How Much Have Chelsea Spent Under Their New Owners?

Welcome to Stamford Bridge sign at Chelsea Stadium

The financial might of the Premier League seems to increase every year, with clubs in the bottom half of the table regularly buying players for £10m+. Indeed, we quite often see relatively average players, or certainly unproven ones, move to new clubs for fees of £20m or more. However, even viewed through this lens, and considering that PL sides spent a record £2.8bn on transfers during the 2022/23 season (summer and January windows), Chelsea’s outlay has been startling.

Back in May 2022, Todd Boehly’s consortium purchased the Blues for more than £4bn and the new owners wasted no time in ringing the changes. Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea manager at the time, was backed in the transfer market but by September he was gone, with Brighton manager Graham Potter quickly installed as the new boss. If Chelsea’s transfer business during the summer window was lavish, their January signings have truly shocked the football world. But just how much money has the club spent since Boehly and co took over?

Chelsea signings under Todd Boehly

Note that we have taken fees from a single reputable source for all deals for the sake of consistency. These are quoted in Euros.

Player Signed From Fee (Millions of Euros)
Enzo Fernandez Benfica €121m
Wesley Fofana Leicester €80.4
Mykhaylo Mudryk Shakhtar Donetsk €70
Marc Cucurella Brighton €65.3
Raheem Sterling Man City €56.2
Benoit Badiashile Monaco €38m
Kalidou Koulibaly Napoli €38m
Noni Madueke PSV Eindhoven €35m
Malo Gusto Lyon €30m
Carney Chukwumeka Aston Villa €18m
Andrey Santos Vasco De Gama €12.5m
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Barcelona €12m
David Datro Fofana Molde €12m
Joao Felix Atletico Madrid €11m (loan fee)
Gabriel Slonina Chicago €9.1m
Denis Zakaria Juventus €3m (loan fee)

In total the Blues brought in 16 new signings, excluding players such as Conor Gallagher, Armando Broja and others who either returned to the club from loans or were brought into the full squad from the junior groups at the club. They spent well over €600m, which is an insane outlay, especially as they had invested around €118m the season before and a massive €247m during 2020/21.

There are many different ways to compare Chelsea’s €611.49m shopping spree and attempt to put it into some sort of context. We could compare it to the entire expenditure of La Liga during the same period, which was “just” €560m. Or we could note that it is more than Everton, Liverpool, Man City and Man United spent between them. Alternatively we could take a different tack entirely and point out that it is enough to pay the annual salary of 16,115 NHS nurses.

However one chooses to assess it, there is no doubt that this is spending on a level never seen before. Of course, the Blues have also let a number of players go, either on loan or permanent deals. But we should not forget that Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021 and so this was hardly a squad that, on the face of it, needed a thorough overhaul.

One might have reasonably argued that all they needed was a little sprinkling of class here and there and the odd upgrade to refresh the group. But instead, they spent over €600m on the most comprehensive season of transfer activity any club has ever embarked upon. Graham Potter now faces the impossible task of trying to keep a huge squad happy, and with the club languishing in 10th place in the PL table at the time of writing he clearly has a lot of work to do.

Chelsea have four goalkeepers, five centre backs and a dizzying array of options both in the middle of the pitch and up front. They have taken the notion of having two players to cover every position and virtually doubled it, operating with a bloated, yet star-packed, squad of 31.

It is too early to judge many of their signings, especially the eight arrivals that joined during the January window. However, some of the players brought in have barely played, whilst there are already huge question marks against the likes of Aubameyang and Sterling. Those are two of the older players brought in by the club though and most of the signings have been at the younger end of the market.

Resale Value Key?

Chelsea have long pursued a strategy of signing up young players with a view to either developing them for the first team or selling them on for a profit. Their extensive loan network has been criticized but some are suggesting that this latest round of signings is an extension of that.

Cucurella is the oldest of their four most-expensive signings at the grand old age of 24. Of the 16 players in the table above, 10 are 22 or younger, so there is a clear feeling that this heavy investment has at least one eye on the future. Chelsea will hope that their signings fulfil their potential and make it at the club but even if they don’t, most should retain a high sell-on value.

