Former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has raised questions about the Blues’ staggering £1 billion ($1.2bn) spending spree, expressing his unfamiliarity with some of their recent signings.
Since Todd Boehly’s takeover of the club in the summer of 2022, the Premier League giants have made substantial investments.
They have splurged eye-popping amounts of money on a roster that includes Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez, Malo Gusto, Christopher Nkunku, Axel Disasi, Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, and Cole Palmer.
Begovic, who spent two seasons at Stamford Bridge between 2015 and 2017, has told The Byline podcast of business in west London: “If you’re spending £115 million on Caicedo, surely you spend £120 million on Declan Rice? I don’t know Declan personally, I’m not saying he doesn’t want to play for Arsenal, but hand on heart, I think he’d have wanted to go to Chelsea.
You look at some of these players and think, ‘How is Declan Rice going somewhere else?’ Players like this, they would go to Chelsea in the past; players in their prime, and Declan Rice is in his prime.
“I watch football like a mad man and I’m not familiar with half these players! For me, it’s odd; the whole thing is very odd. I don’t see the construction of the team; this whole rebuilding transition phase is a bit of an excuse to me.
“I’m not saying I don’t like Enzo Fernandez, but if we’re going to spend £230 million on him and Caicedo, then I’d prefer Declan Rice over any of those players if I can get him. Get the best players through the door, please.”
Ex-Bosnia international Begovic, who took in 33 appearances for the Blues and is now on the books at Queens Park Rangers, added: “Honestly, I mean, in the last 12 months… what has happened at Chelsea football club? It just beggars belief. I mean, with the squad of players at Mauricio Pochettino’s disposal, the amount of money spent is 12th in the league—it’s mid-table! It is literally mid-table. If they were any higher, you would be working miracles. You have a bit of bad luck with Christopher Nkunku, I get it; he’s a top player. Cole Palmer has only just come in.
“But what is going on with the recruitment of these players? Why is Chelsea’s football club rebuilding? Why is Chelsea Football Club in a transition? This is one of the best. I mean, I’ve been there. I’m proud to have been there. It’s one of the best locations to play football in the world.
“I remember being with players in the dressing room, world class, world class, world class. Buying from Barcelona, buying from Real Madrid, and buying from Bayern Munich It’s like we’re buying from Brighton, potential players. And I get you need a part of that, but where is the top world-class players?”