£39m wasted: Which Chelsea players earned their wages in the previous season?

It’s safe to say 2018/19 was an extremely weird season for Chelsea.

The west London side were at one point in ‘crisis’ following a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City and a League Cup final defeat from Pep Guardiola’s side two weeks later, but with the season now all done and dusted the Blues can stand proud after securing a second Europa League trophy and Champions League football for next term.

But which Chelsea players actually earned their wages during 2018/19, and which proved to be a burden on the club’s finances? Football FanCast rank some of Chelsea’s first-team squad below and ask who really earned their keep based on figures from Spotrac

Goalkeepers

Kepa Arrizabalaga (£7,800,000 p/y)

Signed for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga joined Chelsea with some big gloves to fill following the departure of Thibaut Courtois, but the Spaniard was quick to adapt to the Premier League and looks likely to be the main man between the sticks in west London for many years to come.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Willy Caballero (£2,080,000 p/y)

The life of a second-choice goalkeeper can be a lonely one, especially if your manager is one to keep using the same keeper for every game no matter the competition, and for Willy Caballero, who made just nine appearances all campaign. Over £2m seems a pretty steep cost for that – although things could’ve been different if he’d made it on for the League Cup penalty shootout, only to be stopped by Kepa-gate.

Has he earned his wage?: No

Rob Green (£1,300,00 p/y)

If the life of a second-choice keeper was already boring, try being third-choice, which is exactly what Rob Green settled for last season, making zero appearances yet stealing the hearts of Chelsea fans everywhere for his more than enthusiastic celebrations following the Europa League final. Some say dressing room and fan base morale is priceless, but in pure footballing terms Green has been paid a handsome sum essentially to be a glorified mascot.

Has he earned his wage?: No

Defenders

Cesar Azpilicueta (£4,680,000 p/y)

The change to a 4-3-3 saw Cesar Azpilicueta return back to his favoured right-back position, and the Spaniard didn’t look a step out of beat in an area of the pitch he hadn’t played in for a while, making the flank his own and being defensively sound as ever.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Davide Zappacosta (£3,640,000 p/y)

With Azpilicueta performing well, it was another forgettable season for Davide Zappacosta, who yet again played second fiddle and saw the majority of his starts in Europe, although the Italian didn’t even start the final.

Has he earned his wage?: No

Antonio Rudiger (£5,200,000 p/y)

If there’s one centre-back who has continued to impress for Chelsea over the last two seasons, it’s Antonio Rudiger. The German international has been a rock in the Blues defence ever since his move from Roma, and last term was no different, manning the backline well and asserting himself as an incredibly solid central defender.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Andreas Christensen (£4,160,000 p/y)

Many great things were expected of Andreas Christensen, but it was a season to forget for the Danish international. The defender was left out by Maurizio Sarri on numerous occasions in the league and saw most of his football in the Europa League. His wages aren’t gigantic but after impressing so much under Antonio Conte, 2018/19 should have been the season in which Christensen really came into his own.

Has he earned his wage?: No

Gary Cahill (£5,200,000 p/y)

After seven years at Chelsea, Cahill will call time at his glittering career in west London this summer, and at the perfect time too. The former England international was underused massively by Sarri, playing just eight games all season, resulting in the former Bolton man looking for options elsewhere in the final years of his career.

Has he earned his wage?: No

David Luiz (£6,240,000 p/y)

David Luiz retained his starting XI spot when Sarri came rolling into town, but with such a high wage for a player of his quality, Chelsea can do better in the future than the Brazilian defender with that sort of money.

Has he earned his wage?: Just about

Marcos Alonso (£5,200,000 p/y)

It seemed liked forever ago when Marcos Alonso was one of the top left-backs in the Premier League, but a change to a flat-back-four has seen the Spaniard’s form dip massively and even resulted in the former Fiorentina man losing his spot to Emerson.