Integrating all of these players into a coherent footballing unit and a bonded team may be an impossible task. However, whilst the headline-grabbing €611m (around £583m) outlay is genuinely astounding, Chelsea may well view their new acquisitions as investments, rather than purchases.

Whether this gamble pays off, in terms of what happens on the pitch and off it, remains to be seen. In addition, critics say that activity such as this permanently distorts the whole transfer market for other clubs. This may well be true but this is certainly a couple of transfer windows that Chelsea fans won’t forget in a hurry. What’s more, they will be full of anticipation for the day that Potter, or whoever replaces him, gets all of these new signings to click.

Merseyside Derbies in the Premier League: Who Has Won More Games, Liverpool or Everton?

The Liver Building in Liverpool

Since the first Merseyside derby was played between Everton and Liverpool in October 1894, the sides have met more than 240 times. The sides have both been in the top division of English football since the 1962/63 season, which means the Merseyside derby has been going on season-on-season in the top flight longer than any other.

Whilst the giants boast 28 top-division titles between them (albeit 19 to the Reds), only one of these championships has come in the Premier League era (Liverpool’s crown in 2019/20). But how have the sides fared when they have faced one another in the Premier League?

Premier League Merseyside Derbies

At the time of writing, the last Premier League Merseyside derby took place on 13th February 2023, with Liverpool running out 2-0 victors at Anfield. That match was the 62nd derby between Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League. Given that Liverpool have tended to finish higher up the league than Everton in the EPL, it shouldn’t come as a massive surprise that they have had the better of things since the inaugural Premier League season of 1992/93.

Games Liverpool wins Draws Everton wins
62 27 25 10

As well as having won almost three times as many league derbies as the Toffees, Liverpool have also scored a lot more goals: 87 to Everton’s 53. That said, Liverpool have failed to win more than 56% of the time, so things are not entirely one-sided.

Notable Merseyside Derbies in the Premier League

Here we’ll take a look at some of the most memorable Merseyside derbies in the Premier League.

Everton 0-0 Liverpool, 3rd March 2019

Okay, Liverpool have had the upper hand in general in their Premier League encounters with their local rivals. But that’s not to say they’ve always had things their own way. Everton might not have beaten Liverpool in March 2019, but their battling 0-0 draw against the title-chasing Reds proved decisive. It was the last time in the 2018/19 season that Jurgen Klopp’s men dropped any points… and yet they still missed out on their first-ever Premier League title by a single point (much to the amusement of Everton fans).

Liverpool 5-2 Everton, 4th December 2019

Liverpool got their revenge over Everton the next time they faced them, and in some style too. On their way to their first Premier League title (and first top-flight title for 30 years), Klopp’s Liverpool gave their rivals a real battering at Anfield. Not long before the global health crisis put paid to crowds at matches (and almost to Liverpool’s title-winning season!), this match was played in front of more than 53,000, who witnessed the highest-scoring derby since that famous 7-4 Liverpool triumph of February 1933.

Everton 2-1 Liverpool, 7th December 1992

This match was not particularly significant in the greater scheme of things for either side given that Liverpool ended the inaugural Premier League season in sixth place and Everton back in 13th. But the talking point arose in the 84th minute when Liverpool legend Peter Beardsley became only the second player to have scored for both Liverpool and Everton in Merseyside derbies.

Having scored six goals in Merseyside derbies for the Reds between 1987 and 1991, Beardsley moved to the Toffees for a fee of £1 million in August 1991. And before he moved to his hometown club Newcastle, he netted for Howard Kendall’s side to earn Everton victory in the first Premier League meeting between the rivals. Incidentally, in case it ever comes up in a pub quiz, the only other player to score for both Everton and Liverpool in Merseyside derbies was David Johnson.

