Many Chelsea fans (and media) weren't very happy when Michael Emenalo was promoted from assistant coach to sporting director. Many, myself included, believed than Emenalo got the job due more to his friendship with Abramovich and overlooked the fact that he had previously been the chief scout for Chelsea.
So now after 6 transfer windows under Emenalo's direction I wanted to look back at the signings Emenalo has made since being hired to sporting director. To do so I broke down all non-youth signed players (so players that entered the first team or have been loaned out). I'm not grading the signings (for many it's too early) but I wanted to look at the signings from a financial perspective comparing the transfer fee to that of the current market value (according to transfermarkt) and including any income accumulated from the player being loaned out. I then compared the value a player brought to the team (market value + loan fees) and compared that to the price of purchasing the player. A negative net value doesn't mean the player was a bad signing, simply that Emenalo paid for a player's potential and the player hasn't quite reached it yet. Now not all these financial numbers will be 100% accurate, however, they should be close. Switching from euros to pounds at today's interest rate changes the cost of a signing compared to what it was one or two years ago. Final note, if a player has been sold then the market value will just be the sale price.
Summer of 2011-2012
Courtois (Genk) - price: £7.9m, market value: £20.8m, loan fees: £5m, net value: £17.85m
Romeu (Barcelona) - price: £4.4m, market value: £5m, loan fees: £0.8m, net value: £1.45m
Lukaku (Anderlecht) - price: £18m, market value: £20.8m, loan fees: £3m, net value: £5.8m
Mata (Valencia) - price: £23.5m, market value: £37.1m, net value: £13.6m
Davila (Guadalajara) - price: £1.8m, market value: £1.2m, net value: -£0.55m
Meireles (Liverpool) - price: £12m, market value: £8m, net value: -£4m
Winter of 2011-2012
Omeruo (Standard Liege) - price: £2m, market value: £1m, net value: -£1m
Cahill (Bolton) - price: £7m, market value: £15m, net value: £8m
Piazon (Sao Paulo) - price: £6.2m, market value: £4.2m, net value: -£2m
Bamford (Nottingham Forest) - price: £1m, market value: £1m, net value: £0
De Bruyne (Genk) - price: £6.7m, market value: £16.5, loan fees: £0.4m, net value: £10.4m
Summer of 2012-2013
Marin (Werder Bremen) - price: £6.7m, market value: £4.2m, net value: -£2.5m
E. Hazard (Lille) - price: £32m, market value: £37.5m, net value: £5.5m
T. Hazard (Lens) - price: £0.8m, market value: £5m, net value: £4.2m
Oscar (Internacional) - price: £19.5m, market value: £28.2m, net value: £8.7m
Azpilicueta (Marseille) - price: £7m, market value: £15m, net value: £8m
Moses (Wigan) - price: £7m, market value: £9.1m, loan fees: £1m, net value: £3.1m
Winter of 2012-2013
Wallace (Fluminense) - price: £4.2m, market value: £5m, loan fees: £1.2m, net value: £2m
Ba (Newcastle) - price: £7m, market value: £9m, net value: £2m
Summer of 2013-2014
Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen) - price: £18.7m, market value: £16.6m, net value: -£2.1m
van Ginkel (Vitesse) - price: £8m, market value: £7.5m, net value: -£0.5m
Cuevas (O'Higgins) - price: £1.7m, market value: £1.4m, net value: -£0.3m
Perica (Zadar) - price: £2m, market value: £0.6m, net value: -£1.4m
Willian (Anzhi) - price: £30m, market value: £25m, net value: -£5m
Atsu (Porto) - price: £3.5m, market value: £5m, net value: £1.5m
(Eto'o and Schwarzer both came in on free transfers and have been excluded from this review)
Winter of 2013-2014
Matic (Benfica) - price: £21m, market value: £20.8m, net value: -£0.2m
Salah (Basel) - price: £11m, market value: £10.8m, net value: -£0.2m
Zouma (Saint-Etienne) - price: £12.5m, market value: £8.3m, net value: -£4.2m
In six transfer periods Chelsea has spent £283m or just over £47m a transfer period. With that amount of money Emenalo should be doing well but I think he's doing exceptionally well. The current players Emenalo has signed have a combined £340m value, meaning Emenalo has received a 19.98% return on his investments. Including the £11m Chelsea has recouped in loan fees alone (mostly from Courtois and Lukaku) Chelsea has netted £67.95m in value since his arrival. That means every transfer period Chelsea is gaining about £11m in value when we add players. That's pretty amazing.
One of the reasons why I think Emenalo has been succeeding is that Emenalo seems to do a good job of not overpaying for talent. Matic and Salah have not been wearing blue very long but both have already reached their market value. Now some of this makes sense, seeing as that's what the market valued them at when Chelsea acquired them, but the fact that with just some development CFC could sell these players at a profit is amazing. Normally you see teams acquire a player at a 20-50% markup over their market value because you're buying potential. Zouma is a good case of this. If we look at the last year's worth of signings alone, Salah, Matic, Willian, Cuevas, van Ginkel and Schurrle are all near their acquired price with limited development since signing. Atsu has already surpassed his fee and by the end of the season could be worth 200% of his transfer fee within a single season.
Emenalo has also hit on all his big signings. Lukaku, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, and Matic are all big signings (the last 5 were the signings over £20m and Lukaku was a huge fee for an unproved 18 year old). Going 6 for 6 is more than just good luck but after a handful of big signings missing, we were due for a good streak.
If we look at just the players that have negative value they seem to fall into of three groups. Group 1 is full ofyoung players that haven't yet had the time to reach their transfer fee yet (or transfermarkt hasn't adjusted their market value yet). These players include Schurrle, van Ginkel, Cuevas, Perica, Willian, Matic, Salah, Zouma, Omeruo, and Piazon. It seems clear that Matic, Omeuo and Piazon are worth more than their transfer fees already. Schurrle has been blocked out of the starting 11 by Hazard which says more about Hazard than Schurrle. van Ginkel has missed almost the entire season with an injury, limiting his market value. Of this group, I don't think anyone would argue against a single signing.
Group 2 are emergency buys that haven't worked out. Marin was insurance against CFC not making the Champions League and missing out on much needed attacking reinforcements (Aren't you now even more happy about Drogba being Drogba in Munich? Without his game tying goal we'd have missed out on Hazard and would have had to put more trust in Marin's health). Meireles is the other person in this group and was just as much insurance as Marin. Essien was injured again (maybe missing the season) and Levy had just rebuked our way too expensive offer for Modric and Chelsea NEEDED a MF. Meireles was available and EPL experienced. Selling him a year later at a loss shows he was a 1 year bridge and that was it. However, he did help us win the Champions League and that's easily worth a £4m transfer loss anyday.
The final group consists of one player. Davila. Again alone. He seemed an odd buy at the time, between his age and the league he was coming from. However, at under £2m how bad of a gamble could it really be? If he was Chicharito 2.0 he'd have been a much needed ST option. He wasn't and isn't and seems likely to be sold back to Mexico or to the US after this season at a loss. If you have to miss, miss on a cheap player.
Also, Emenalo seems to be doing a good job getting loan fees for our youngsters. It might seem like a small thing for a big club but loan fees are an easy and effective way to mitigate some of the risk and cost of buying a new player. It also literally pays back some of the transfer fee costs. Courtois has paid for close to 62.5% of his transfer fee in loans alone. Wallace, while perhaps not having the best season at Inter Milan, has recouped Chelsea £1.2m of his £4.2m transfer fee. That's not bad work in today's FFP world.