Footballing Weekly: Have Chelsea gone mad with their spending spree?

Record signing of Enzo Fernandez caps insane player accumulation since start of season, even as they are struggling in 10th place

Benfica's Enzo Fernandez is Chelsea-bound after a record English Premier League transfer deal.
Benfica's Enzo Fernandez is Chelsea-bound after a record English Premier League transfer deal. (PHOTO: Valter Gouveia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Have Chelsea gone mad with their insane spending spree this English Premier League season?

Not content with spending nearly £300 million in the previous transfer window - and sacking previous manager Thomas Tuchel - the Blues have saddled struggling manager Graham Potter with even more players during the January transfer window.

The latest news saw the London club agreeing to pay the release clause of a staggering £106.7 million to sign Argentina's World Cup star Enzo Fernandez from Portuguese side Benfica.

This is a league-record signing, eclipsing the £100 million Manchester City paid Aston Villa for England international Jack Grealish in 2021. In total, Chelsea have signed eight players this transfer window, in hopes of lifting them off the 10th position they are mired in the EPL table.

It is an unprecedented spending spree, made possible by Chelsea handing out long contracts — as much as eight-and-a-half ears for Fernandez, for example — to allow the club to spread the cost of the signings over the length of the deals and comply with financial fair-play regulations.

But is this spending good for the Premier League? Can it be sustainable for the other clubs to try and emulate Chelsea's spree? Or have Chelsea effectively "killed" the EPL with their lavish spending, ensuring future deals will be inflated to outrageous sums by greedy agents?

Check out this week's "Footballing Weekly" podcast show with co-hosts Neil Humphreys and Chia Han Keong, as they examine the transfer window with guest James Walton, Deloitte's Southeast Asia sports business group leader.

Follow the new EPL season with all three segments of this week's "Footballing Weekly" show on YouTube. If you wish the hear the show in its entirety, visit the show's Spotify and Acast pages.

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