Everton 2-3 Liverpool, 16th April 2001

This match was not only significant because it was a five-goal thriller. But it also gave Liverpool their first league double over Everton in the Premier League, and their first league double over the Toffees for a decade. Liverpool won the first match between them in October 2000 at Anfield, Nick Barmby (another player to feature for both clubs), Emile Heskey and Patrik Berger with the home side’s goals in their 3-1 triumph.

Heskey was on target once again in the match at Goodison the following April, along with Markus Babbel and former Leeds man Gary McAllister, as they edged past Walter Smith’s men. It proved the first of seven league doubles Liverpool have earned over Everton in the Premier League and – heartbreakingly for Evertonians – the Reds added an FA Cup semi-final victory too in the 2011-12 season. To date, Everton have never completed a Premier League double over their rivals.

Everton 3-0 Liverpool, 9th September 2006

Just in case there are any Everton fans reading this who are starting to get just a little depressed, let’s finish with the Toffee’s biggest Merseyside derby victory since their 4-0 hammering of the Reds on their own patch back in September 1964. Okay, Everton’s 3-0 home win in 2006 doesn’t quite match up to Liverpool’s record 6-0 triumph from 1935, but it warrants a place on our list of significant Premier League derby wins.

Everton were going through something of a purple patch under the stewardship of future Manchester United flop David Moyes, and after this victory, the Toffees were third in the league and dreaming big. Goals from club legend Tim Cahill and a brace from club… player Andrew Johnson gave Everton fans a lot to cheer about.

Premier League Merseyside Derbies: Conclusions

It’s fair to say fans of Liverpool have had more reasons to celebrate Merseyside derbies in the Premier League than those of Everton. But it’s also apparent that the Toffees often raise their game when facing their old rivals. And they have certainly put in some massive derby performances in recent decades, albeit not quite as frequently as the long-suffering Toffees fans would have liked. But however many more wins Liverpool have clocked up in derby games, at least Everton can forever remember the time they effectively scuppered Liverpool’s title hopes (even if it was only for a year!).

January 2023 Transfer Window Round-Up: Biggest Premier League Deals

The 2023 January transfer window has been nothing short of manic, with Premier League clubs and their respective owners (we’re looking at you Todd Boehly) spending like they’ve never spent before. A jaw-dropping £780.1 million was splashed on 52 permanent transfers, with an enormous number of loan deals also being struck.

Despite this, only £105m was brought in from player sales, meaning that the league’s net spend was an enormous £675m. Chelsea were by far the biggest spenders, shelling out a mind-boggling £323.3m alone, more than the Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 combined, highlighting the continued financial dominance of the Premier League.

In this article, we will take a look at the transfer window’s biggest deals, decide which team had the best window, and pick out three of the shrewdest signings made this time around.

What were the biggest deals agreed in January 2023?

We have compiled the top five below:

Player Club Signed from? Fee (including add-ons)
Enzo Fernandez Chelsea Benfica £106.8m
Mykhailo Mudryk Chelsea Shakhtar Donetsk £88.5m
Anthony Gordon Newcastle Everton £45m
Cody Gakpo Liverpool PSV £45m
Georginio Rutter Leeds Hoffenheim £35.5m

Which club had the best window?

Chelsea Football Club

Well, whilst we have to give plenty of credit to Bournemouth and Leeds, who both had excellent windows, there is surely no other answer that we can give here other than Chelsea, who have undertaken the mammoth task of a full-squad rebuild, a process that normally takes years, in just two transfer windows.

Leeds have strengthened their squad, bringing in Max Wober to strengthen their ailing defence, and adding quality in midfield and attack through Weston McKennie and Georginio Rutter. And Bournemouth have added six new players that could well lift them out of the relegation zone. But there is little disputing the fact that Chelsea are the firm winners of this window. Backed by the infinitely deep pockets of Todd Boehly and co, the west Londoners have picked up eight new players.

These include British record-signing Enzo Fernandez, arguably the world’s premier young midfielder (along with Jude Bellingham), and Mykhailo Mudyrk, one of Europe’s most exciting attacking talents. Both players join the Blues aged just 22, and look ready to lift Graham Potter’s side up the table. Chelsea have also managed to bring in the supremely talented Joao Felix on loan, who will, along with fellow new boy Noni Madueke, look to bolster an attack that has so far only managed to score 23 goals in 20 league games this season, fewer than Erling Haaland!

