Some of Chelsea‘s stars signed to long-term contracts are believed to have expressed regret over the length of their deals, according to reports.
The west London side’s uneven season appeared to hit new lows with Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to Wolves at Stamford Bridge, with home supporters vocally sharing their frustration with the side’s performance.
Signs of the rot setting in looked evident in a tweet posted by Belle Silva, the wife of veteran defender Thiago, after the final whistle, which seemed to call for the resignation of head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Pochettino himself cut a beleagured figure at full-time, sharing that he believed his players were ‘not good enough’ on the day and blaming himself as ‘the first one responsible’.
But despite the manager reassuring fans ahead of the club’s FA Cup replay against Aston Villa that he had ‘trust’ in his players – ‘more than ever’ – some of his players are thought to be struggling to understand the ‘project’ that was initially sold to them upon signing.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are in the throes of an uneven season that sees them stuck in 11th
Co-controlling owner spearheaded the approach of handing incoming stars mammoth deals
As per The Athletic, those who were handed long-term deals have privately discussed disatisfaction with the length of their contracts amid a feeling that the pitch from Chelsea’s side has not matched up with the reality of Pochettino’s plan.
Since the club’s May 2022 takeover, almost all of the players recruited during the record-busting three subsequent transfer windows were signed to long-term deals, most likely stemming from their keeness to exploit amortisation loopholes that in turn spread eye-watering transfer fees across the length of the contract itself.
The Premier League voted to limit contract amortisation to just five years after Chelsea’s audacious play across the three windows in December 2023.
January 2023 purchases Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez – purchased for a combined £195.6million – are both contracted to the club until 2031, as were summer signings Nicolas Jackson and Moises Caicedo, whose £115m move from Brighton broke the British transfer record set by Fernandez six months earlier.
Nine other players signed over the past four windows are contracted until 2030, including Robert Sanchez, Djordje Petrovic, Benoit Badiashile, Malo Gusto, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu, Cole Palmer, Noni Madueke, and Deivid Washington – who has played just nine league minutes for the club this season.
Falling to Wolves sees the club stuck in eleventh after their 10-game unbeaten home record was snuffed out on Sunday afternoon.
Supporters in the stands joined in with Wolves fans’ chants that the club were ‘f***ing s***’ and booed Pochettino’s substitutions on an angry day in west London.
Enzo Fernandez (left) and Mykhailo Mudryk (right) are both contracted to the Blues until 2031
On Wednesday however Chelsea have a break from their Premier League woes with their trip to Villa Park.
The Blues boss thought his side had acquitted themselves well in the first meeting, but hinted that he was unable to decide on a team with so many players still being assessed ahead of the game.
‘It’s true we played well in the game we played at Stamford Bridge (against Villa),’ he said. ‘In football it is like this, we cannot change the past, only we can affect the future.
‘We told the players to be ready. We need to assess our players and until tomorrow I do not want to decide the team because it is about assessing.’