Fired Chelsea Boss Warned Blues Ownership They Were Overpaying for Record Signing

Fired Chelsea Boss Warned Blues Ownership They Were Overpaying for Record Signing
Chelsea's Enzo Fernandez and Newcastle United's Elliot Anderson (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Sunday May 28, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Graham Potter cautioned Chelsea executives that they were overpaying for their record signing according to recent reports.

After replacing Thomas Tuchel in August, the former Brighton manager arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation as a coach of the highest caliber after his successful stint at Brighton & Hove Albion.

However, Potter’s tenure at the west London club lasted for less than seven months.

Potter’s Stint As Chelsea Boss Hindered By Ownership’s High-Spending Spree

The Blues were 11th when Todd Boehly decided to fire his second manager in a single season, with Potter having lost 11 of his 31 games in command across all competitions.

But his tenure was hindered by a chaotic transfer policy that saw the club’s American ownership spend more than £300 million on players, which was more than the total outlay by clubs in Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1.

In addition to the excessive expenditure, the club broke the British record for a single player transfer fee.

The London club paid Benfica £106,8 million for the Argentine World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez.

Post-Christmas, the Argentinian star’s stock was high, having played a crucial role in the World Cup victory in Qatar, and he was reportedly being pursued by Real Madrid.

This prompted Chelsea to move swiftly for the ex-River Plate player, and the Blues subsequently made a hefty offer in order to acquire him before the summer transfer window.

Icon SPI 148 PT Chelsea Aston Villa
London, England, 1st April 2023. Graham Potter, Manager of Chelsea during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage – Photo by Icon sport

Potter Warned Chelsea Bosses of Expensive Transfer Policy

According to The Guardian, Potter opposed the transfer and informed the club’s board that they were paying too much for the star.

Additionally, Potter, 48, expressed concern over the number of players entering Stamford Bridge.

The club ownership’s transfer policy was one of the news stories of the season as they spent vast sums on several players last summer and in January as they looked to compete for titles.

However, the strategy backfired as the club had an exceptionally poor season by their standards and rumors of dressing room discontent constantly emerged.

Indeed, one of new manager Mauricio Pochetinno’s first major duties will be to trim his large squad of approximately 40 first-team players.

Fernandez, 22 years old, displayed glimpses of his potential during Chelsea’s turbulent campaign, which resulted in the club’s worst finish in the Premier League since 1993/94.

Despite Chelsea’s 4-0 aggregate loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals, he was one of the team’s best players under Frank Lampard.

And after signing off with a 1-1 draw at Newcastle on Sunday, Lampard praised the player.

“Enzo gets it. He gets what’s required in training. He gets what’s required to be a Chelsea player,” Lampard said.

“He’s got a high talent. Some players just get it. I keep talking about giving players time. But when you work with someone, you understand it very quickly, and I think he gets it.”

In 22 appearances, Fernandez failed to produce a single goal despite Lampard’s praise. The Chelsea hierarchy is hopeful that the arrival of compatriot Pochetinno will bring out the best in the club’s star player, who has signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract through 2031.

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