Chelsea legend slams his ex-club for ‘missing out’ on signing £70m Prem trio – ‘I have no idea why’

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea transfer mistake
James Ward-Prowse battles James Maddison.

Chelsea legend Frank Leboeuf has hit out at his former club after they “missed out” on signing three experienced Premier League players in the summer.

The Premier League club’s spending under owner Todd Boehly surpassed £1bn during the summer transfer window as they oversaw a huge summer overhaul.

Chelsea are building for the future as they have focused on signing players aged under 25 on long-term contracts and this model is yet to reap rewards.

The Blues finished 12th in the Premier League last season and they have won just one of their first six league games this term. They travel to face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday night in what is a must-win game for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Last month, it was reported that Chelsea’s club chiefs ‘set a 25-and-under rule on their incoming summer business as they looked to build a squad that could see them through the next decade’. It was also noted that this saw the Blues decide against signing James Maddison and James Ward-Prowse from Leicester City and Southampton respectively.

Maddison (£40m to Tottenham) and Ward-Prowse (£30m to West Ham) have been among the best players in the Premier League this season.

Lebeouf thinks the England duo – along with Aston Villa newie Youri Tielemans – would have “served Chelsea well” had they signed them in the summer.

“I look at Ward-Prowse and Maddison and they’re doing so well. I have no idea why Chelsea didn’t move for either of those,” Leboeuf told

“They should have phoned me! Why is Ward-Prowse not in the squad? There are a few others, too, like Tielemans and Maddison. Chelsea missed out on these players as they could have served Chelsea well.”

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Lebeouf has also argued that Chelsea’s current squad lacks leaders and “that’s the main problem”.

“I’d say the people in charge of recruitment are the most to blame. It’s okay to sign young players to long contracts if they’re committed, but the board has forgotten to balance the team,” Leboeuf added.

“The spine of the team is very young apart from Silva and there’s not much experience there. Even Enzo Fernandes looks very young, despite knowing the game inside out.

“I don’t see the leadership, and that’s the main problem. The recruitment team didn’t think of that, and I think everybody is responsible. Boely approved the deals and Pochettino is in charge. If I was asked to manage Chelsea, even I’d say no!

“The lack of leadership is an irreversible problem – and I don’t know how they can fix that.”

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