Mauricio Pochettino said football’s stakeholders should not be hypocritical in their judgement of Chelsea after the club’s spending surpassed £1billion under the ownership of Todd Boehly.

The £40million signing of Cole Palmer from Manchester City on Friday pushed total outlay during the last 16 months into 10 figures, with more than £400m having been spent on 12 players in the summer window alone.

That has in part been offset by player sales for significant fees earlier in the window with 14 first-team departures since the end of the last season, most notably midfielders Kai Havertz and Mason Mount who left for a combined £120m.

It was also confirmed on Friday that 20-year-old striker Mason Burstow has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan while Callum Hudson-Odoi has signed for Nottingham Forest, ending a 16-year association with the club.

Chelsea host Forest at Stamford Bridge on Saturday looking to make it three wins in a row after victories against Luton in the Premier League and AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup.

The manager has previously said that anything less than Champions League qualification in his first season will be deemed a failure following the owners’ mammoth transfer outlay which has seen them break the British transfer record twice in 2023.

And with Boehly still relatively inexperienced in European football, Pochettino was at pains to emphasise his responsibility to help guide and advise his employer.

“You can talk about being very surprised about (the billion-pound landmark), or not,” said Pochettino. “It depends. Today football is… we need to evolve. Today it’s different. Completely different. We manage a different type of numbers.

“If 20 years ago we had thought this was going to happen, maybe no one would believe it. But today, it’s normal in football, this type of money moving around.

“It’s a big business, football. And we cannot stop. I think we all get the benefit here, no? I think we cannot be hypocrites. To be involved in football in different areas, you (the press) there or me here. We are living all (what) that business produces.

“I’m not going to be here to give lessons to anyone, but I think football is about getting a good balance. For me, yes Chelsea is spending money. But also it’s selling players. Money in and money out.

“In that case, people arrive in a club in the Premier League like our owners, it’s normal. They want to settle and develop their project, and we are people that are going to help them to be right in their decisions, because we are professionals of football.

“We are giving our vision and advice, and of course after (that) it’s up to them. That is a very special situation that happened from the beginning.”

Pochettino will have Mykhailo Mudryk available for selection after the winger missed last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Luton.

The Ukraine international, who signed for £88m from Shakhtar Donetsk in January but is yet to score or consistently show the kind of form that persuaded Chelsea to bring him to west London, has played just 54 minutes this season and is yet to start a game under Pochettino.

“He’s a very talented player,” said the manager. “He needs to first of all, before talking about football, he needs to feel comfortable, feel really strong in his body. He suffered (during) the (under-21) Euros, he only played one game (because) he was suffering from some injury.

“When I arrived here was never consistent in training, always something happened. Now we are focused and trying to help me to be really strong, healthy and feel good to start to perform.

“No one can perform if they do not feel strong and really confident in your body. It’s time we need to build his confidence. We are working. I hope in the next few weeks he starts to find his best form to start to help the team.”

Chelsea are set to take their spending under Todd Boehly to a whopping £1billion if they can get deals for Romeo Lavia and Michael Olise over the line.

The American has splashed the cash since taking over at Stamford Bridge, backing Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Mauricio Pochettino heavily in the transfer market.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the biggest deals.

Moses Caicedo (£115million)


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc)



The Blues beat off competition from Liverpool for the signature of the highly-rated Brighton midfielder, who is the third most expensive under-21 player in the world behind Kylian Mbappe and Joao Felix. They paid £100m up front, but that could rise to £115m depending on certain criteria.

Enzo Fernandez (£106.8m)


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Enzo Fernández | EF13 (@enzojfernandez)


Chelsea smashed the British transfer record when they signed the World Cup winner from Benfica in the January transfer window for an outright £106m, surpassing Jack Grealish’s fee for his move from Aston Villa to Manchester City.

Mykhailo Mudryk (£88.5m)

The Ukraine star cost £62million up front when he joined from Shakhtar Donetsk in January, but that fee could rise to £88.5m with possible add-ons.

Wesley Fofana (£75m)

Chelsea were after defensive reinforcements when they signed Wesley Fofana from Leicester. The France international cost £70million, with a possible further £5m to be paid to the Foxes in add-ons.

Marc Cucurella (£63m)

Chelsea have looked to Brighton on a number of occasions and, a few months before Graham Potter made the move from the Amex, the Blues signed left-back Cucurella for £56m, with a further £7m due in extras.

Chelsea’s season plumbed new depths in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal, not just in that it was the sixth defeat of Frank Lampard’s six-game reign but also the manner in which the team seemed to disintegrate in the first half.

It is difficult to see where the team’s next win is coming from, and with three of the top four still to play as well as a trip to buoyant Bournemouth on Saturday, it may not come until August.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what has gone wrong and what hope this team have for the future.

How much worse can it get?

Materially, the answer appears to be ‘not much’. The team are not going to be relegated, though on current form that might be certain only because the season will run out of games before Chelsea run out of points.

The concern now is about what damage is being done to the players, staff and supporters psychologically on this desperately poor run-in, and how much time it will take to repair.

For a team this expensively assembled to lose six in a row – part of a winless run of eight during which only two goals have been scored – speaks to something more serious than a side lacking confidence and form.

Chelsea played like strangers in losing to Arsenal, world-class players seemingly unable to perform. The squad seem in a state of shock. The road back will not be straightforward.

What can be done in the short term?

The club appear to be damned whichever direction they move in.

Nobody could have predicted the speed or extent to which Lampard has looked out of his depth, but making yet another change barely a month after the latest one would not reflect well on the club.

Equally, putting the next permanent manager in the dugout now rather than letting him start with the spotlight off during the close-season could short-circuit the reboot at its inception.

Is there any good news?

Yes – the season is only five games from being over, but that could also be the bad news if losses keep piling up.

Yet for all the criticism of the way Todd Boehly has gone about Chelsea’s business, he has in an albeit wasteful and roundabout way assembled many of the parts that the club need in order to be a force again.

In Enzo Fernandez they have a genuine star of world football around whom a truly great team can be built, while Joao Felix – if he stays – is a game-changing talent with limitless potential.

Benoit Badiashile and Mykhailo Mudryk are fine young players starting to show signs of acclimatisation, and Wesley Fofana has hinted in flashes at why he was so highly regarded during his time at Leicester.

Scoring goals is a problem, and Christopher Nkunku – when he arrives from RB Leipzig in the summer – could be part of the solution.

Yet there remains the absence of a clinical, proven goalscorer and it is hard to see this team competing next season without one.

Could Pochettino be the man to turn things around?

This is another reason for supporters not to abandon hope. Mauricio Pochettino looks a decent fit for the urgent work that needs doing, with a proven record of transforming a squad of callow hopefuls into performers on the very biggest stage.

He ticks a lot of the boxes: tactical nous; good with young players; able to handle mature stars and their not-so-mature egos; charismatic.

Yet there is an almost unprecedented rebuild required at the club, and what success he has enjoyed in the past will not be a guarantee of anything.

If he is to turn things around, it will not happen overnight. But if anybody is going to get the club back on track, Pochettino looks as good a bet as anybody on the market.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.