We all know the story by now, I think. In early 2011, Chelsea had the rights to a young Serbian midfielder named Nemanja Matic, who was, naturally, on loan at Vitesse Arnhem. The Blues were also in desperate need of a centre back, and Benfica were in possession of a rather promising one named David Luiz. On deadline day, the two clubs were having trouble agreeing a deal to bring the curly-haired Brazilian to Stamford Bridge -- until Matic was added in as a makeweight.
Matic's inclusion in that transfer probably saved the Blues something like €5 million at the time. But it was never a particularly great idea, considering his potential. And here we are three years later, having to pay (we hope) something like five times that much to bring him back again. It's enough to make the club look a wee bit short-sighted.
Hilariously, though, Chelsea aren't the ones who made the biggest financial mistake on Matic in the past few years. Check this out:
Benfica originally owed TPO 25% of Matic's rights (from D. Luiz deal). TPO elected to take €500k instead. Oops. pic.twitter.com/AFDteGgc5Z— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) January 13, 2014
Chelsea might have under-valued Matic by a lot, but at least they didn't get it that wrong. Had the third-part owners -- in this case the Benfica Stars fund -- waited until this sale, they'd have made something like €7.5 million -- 1400 percent more than they actually got. Oops indeed.