The recent histories of Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion have been significantly intertwined.
Despite the Blues’ near invincibility during the 21st century, they have come off second-best in most of their transactions with the Seagulls, with performances on the pitch also mirroring how things have gone behind closed doors.
Chelsea have pinched a fair few Brighton alumni over the last couple of years, splashing out well in excess of £200m in fees and compensation, and that figure staggeringly doesn’t include the money spent on Paul Winstanley, Bruno Saltor, Ben Roberts and the 879 other members of backroom staff who have made the move from the AMEX Stadium to Stamford Bridge.
Potter left Chelsea in April / Visionhaus/GettyImages
Fee: £22m Chelsea fate: Sacked How Brighton replaced him: With a much better manager
Poor Graham Potter. You can’t blame him for jumping at the chance to join Chelsea, especially considering how hard he’d worked in his career to come within touching distance of such a glorious opportunity.
Todd Boehly was enamoured by former Ostersunds and Swansea boss Potter but he lacked the personality to tackle the job at Stamford Bridge and ultimately couldn’t grind out the results needed to buy him more time.
Cucurella’s move to Chelsea has been a disaster / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages
Fee: £56m plus £7m in add-ons Chelsea fate: Now their third or fourth choice left-back How Brighton replaced him: With a much better left-back
After one season at Brighton, in which he flittered between orthodox left-back and a centre-half in a back three, it made sense for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea to make a move for Marc Cucurella. Hey, remember Thomas Tuchel?
For that price as well as sending Levi Colwill down to the south coast on loan, the Spaniard had to hit the ground running. He essentially crash-landed and is yet to recover.
Cucurella was nearly farmed out to Manchester United on loan until the Red Devils plumped for Sergio Reguilon instead, and now he’s behind Ben Chilwell and Colwill in the pecking order. If push came to shove, Ian Maatsen might too be preferred.
Caicedo is yet to really settle at Chelsea / MB Media/GettyImages
Fee: £115m Chelsea fate: Undecided but early signs aren’t promising How Brighton replaced him: With another FM wonderkid
Sure, Moises Caicedo’s ascension has been rapid and he was impressive at Brighton last season, but a British-record £115m? Did Chelsea not bother trying to sign anyone else instead?
That’s a rhetorical question, obviously. We know they tried to sign everyone else.
The Ecuadorian has struggled during his opening few matches as a Chelsea player, but due to the added pressure that comes with his price tag and representing such a big club, he’s unlikely to gain much sympathy.
Colwill has stayed at Chelsea / Visionhaus/GettyImages
Fee: £0m Chelsea fate: Core member for years to come How Brighton replaced him: WIth a bloke called ‘Igor’
This one is cheating a bit because Colwill was never a permanent Brighton player, nor did Chelsea sign him. That’s why he’s not top, but it doesn’t stop us putting him on the list altogether.
To Chelsea’s credit, they did manage to tie Colwill down to a new deal amid further interest from Brighton and their own strange desire to sell academy products for pure profit. A small win in a year of big losses.
Sanchez is Chelsea’s number one / Visionhaus/GettyImages
Fee: £25m Chelsea fate: Displaced a goalkeeper who has joined Real Madrid How Brighton replaced him: With Sunderland Til I Die star Jason Steele
The primary reason why Robert Sanchez is top of this list is because it’s early days and everyone else here has seemingly tried to bottom out. Normality should be restored for someone who was Brighton’s third-choice goalkeeper by the time he left.
Nevertheless, Sanchez has looked a competent Premier League goalkeeper for Chelsea despite their woes. What a damning indictment that he’s number one.
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