Ranking eight transfers between Chelsea and the rest of the panicky six by how much they’re taking the PSR

Matt Stead
Newcastle midfielder Elliot Anderson, Aston Villa forward Omari Kellyman and Netherlands defender Ian Maatsen
The Premier League PSR transfer deadline was no disappointment

Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester, Newcastle and Nottingham Forest faced a deadline to make some player sales. Some of them took the PSR more others.


On June 6, it was reported that six panicky Premier League clubs faced sanctions for breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules unless they sold players before the end of the month.

Those rules currently allow clubs to lose a maximum £105m over a three-year period or face possible punishments such as points deductions, as Everton and Nottingham Forest discovered to their detriment last season.

Both of those clubs were named among the half-dozen under pressure to sell at least one prized asset, along with Aston Villa, Chelsea, newly promoted Leicester and Newcastle.

Those six sides were entirely coincidentally involved in eight transfers between one another, painstakingly described each time as ‘separate deals’ which just so happened to be negotiated and concluded concurrently.

The Premier League will examine each to deduce whether they represent fair market value or inflated deals designed as financial loopholes to make balance sheets look more flattering. They could even block the transfers or insist that some of the fee is returned, but the assessment criteria used means it is unlikely.

READ MOREThe 15 FMV factors Premier League will judge before allowing Chelsea, Aston Villa and Everton transfers

Some of the transfers conducted between Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester, Newcastle and Nottingham Forest were so standard that not even Carlo Ancelotti would raise an eyebrow; others are hilariously incongruous and more than a little questionable. Let’s rank them from least to most ridiculous.


8) Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester to Chelsea, £30m)
Even the biggest sceptic would struggle to find any issues with Leicester’s Player of the Season, who had three years remaining on his contract, two seasons of Premier League experience and admirers at Brighton, Manchester United and Tottenham, being involved in a £30m transfer.


7) Ian Maatsen (Chelsea to Aston Villa, £37.5m)
About four weeks before his move to the Midlands, Maatsen started in a Champions League final. Named in that season’s team of the tournament, he is a 22-year-old Netherlands international – although currently without a single minute at the Euros – who Borussia Dortmund wanted to sign permanently.

As an isolated deal, there can be no complaints.


6) Elliot Anderson (Newcastle to Nottingham Forest, £35m)
The initial reaction to seeing that price attached to a non-international who has started 13 career top-flight games – compared to 20 in League Two on loan at Bristol Rovers – was surprise and cynicism. A back injury sidelined Anderson for much of last season but despite the manager being an obvious fan, playing opportunities were never consistently available under Eddie Howe.

There will always be comparisons to other deals completely stripped of context; Newcastle themselves signed Bruno Guimaraes for roughly the same fee as Nottingham Forest handed over for a player only previously fought over by Gareth Southgate and Steve Clarke. But an evidently talented 21-year-old recruited in a position Forest clearly needed to reinforce soon adds up to a fairly substantial number.


5) Lewis Hall (Chelsea to Newcastle, £28m)
A tough one to evaluate, unique among these deals as it was arranged last summer with the loan only made permanent by Newcastle finishing above 15th in 2023/24. The guarantee of that in itself took longer than the Magpies would have wanted, coinciding with Hall finally breaking into the first team and establishing himself as one of a few English left-backs better than any the national side took to Euro 2024.

Hall had played 11 games for Chelsea before making the move; it was a monumental valuation then but he was at least their reigning Academy Player of the Year and the mild shock has long since worn off.


4) Lewis Dobbin (Everton to Aston Villa, £10m)
Having played almost three times as many games in one season on loan at Derby as he did for an Everton side he joined at the age of 11, Dobbin himself can hardly have expected a bit-part role under Sean Dyche would soon translate to a Champions League move.

Premier League clubs have previously celebrated reaching Europe’s premier competition for the first time by signing Roy Keane, Sergio Aguero, Mikel Arteta, Rafael van der Vaart or Jerzy Dudek, not a player with one career Premier League start.


3) Tim Iroegbunam (Aston Villa to Everton, £9m)
Not 24 hours later, and presumably after bumping into Dobbin on their respective ways in and out of Bodymoor Heath or Finch Farm, it was announced that Iroegbunam was headed to Everton.

The midfielder was less tenured at Villa, who he joined from West Brom for less than £1m in July 2021. Three years, three Villa starts and a relatively productive loan at QPR later, they turned a welcome 1,400% profit after Everton watched his 258 first-team minutes in 2023/24 and simply could not control themselves.


2) Omari Kellyman (Aston Villa to Chelsea, £19m)
The revelation of sudden Chelsea interest was the first time the name of Kellyman entered the wider footballing consciousness. Aston Villa and before them Derby have quietly championed the potential and anticipated the rise of the teenager, but beyond his academy and England age group confines, the layman will likely not have heard of Kellyman.

It was a similar story when Chelsea signed Carney Chukwuemeka and many feel Kellyman is the better prospect. It’s unclear where Chelsea were when Villa had free rein to sign him for £600,000 from Derby in March 2022, since which he has played 148 first-team minutes – 90 in a Europa Conference League qualifying play-off – and seen his value increase by more than 3,000%.

But Kellyman is at Stamford Bridge with his customary six-year contract, hoping to break through in the sort of attacking position Chelsea really are struggling for numbers. Maybe it is suspicious from a PSR point of view; perhaps Todd Boehly and friends have also committed to signing Estevao Willian and Kendry Paez, both 17, for a combined near £70m within the next year.

1) Odysseas Vlachodimos (Nottingham Forest to Newcastle, £12m)
If Nottingham Forest had signed Anderson for £23m, it might well have gone under the radar. But when they requested some accounting help in return, Newcastle ran through the biggest of all squad lists and eventually presumably reluctantly landed on one of the worst goalkeepers in the Premier League last season.

Forest signed Vlachodimos from Benfica for £7.7m in September, bringing him in to replace Matt Turner in November and dropping him five games, one win, four defeats and 12 conceded goals later in December, first to the bench and then, by February, out of the matchday squad altogether.

It was reported by March that Vlachodimos might well be sold, and that while Forest were ‘unlikely to recoup’ their initial outlay on the Greece international, his ‘value will not have diminished drastically’.

It was not far from being doubled. Newcastle saw Forest’s ostracised third-choice keeper and decided that he would be part of a goalkeeping department overhaul involving Loris Karius leaving, Martin Dubravka very likely being sold and John Ruddy joining, with a ludicrous amount of responsibility placed on Nick Pope’s injured shoulders to never miss another game ever again.

The best bit is that the current Forest keeper, and thus the player who essentially usurped Vlachodimos, spent a year barely playing for Newcastle in the Championship eight years ago before departing on loan and then permanently. Forest definitely wanted about £40m for Matz Sels, didn’t they?

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