Ronaldinho pulling the strings in midfield and Lionel Messi being introduced to the Camp Nou crowd for the first time.
Halcyon days for the Blaugrana faithful, and perhaps an illustration of how it only takes one 10/10 transfer window to right the course of a superclub. Continue reading