Benoit Badiashile also looks like a shrewd signing, with the left-footed centre-half already slotting nicely into Graham Potter’s backline. Andrey Santos, Malo Gusto and David Datro Fofana, the club’s other three new acquisitions, might turn out to be more long-term signings, but could ensure that the club has plenty of cover in key areas, and also ensure that the next round of Cobham academy graduates has no place in the first team! If this new-look Chelsea are unable to immediately soar up the table, it could very quickly put Potter’s position in doubt. No pressure, Graham.

Which are the best signings this January?

It is a tough task to pin down which of this window’s enormous number of signings are the best. But we will endeavour to select three below that are particularly shrewd acquisitions, and rate them out of 10, discussing the instant impact they might have at their new clubs.

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Leandro Trossard

  • Club: Arsenal
  • Fee: £27m
  • Signed from: Brighton
  • Our Transfer Score: 8.5/10

First up, we have Belgian winger Leandro Trossard, who departs Brighton, following a fall-out with manager Roberto de Zerbi, to join up with current league leaders Arsenal. An accomplished, Premier League-proven player, who will compete with Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka for a place in Mikel Arteta’s side, Trossard will provide much-needed cover in forward areas, as he is able to play anywhere across the frontline. The 28-year-old has been in impressive form this season, contributing seven goals and three assists for the Seagulls, including a hat-trick against Liverpool, and should hit the ground running for the Gunners. He looks like a shrewd purchase that could just be the difference for Arsenal.

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Weston McKennie

  • Club: Leeds
  • Fee: Initial loan, £30 million obligation in summer (if criteria are met)
  • Signed from: Juventus
  • Our Transfer Score: 8.5/10

Given the financial struggles Juventus are facing, the club seemed forced to let some players go, to bring in some much-needed cash and ease the pressure on their enormous wage bill. This has allowed Leeds to swoop in for midfielder Weston McKennie, who joins the west Yorkshire club’s current American trio of manager Jesse Marsch and players Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson. It represents another shrewd and ambitious signing on the part of the club’s ownership. A highly rated central midfielder, who brings Champions League experience, McKennie is blessed with a fantastic engine and work rate, giving him a great knack of winning the ball back. This, paired with an eye for goal, has drawn comparisons in the Italian media to former Juve midfielders Arturo Vidal and Edgar Davids.

McKennie could be an ideal partner for fellow USMNT centre-mid Tyler Adams and should be introduced into Marsch’s side very quickly. The 24-year-old, alongside fellow new signings Max Wober and Georginio Rutter, could very well help Leeds to Premier League safety, and perhaps even propel them to a solid mid-table finish.

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Keylor Navas

  • Club: Nottingham Forest
  • Fee: Loan
  • Signed from: PSG
  • Our Transfer Score: 9/10

Last but not least, we have the strangest transfer of the window, one that leaves you rubbing your eyes in disbelief. But, having said that, it represents a very shrewd bit of business by Nottingham Forest. After all, it is not everyday that a relegation-threatened side are able to replace their injured goalkeeper with a three-time Champions League winner, who has previously been first-choice at both Real Madrid and PSG.

Navas, now 36, has been considered one of the best keepers in the world throughout his career, and has also represented his country Costa Rica, who he captains, at three World Cups. He therefore brings a wealth of experience at the highest level to a club that is looking to secure their Premier League status through any means necessary (including signing every player on Planet Earth). As a short-term replacement for Dean Henderson, Navas has to be the perfect choice and will be a huge boost for Forest.

Can Sean Dyche Save Everton?

At the time of writing, things are looking rather perilous for Everton in terms of their Premier League survival. Just past the halfway point of their league campaign, the Toffees have amassed a mere 15 points from their 20 games. Currently in 19th position on 15 points, they are only above rock-bottom Southampton on goal difference.