Has he earned his wage?: Just about

Emerson (£2,184,000 p/y)

After such a poor season from Alonso, it’s understandable why fans and Sarri were impressed with Emerson’s performances when called upon. The Italian international stepped up to the plate well whenever he was named in the starting XI and could be in with a chance of being the permanent first-choice at left-back next season.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Midfielders

Jorginho (£5,720,000 p/y)

Chelsea splashing £50 million on Jorginho was always a weird transfer from the start, but the Italian has been somewhat of a success for the club in between the fans debating whether the Italian really needed to be signed with N’Golo Kante already in the squad, keeping the midfield ticking and breaking the Premier League record for most passes in a game.

Has he earned his wage?: Just about

Ross Barkley (£5,200,000 p/y)

It’s taken some time, but Ross Barkley is finally looking the part in a Chelsea kit following his move from Everton. The England international was a regular part of Sarri’s team last season and looks ready to take control of the midfield for the next few years.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Danny Drinkwater (£5,200,000 p/y)

Why did this signing even happen? Danny Drinkwater was signed from Leicester for a reported fee of £35m in 2017 and has since gone on to make just 23 appearances for Chelsea, one of which coming this previous season. The Premier League winner has been a disaster for the Blues and should be moved on ASAP this summer.

Has he earned his wage?: Absolutely not

Mateo Kovacic (£3,900,000 p/y)

As far as loan signings go, Mateo Kovacic has been pretty successful to a certain extent, making over 50 appearances for the Blues and proving to be a reliable ball carrier in the midfield. Because of the transfer ban, he could be the only player Chelsea are able to sign this summer.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

N’Golo Kante (£7,800,000 p/y)

The most likeable man in football, Kante was played regularly out of position by Sarri but that didn’t stop the World Cup winner from making a big impact on the side and retaining his status as one of the top midfielders in world football.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£1,820,000 p/y)

Last season finally allowed Chelsea fans to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek play regularly for his boyhood club as the English midfielder won over the affections of Sarri after years of trying to break into the first-team. The Blues academy product has surely earned a place in the squad for the next few years, not to mention his comparatively cheap salary for 2018/19.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Attackers

Premier League - Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Willian (£6,240,000 p/y)

Willian has long been an important player for Chelsea, but after another quiet season for the Blues, it could be time for the Brazilian to bite the bullet and move on from west London and save the club over £6 million-per-year on the wage bill. 56 appearances last season produced just eight goals and 14 assists, seven of the latter coming in the Europa league. Overall, hardly great value for money.

Has he earned his wage?: No

Pedro (£5,200,00 p/y)

Pedro has been a solid contributor for Chelsea since arriving from Barcelona and has just come to the end of his joint-best season for the Blues with 13 goals in all competitions. He brings a lot of experience and pedigree to the team and with a new generation of talent potentially coming into the squad next summer, he could be a very important influence behind the scenes.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes

Gonzalo Higuain (£5,400,000 paid)

It’s safe to say Gonzalo Higuain didn’t exactly live up to the hype that was expected from him. The former Napoli superstar was seen as the short-term striker fix with the departure of Alvaro Morata, but it just didn’t work out for the Argentine attacker, who only hit five goals for the Blues.

Has he earned his wage?: Absolutely not

Olivier Giroud (£6,240,000 p/y)

Olivier Giroud looked to be a shrewd bit of business when the striker signed for Chelsea 18 months ago, but aside from hitting form in this year’s Europa League, the French international has been lacklustre in the blue half of London, playing second fiddle to first Morata and then Higuain.

Has he earned his wage?: No

Eden Hazard (£11,700,000 p/y)

Chelsea wouldn’t be the team they are today had it not been for the individual brilliance of Hazard, who has been one of the defining players of this decade in the Premier League. The Belgian superstar, now of Real Madrid, was worth every penny.

Has he earned his wage?: Yes, yes and yes

Total for those who didn’t earn their wages: £39.46m

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