Well, I guess it sort makes sense when you don’t think about it all that much. Chelsea have bought somewhere around 37 attackingmidfielders, and they’ll have to sell a few to avoid FFP, which is a completely real thing that exists and serves a purpose and all clubs take it very, very seriously. At out end, we could use cover for Saka and Jesus, and Havertz can play at both. However, it’s hard to get all that excited for ths one.
After three seasons at Chelsea, Havertz hasn’t really bathed himself in glory. He’s scored 19 goals and added 10 assists in 91 appearances. Just three of those goals have come against big six sides (two of those against Liverpool). Could Arteta help him to raise his game? That’s hard to see, given that he’d certainly be behind Jesus, Saka, and Ødegaard, meaning that he’d probably be getting regular minutes while also shifting around among those three positions (CF, RW, AM). An inconsistent player won’t get more consistent with inconsistent appearances. It’s also hard to see us paying £150k/wk for someone who spends most of his time on the bench.
He has one thing that sets him apart from the usual Pensioner pensioners we’ve signed in the past: he’s not the wrong side of 30. Weigh that against Chelsea’s not-at-all irrational insistence on a fee of £70m. If he’s still available on the last day of Chelsea’s own “transfer window” of 30 June and can be had for, say £40m, my interest might rise. At this point, paying anything remotely close to Chelsea’s asking price feels more like doing them a favour than us getting a player we need, and I’m rarely if ever in a mood to help Chelsea.
They’ve reported large losses for the last two seasons, £121 million for last season, despite making a large profit on player sales, and that followed losses of £153.4 million for 2020-21. Without any European competition at all next season, they’re going to have to sell a lot of players by 30 June or risk sanctions. Rather than helping them by signing a player at their asking price, I’d much rather we shop elsewhere to find the players we need. Showing interest in Havertz would only help Chelsea drive up his asking price and get them closer to escaping the consquences of Boehly’s actions. Let’s check back in at the end of June.
Can you imagine both Chelsea and Man City getting sanction for violating FFP? Just imagine. I’m not placing any bets, though. There’s enough, um, “flexiblity” to the rules that it wouldn’t surprise me to see both of them wriggle out of it. Could that 30 June deadline, for example, be extended if Chelsea are seen to be making a good faith effort at balancing their books? Knock me down with a feather.
Let’s hope Arteta and Edu keep the powder dry and watch how Chelsea’s fire sale unfolds. No sense rushing in.