Premier League Table Feb 2nd 2023

The board acted to sack Frank Lampard and bring in a replacement in the form of Sean Dyche. The question is, can the former Burnley man keep Everton in the top flight, or is the task already insurmountable?

We’ll get to the question of whether Dyche will pull off a successful Houdini mission shortly, but first, let’s take a brief look at who Sean Dyche is and why he’s qualified to lead Everton’s charge for survival.

Who Is Sean Dyche?

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Sean Mark Dyche was born in Kettering in 1971 and began his football career as a youth at Nottingham Forest who were then managed by the late, great Brian Clough. He never made it to the Forest first team, but moved to Chesterfield and played over 200 times, scoring eight goals between 1990 and 1997. He played at centre back for several clubs over the following decade including Millwall, Watford and Northampton Town, before retiring and moving into coaching.

He got his first job as the under-18 coach at former club Watford, then got promoted to assistant manager under Malky Mackay in 2009. A couple of years later, Mackay left the club and Dyche got the nod to fill the manager’s role. Dyche led Watford to a top-half finish in the Championship, but – as has become the Watford way in recent times – the club gave him the axe.

Dyche wasn’t out of a job for long though and he replaced Eddie Howe as the Burnley boss in September. He stayed there for almost a decade and guided the side to the Premier League after finishing second in the Championship in the 2013/14 season. It was tough in the top flight for the relative minnows Burnley and they promptly got relegated, but the Burnley board kept the faith with Dyche.

He repaid their confidence by leading the club back to the Premier League the following season by winning the Championship title. They spent the next six seasons in the top flight and even qualified for Europe thanks to their league placing in 2017/18. Sadly for them and Dyche, they got relegated at the end of the 2021/22 season, though the boss was shown the door a month before the season concluded.

Team From / To Games Won Drew Lost
Watford 21/06/11
49 17 (34.7%) 17 (34.7%) 15 (30.6%)
Burnley 30/10/12
425 149 (35.1%) 118 (27.8%) 158 (37.2%)

On the face of it, win percentages of around 35% are not going to install a great deal of confidence in the many nervous Everton fans who fear for their club. But then Lampard only managed a win percentage of 27.3% in his time at Goodison, so it would at least be an improvement on that. And if you convert the win and draw percentages into possible points per game (ignoring the fact that some of those were cup games), Dyche would have earned an average of 1.33 points per game for Burnley. In his time as Everton boss, Lampard earned the equivalent of just a single point per game (and even less than that based on the current league campaign). The question is, even if Dyche does better than Lampard, will it be enough to save Everton?

What Are Everton’s Chances of Surviving in the Premier League?

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If the bookies are to be believed, Everton’s days in the top flight are somewhat numbered and they are odds-on to be playing in the Championship next term. But football sure is a funny old game and bookies’ odds have been very wrong on numerous occasions (just ask Leicester fans about that!).

With 18 games remaining (at the time of writing) and with just 15 points on the board, it seems likely the Toffees will require at least another 20 points to have even a chance of staying up. Even that would only put Everton on 35 points, which – coincidentally – was how many Burnley managed last term then they were relegated. But it would have been more than enough the season before when just 29 points were required for survival.

Looking at the last six seasons, 35 points would have been enough to survive in all but one of the relegation scraps.

Minimum Number of Points Required to Avoid Relegation from the Premier League

  • 2021/22 – 36
  • 2020/21 – 29
  • 2019/20 – 35
  • 2018/19 – 35
  • 2017/18 – 34
  • 2016/17 – 35

Indeed, if Dyche is able to perform as well for Everton as he did on average at Burnely, earning 1.33 points per game, the Toffees will be in with a decent chance of staying up. Following that trend would give Everton an additional 23.94 points from their remaining 18 games, but let’s be generous and round it up to 24 points, to give a grand total of 39 points by the end of the season. A team hasn’t been relegated with 39 points on the board since Birmingham City in the 2010/11 campaign. So come on, Everton fans, there’s real cause for optimism, right?

Dyche: Savior or Desperate Measure?

