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16 June 2009

The case against Chelsea buying Tevez

On Sunday it was Aguero, yesterday it was Gattuso and today we’re back to Tevez. Some of this morning’s papers, most notably the Sun, seem convinced that Chelsea are now favourites to land the Argentinean following a personal call made to the forward in Buenos Aires from Carlo Ancelotti. But should Chelsea really consider splashing at least £25m on him?

My gut reaction is no – if Tevez’s purchase would be intended to improve on Joe Cole, Malouda or Kalou we’d be better off keeping the money. He is unquestionably a good player – just not a great player, which is what teams like Chelsea and Man Utd need to improve on already good sides.

The clamour from Utd fans for their club to sign him, and the media’s bemusement at Ferguson’s stubborn refusal to do so (so far), seems to have amplified his supposed worth. The kind of figures being quoted for his signature are hugely disproportionate to his ability and certainly don’t befit someone who is essentially a Utd cast-off (in a normal marketplace – not the Man City/ Real Madrid parallel universe). If Utd aren’t prepared to spend that sort of money on a player they’ve retained for two years then we shouldn’t be either. 

Furthermore, he just isn’t the type of player Chelsea need at the moment: an attack-minded terrier who doesn’t score enough goals. Chelsea need inspiration off the wing, not another grafter.  

Looking over his performance in the league last season (and yes, he did have a better 07/08) the stats support the argument that he isn’t the man to replace players already at the club. Scoring 5 goals and making 3 assists in 1,858 minutes of football equates to a goal ever 372 minutes. Malouda has a superior scoring rate, scoring once every 337 minutes, and made 4 more assists than the Argentinean. Kalou – a candidate for the transfer list having seemingly reached the limit of his abilities - has a vastly superior scoring rate, with a goal every 214 minutes, and made 1 more assist. Joe Cole, who was obviously injured for the large part of the season, had a lower scoring rate than Tevez (1 every 480 minutes) but managed double the number of assists in that time. Hell, even Shaun Wright-Phillips, who Chelsea sold for £10m because he wasn’t good enough, had a scoring rate of one 1 every 487 minutes and managed 2 more assists than Tevez.

The numbers don’t stack up. Chelsea, leave him to Man City. That’s where he belongs. And let’s hope that’s where he does end up – another side rumoured to be interested in his services would be improved by him joining. They play in red…

nb. as a final point:  Tevez scored less points in the official Premier League ‘fantasy football’ competition than Bolton’s Kevin Davies, Fulham’s woeful Bobby Zamora and Aston Villa’s Emile Heskey. Not a perfect scientific measure, but interesting nonetheless…

Disagree and want to see him in Chelsea's blue next season? Post a comment.


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When I read your title I disagreed with you. I see Tevez as a hard working hustle type guy that any team would want on their side. But your argument is very solid. Getting a Man U cast-off is probably not something considered smart. And I also agree that he doesn't score that often. Well written.

Am inclined to agree with you. He is the sort of player fans love because he works so hard - but that's the one quality our team doesn't lack. Our team's probably one of the most committed, hard-working out there. What we need is flair. Someone to create magic from nothing, to help win the close games. Someone like a Robben-type (though preferably injured less). Not sure Tevez fits the bill.

Thanks Michael...glad the post made sense! I have a lot of respect for Tevez, but I'm just not convinced that he's exactly the sort of player we need.

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