How Chelsea splashed 118m pounds to sign five players this summer
David Luiz Stamford bridge return headlines deadline day signings
C helsea agreed a dramatic deadline-day deal to re-sign David Luiz from Paris St-Germain just hours after head coach Antonio Conte gave the green light on the Brazilian's return.
In one of the shocks of the transfer window, the 29-year-old central defender is returning to Stamford Bridge for £30 million, two years after Chelsea sold him for £50 million.
Together with the confirmation of the £23 million signing of left-back Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina , Chelsea took their summer spending to £118 million and significantly boosted Conte's defensive options.
Marcos Alonso also joined on deadline day for £23m CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
L uiz’s move – a three-year contract – was confirmed just after 11pm.
“I’m delighted to return to Chelsea. We had a fantastic story during my first time at the club and I want to help the team and Antonio Conte achieve a lot of success,” he said.
“I always had a wonderful relationship with the fans and I am looking forward to wearing the blue shirt at Stamford Bridge once again.”
Luiz’s social media platforms quickly gave away his new club
C helsea's move for Luiz was easily the most astonishing deal of the final day, although there was also surprise as Jack Wilshere decided to join Bournemouth, with the Arsenal midfielder opting for Eddie Howe's side over offers from Roma and Crystal Palace . The England international was last night undergoing a medical before putting pen to paper on a season-long loan deal.
Three clubs were also set to break their transfer records on the final day, with Leicester on the verge of completing a £28 million move for Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani, Sunderland spending £15 million on Lorient midfielder Didier Ndong, and Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick moving from Derby to Burnley for £10 million.
Manchester City lightened their squad by sending four players out on loan, with England goalkeeper Joe Hart joining Torino, Samir Nasri heading to Sevilla, Wilfried Bony moving to Stoke City and Valencia completing a deal for Eliaquim Mangala.
There was late loan interest in Aymen Abdennour, but Luiz’s signing ended any chance of signing the Valencia defender CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
T he major news revolved around Chelsea's bid for Luiz, however, which came after the club feared they would miss out on landing a centre-back in this window after failing with bids for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Milan's Alessio Romagnoli. A loan deal was set up for Valencia central defender Aymen Abdennour, with the Blues having seemingly run out of permanent options.
The club were then presented with the opportunity to re-sign Luiz on Tuesday night, but it was not until Conte gave his blessing yesterday that the move accelerated.
Luiz travelled to England via Eurostar yesterday afternoon to agree personal terms and complete a medical, as Chelsea abandoned their discussions over Abdennour. Chelsea confirmed their agreement to re-sign Luiz with a statement that read: “Chelsea Football Club and Paris St-Germain have agreed terms for the transfer of David Luiz back to London. The move is now subject to him agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.”
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16 – David Luiz made 16 blocks during Chelsea’s 2011-12 CL campaign; seven more than any other Chelsea player. Blue.
10:53 PM – 31 Aug 2016
H aving earned a reputation for taking unnecessary risks and making costly mistakes during his first three-year spell at Chelsea, Luiz does not appear to fit Conte's criteria for a central defender. But the Brazilian gives Conte the option to switch to three at the back and, crucially, can carry the ball out of defence – something Chelsea have missed ever since his departure.
Alonso is an attacking full-back who could operate as a left wing-back and allow César Azpilcueta to move to the right, which also points towards a long-term shift to a back three.
Conte now has cover in the full-back and central-defensive positions, having started the season with just four fit senior defenders. Kurt Zouma is also set to return from injury in the next month.
In a market in which they were quoted £60 million for Koulibaly and £75 million for striker Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea believe Luiz represents good value as he is an international who has played at the top level in Europe for five years and has experience of the Premier League.
Chelsea believe Luiz represents good value with Premier League and international experience CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
H aving handed John Terry a new contract at the end of last season, Chelsea's defence now has a blast-from-the-past feel. Alonso will be a fresh face at Chelsea, but is also familiar with the Premier League after spending three years at Bolton Wanderers, when he was a team-mate of Gary Cahill for a year and a half, and five months on loan at Sunderland in 2014.
The 25-year-old is already known to Conte for his impressive performances for Fiorentina in Serie A and believes he can win silverware at Stamford Bridge. “I'm very happy,” said Alonso, who has signed a five-year contract. “It's a step up in my career and the perfect place for me to continue developing. It's time for me to win some titles.
“It was an easy decision for me to make when I heard the club were interested in signing me. My family and close friends know Chelsea is the club I have dreamed about playing for, so I'm really excited about the challenge and I'm looking forward to working with my new team-mates.”
C helsea have now signed five players since Conte's arrival this summer, with midfielder N'Golo Kanté, striker Michy Batshuayi and goalkeeper Eduardo the other recruits.
Juan Cuadrado became the latest to join the army of Chelsea players out on loan, as he sealed a three-season-long return to Juventus, where he was a great success last term. Conte had wanted to keep the 28-year-old in London, but Cuadrado favoured a return to Italy and Juventus are understood to have paid a loan fee in the region of £4 million, with the obligation to buy the winger if he makes a set number of appearances.
Milan failed with a late enquiry to take Cesc Fabregas on loan for the season, as the Spaniard would rather stay and fight for his place. Fabregas has yet to start in the Premier League this season and has lost his place in the Spain squad, which prompted Milan's interest.
Cuadrado has gone back to Juventus on a three-year loan deal CREDIT: AP
C helsea's deadline-day defensive business was done in the long-term expectation that 20-year-old Denmark international Andreas Christensen will return on a permanent basis next summer.
Christensen has just started the second season of his two-season loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach, but he is very much part of Chelsea's long-term planning and is expected to challenge for a first-team place next term.