Time will tell whether Sean Dyche is able to guide Everton to safety in the coming weeks and months. But having kept a club the size of Burnley in the Premier League for so long against the odds, we think he certainly has as good a chance as anyone. Oh, it might not be a good idea to mention to Everton fans which team Dyche supported as a child (hint: they play in red!).

What’s Going Wrong at Liverpool and will Klopp Survive 2022/23?

Since making the switch to Anfield from Borussia Dortmund back in 2015, Jurgen Klopp has transformed the Merseysiders, turning them into a European powerhouse once again. They also finally ended their long wait to win a Premier League title in 2020 and won both domestic cups in 2021/22.

However, by their high standards, Liverpool have had a poor 2022-23 season up to now. They have struggled for consistency and are surely already out of the title race. Is it time for change, or is Klopp still the man to take the Reds forward?

Can Liverpool Regain Form in 2023?

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Liverpool had a season to remember last year as they battled for four trophies, playing in every game that they possibly could (making it to the finals of all three cup competitions, only losing one). They beat Chelsea on penalties at Wembley Stadium in both domestic finals to win the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

The Merseysiders reached yet another European final. They were excellent en route to Paris, though old nemesis Real Madrid were just too shrewd in the UEFA Champions League final, with the Spanish giants nicking a 1-0 win.

They also finished runners-up in the Premier League. They pushed Manchester City to the final day and even looked like overhauling the Citizens at one point. However, City came from behind to beat Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa, so Klopp and Liverpool had to settle for second place.

Too Many Defeats

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Liverpool kicked off the current season slightly behind Man City in the title betting odds. Before starting their league campaign, they beat City 3-1 in the FA Community Shield game at the King Power Stadium in July.

The Reds started the Premier League season with a 2-2 draw with EFL Championship champions Fulham, which kind of set the tone for a poor first half to their campaign. They drew at home with Crystal Palace and lost at Manchester United before picking up their first league win.

At the time of writing, Liverpool have already suffered six Premier League defeats, three more than they did in the entire 2021-22 season. Man United, Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Brentford and Brighton have all beaten them. They also only managed a home draw with both Crystal Palace and Brighton and dropped a further two points at Everton.

Before and after the 2022 FIFA World Cup break, Klopp’s boys put together a four-game winning run in the league, though they never looked too convincing. They then suffered a bad 3-1 loss to Thomas Frank’s brilliant Bees at the Gtech Community Stadium. They weren’t much better in a home 2-2 draw with Wolves, a game they probably deserved to lose. Worst of all, most recently they were hammered 3-0 by Brighton, a performance Klopp described as “… bad. Really bad.” The Reds manager also said “I can’t remember a worse game. I honestly can’t.” Oh dear!

Where Next for Klopp & Liverpool?

No managerial job is safe in football, and Klopp could feel the heat if Liverpool continue their slide away from the top four. With half the season gone (for most teams) they are 10 points adrift of fourth and a massive 19 behind Premier League leaders Liverpool. Champions League football is a must for the Reds, but winning this year’s edition could be their only way into next year’s Champions League.

Right now, the Merseysiders languish in ninth spot. They have managed to win just eight games and have already shipped 25 goals. Moreover, the Kop side are set to be without key defender Virgil van Dijk for some time, whilst new signings up front have not hit the ground running.

With Arsenal flying and Newcastle United hitting dizzy heights, breaking into the top four will be a tall order. Liverpool desperately need to put another long winning run together to pile the pressure on the teams above them.

Will Klopp Survive?

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Needless to say, Klopp has been an incredible manager for Liverpool throughout the years, but all good things must come to an end. Will the German survive if Liverpool fail to make the Champions League next season?

There has been a lot of talk about the Klopp suffering from the seven-year itch, a theory based on the fact that he hasn’t made it to an eighth season in his two other managerial roles. At both Mainz and Dortmund things began to unravel at a similar stage and whether this is coincidence or something more, many are suggesting Klopp may leave, or be pushed, before the start of the 2023/24 campaign.

