Chelsea have spent the last decade splurging massive amounts of Roman Abramovich’s cash. Even the summer 2013 window, a quiet one by the Blues’ standards, saw them spend £63,200,000 on five players. A total of £767,700,000 has been spent by the Russian on transfer fees alone, and not all of that cash has been invested wisely.
Value is not only defined by monetary worth, but also by the usefulness or importance to the posessor, and the introduction of Financial Fair Play has added an extra dimension to transfer negotiations. Will potential signings offer enough value to justify inflated price tags? Will they do enough to earn their wages? These questions can be answered by applying the same mathematical formula that this writer has used to calculate the most valuable players in the current Chelsea squad.
Financial outlay (transfer fee + accumulated wages* per this database) divided by goals (or clean sheets for ‘keepers), games played and trophies won. Those three figures are then added together and divided by three to give the mean cost of each player’s contribution to the club. The lower the cost, the higher the value.
Now that we’ve gotten the science bit out of the way, let’s take a lot at the somewhat surprising results.
*The financial outlay on both John Terry and Frank Lampard were slightly different due to their length of service to the club. John Terry’s wages were averaged over five years, then halved to give a further five, then halved again for his first five years at the club. Lampard’s were averaged over five years, then halved for the preceding seven. The resulting figures are a good approximation of their cost to the club when bonuses are factored in.
Ashley Cole moved across London from Arsenal in 2006 and has not looked back since. He has reached 100 caps for England and appeared 323 times for Chelsea, scoring seven goals. His knack for arriving in the right place at the right time has saved the side on more than one occasion, and he has won more FA Cup winners medals than any other player.
Cole has won nine trophies with the Blues and takes home £120,000 a week, giving him an average value per contribution of £5,221,694.
Despite his moments of madness, David Luiz has established himself as a cult hero to Chelsea fans since arriving in London in January 2011. He has scored 12 goals in 119 appearances and won three trophies. His weekly wage of £75,000 makes his average cost per contribution £4,750,039.
Juan Mata cost Chelsea £23,500,000 when he moved from Valencia in summer 2011. He earns £67,000 a week and scored 33 goals for the club in 127 appearances. Combined with the three trophies he has helped the team to win, his mean value per contribution stands at £3,904,284.
Demba Ba arrived at Chelsea in the January 2012 transfer window for £7 million. He has scored six goals in 27 appearances and is on wages of £80,000 a week, making his cost per contribution £3,531,120.
While his goals-per-game average of 0.22 is slightly lower than Fernando Torres’ 0.27, the Spaniard’s enormous transfer fee skewed the numbers in Ba’s favour.
Ramires joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2010 for a fee of just under £20 million and takes home £55,000 a week in wages. He has won three trophies in three years and scored 26 goals in 162 appearances, giving him a mean value per contribution of £3,462,703.
Michael Essien was a key figure in Jose Mourinho’s first Chelsea team. Nicknamed “The Bison” for his powerful box-to-box runs, Essien cost the Blues £24,400,000 in summer 2005. He has helped the team to win nine trophies in that time, taking home wages of £70,000 a week.
Two of his 25 goals for the club have been voted as goals of the season, and he has made 249 appearances to date, costing the club £2,695,905 per contribution.
John Terry is Chelsea’s most successful captain ever. He has picked up 14 trophies in his 15 years at the club and made 587 appearances, scoring 56 goals in the process. Having graduated from the club’s academy, Terry’s wages are what put him so low down the list, with a cost per contribution of £2,369,987.
Gary Cahill joined Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers in January 2012 for a fee of just over £7 million. He said at the time that he had moved in order to win trophies, and a few months later he had lifted both the FA Cup and Champions League. He has since added the Europa League to his collection of medals and has scored eight goals for the club. Cahill’s wages of £80,000 a week, when added to his transfer fee, give him a mean cost per contribution of £2,082,691.
In May 2013, Frank Lampard became Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, as he passed Bobby Tambling’s total of 202 goals for the club. His current total stands at 205, and having scored over 20 goals a season for five years running, he played a key role in winning 13 trophies for the Blues. Currently on wages of £125,000 Lampard’s average cost per contribution is £1,890,631.
Branislav Ivanovic has recently re-asserted his place as Chelsea’s first-choice right-back. The Serbian international moved to Stamford Bridge in January 2008, although he did not make his first appearance until the beginning of the 2008-09 season. Since then, he has made 232 appearances, scoring 23 goals and winning seven trophies in the process. His mean value per contribution is £1,670,884.
Petr Cech joined Chelsea at the age of 22, just a few weeks before Jose Mourinho first arrived at the club. He quickly ousted Carlo Cudicini to become the Blues’ first-choice ‘keeper and is still among the best shot-stoppers in the world. His heroics in the Champions League Final will never be forgotten, and he has kept 203 clean sheets in 445 appearances. Cech’s medal haul is equal to Frank Lampard’s, with 13 trophies won, and his wages of £100,000 a week cannot prevent him from being Chelsea’s most valuable player, with a mean cost per contribution of £1,467,977.