When asked about this last autumn, the German said, referring to his first job at Mainz, “The situation in the clubs was really different. A seven-year spell is not planned or because I lost energy, or things like this,”. He added that he “was full of energy (and) went directly to Dortmund and it was all fine.” Talking about the current situation he said, “I have absolutely no problem with energy and the situation is completely different here.”

Whilst Klopp’s energy may be fine, fans are most concerned with a lack of energy in their midfield. Liverpool’s success has been built on having three workhorses in the centre of the park, allowing the fullbacks to attack and the front three to wreak havoc. However, this is an area of the pitch fans feel has been ignored, with players being allowed to grow old and replacements not being good enough.

Ultimately we feel the current boss will lead his side into next season but who knows in football? What is certain is that if they do finish outside the top four the pressure will mount and a poor start, or even just a poor summer transfer window, could really see the fans turn against a man they once loved so much.

Why Are Everton So Bad?

Everton are objectively and historically one of the biggest clubs in English football. Only three clubs have won the top-flight league title more times than the Toffees and only two have appeared in the semi finals of the FA Cup more often. They have appeared in more top-flight seasons than any other club and were founder members of both the Football League and the Premier League.

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But at the time of writing Everton are very much in a relegation battle and have just exited the FA Cup in the third round stage, their first hurdle. They were in a relegation battle last season (2021/22) and will surely be in one this term. They have not finished in the top half of the Premier League since 2018/19 and have finished no better than seventh since 2013/14.

These poor results have come against the backdrop of what many Evertonians wanted for so long: a big-money takeover. In 2016, almost exactly seven years ago, Farhad Moshiri purchased 49.9% of the club, increasing his holding to almost 69% by September 2018. Since then they have spent lavishly on players, to the tune of around £600m. And yet they have got worse! So the question is, just why are Everton so bad?

Bad Signings

We don’t have space to list the litany of wasted money under Moshiri but early “highlights” include Yannick Bolasie (£25m, two goals in 32 appearances, left on a free transfer), who admittedly was unlucky with injury, and Davy Klaasen (£24m, seven appearances, sold for around £12m). The Toffees also spent around £28m on Cenk Tosun, a striker who managed nine goals over five seasons before leaving for nothing when his contract expired.
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There were some good signings too, such as Lucas Digne and Richarlison but both of those have since left the club with only a modest profit made. Idrissa Gueye was bought for around £7m and sold to PSG for £30m in a rare bit of good business and has since re-joined the Toffees. Jordan Pickford was a fine addition too, as was Dominic Calvert-Lewin for just £1.5m.

But the many misses far outweigh all of that, with Theo Walcott (£20m), Alex Iwobi (£27m) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (£22m) all failing to deliver on the huge fees paid for them. Everton have had some bad luck with injuries to the likes of Bolasie and Gbamin, but ultimately their expenditure has often seemed untargeted and had an air of panic to it.

Wrong Managers

Time will tell if Frank Lampard can turn Everton around, if he is given the chance, but there is no doubt the club have made some odd managerial appointments. Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was always doomed to fail given the fans’ hatred of the “fat Spanish waiter” and the verdict on Sam Allardyce was not much better. Once again the board may point to a little bad luck in that the one man who did seem a good appointment, Carlo Ancelotti, was tempted back to Real Madrid when it seemed he was taking the club forward.

The Board

For a while now the ire of the fans has chiefly been reserved for the board rather than the players or manager. Moshiri is damned as being uncommunicative, whilst another criticism is that there is a “jobs for the boys” attitude and too much self-interest. On the one hand, Moshiri has put his money where his mouth is but ultimately the buck always has to stop at the top, so he must shoulder at least a large portion of the “blame”.

Are Everton really that bad?

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Spending £600m on poor players and seemingly moving backwards is clearly not a good look. But there are many fans in English football who would look at Everton and query the verdict of “so bad” from the title of this feature. Since 2006/07 they have finished 6th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 11th, 11th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 12th, 10th and 16th.

The current 2022/23 season is a worry and the last three were poor but prior to that finishes of 8th (twice) and 7th (in 2016/17) were not too far away from their average over the past two decades or so. It should be remembered that their best-ever PL finish, fourth, came in 2005 and a year earlier they were 17th, whilst the following season they finished 11th.

The current direction of travel and mood around the club is not great but recent signings have been better, on the whole. If they can survive this campaign there is reason to believe they can get back to being top-half regulars. Whether that “if” proves too big, time will tell …

How many Premier League goals will Erling Haaland score this season?

Erling Haaland has done what Erling Haaland does and yet many seem surprised by his goalscoring feats at Man City. His stats at every single club he has played for have been phenomenal and he is only likely to get better given he won’t turn 23 until July. Moreover, he has never played at a club as strong as Man City, a side that creates so many chances and dominates almost every game they play.

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With the 2022/23 season yet to reach its halfway point, the young Norwegian has already smashed several records but just how many Premier League goals might he score this campaign? Well, let’s take a look at his stats so far:

  • Appearances – 16
  • Goals – 21
  • Expected goals – 15.81
  • Goals per game – 1.31
  • Percentage of City’s PL games played – 94%
  • Hit woodwork – 2
  • Big chances missed – 12
  • Discipline – 3 yellow cards, 0 red cards

Goals Per Game Forecast

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On one level we might predict that Haaland will score 50 goals this season. If we multiply the 38-game season by his current average of 1.31 we get a total of 49.78. However, he has already missed one game for City and it would be reasonable to expect him to miss more during the second half of the campaign.

He does not tend to get suspended but has suffered from injuries in past seasons, playing an average of just 26 league games in his last two seasons with Borussia Dortmund. In addition, as City press for glory on four fronts this season, it is likely he will be rested at some stage. If we are generous and assume he avoids injury for the most part we might forecast that he plays 34 Premier League matches.

Using that figure of 34 and his current strike rate gives us a total of 44.54, so perhaps 45 goals is a better prediction. That is certainly plausible, with many pundits and experts believing he will reach at least 40. The bookies make him a red-hot favourite to be the leading scorer in the Premier League – he has a six-goal advantage over Harry Kane at the time of writing. However, according to the odds he has only around a 30-40% chance of reaching 40 goas, let alone 45.

PL Golden Boot History

Haaland’s 21-goal haul would be enough to win (including ties) the Premier League Golden Boot in six seasons of the competition’s history. The most goals scored in a single season is 34, achieved by Andy Cole in 1993/94 and Alan Shearer in the following campaign. Both of those were 42-game seasons though and the record since the reduction to 20 teams is 32 (Mo Salah in 2017/18). Indeed, players have only reached 30+ goals seven times in a 38-match campaign. Clearly, then, history is against Haaland reaching 40.

Haaland will score …

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Whilst the Norwegian brute’s tally of 12 big chances missed may suggest he could actually score a lot more goals, a closer analysis of his expected goals (xG) suggests the opposite. Only Liverpool’s misfiring Darwin Nunez has missed more big chances than Haaland but the former Dortmund man is hugely outperforming his xG. Over his career, he has always done that but this term at City he is even outperforming his historic overperformance!

If we ignore his earlier campaigns in Norway and Austria – which were not truly at the highest level, and also came when he was very, very young – we can see that he has always made more of his chances than the algorithms would have predicted.

Season Club Goals Expected
Difference Excess Goals
Per Game
2022/23 City 21 15.81 5.19 0.32
2021/22 Borussia Dortmund 22 17.03 4.97 0.21
2020/21 Borussia Dortmund 27 23.60 3.40 0.12
2019/20 Borussia Dortmund 13 8.89 4.11 0.27

Having analysed all the factors we believe that Erling Haaland will score 39 Premier League goals this season. We feel he may not quite hit the magical 40 due to the likelihood of him playing fewer than the maximum of 37 games (he has already missed one) and also because of a drop-off in his performance against xG to bring him closer to his norm.

That said, if City really hit their stride in the title run-in, which they might have to in order to hunt (to quote Haaland) Arsenal, they could start scoring even more freely. And if they do, a haul of 45 or more goals could certainly be within reach for the incredible striker.

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