Mauricio Pochettino Manager of Chelsea during the Premier League match Burnley vs Chelsea at Turf Moor, Burnley, United Kingdom, 7th October 2023.

Comparing every Premier League squad’s cost to its league position: Chelsea & Man Utd biggest underachievers…

Manchester United and Chelsea are the Premier League’s biggest underachievers when you compare how much their squads cost to their position so far in the 2023-24 season.

Erik ten Hag’s squad was built for just short of £1billion, making it the most expensively assembled in world football.

The Dutch coach has had a major headache this season, with a number of their most expensive signings either injured or unavailable, but even in those circumstances they’d have been expected to be doing better, given their outlay. The Red Devils have endured their worst-ever start to a Premier League season, although they have turned things around somewhat in recent weeks to move up to sixth in the table.

Chelsea’s squad is the second most expensively assembled and whilst there are encouraging signs from their recent performances against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City, they find themselves in the bottom half the table.

At the other end of the scale, Brighton continue to punch well above their weight to remain in contention for a Champions League place. Their form hasn’t been stellar of late, but being in the top half is an excellent return for a squad that was built for less than £200million.

Brentford, Liverpool, Aston Villa and even Luton are among the other sides doing better than ought to be expected relative to the resources at their disposal, while Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest would hope to be doing better given their transfer outlay – paltry as it might be compared to the European giants.

Newcastle United, sitting 7th, are performing to par – alongside Wolves and Fulham, while Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Tottenham and West Ham are all more-or-less where they might expect to be.

We’ve put Everton where they currently stand in the official table – 19th, following their 10-point penalty – but in terms of points accrued they’re not a million miles off the midtable position that their spending ought to relate to.

Here’s how the comparison stacks up in full. All squad cost figures come via CIES Football Observatory.

League Position: 8th
Squad cost: 16th
Total squad cost:  £194million
Difference: +8

League Position: 11th
Squad cost: 17th
Total squad cost: £188million
Difference: +6

League Position: 2nd
Squad cost: 6th
Total squad cost:  £664million
Difference: +4

Aston Villa
League Position: 5th
Squad cost: 9th
Total squad cost: £419million
Difference: +4

League Position: 17th
Squad cost: 20th
Total squad cost: £50million (estimated – via The Mirror)
Difference: +3

Manchester City
League Position: 1st
Squad cost: 3rd
Total squad cost: £899million
Difference: +2

League Position: 3rd
Squad cost: 4th
Total squad cost: £721million
Difference: +1

League Position: 4th
Squad cost: 5th
Total squad cost: £715million
Difference: +1

Crystal Palace
League Position: 13th
Squad cost: 14th
Total squad cost:  £236million
Difference: +1

Sheffield United
League Position: 18th
Squad cost: 19th
Total squad cost: £128million
Difference: +1

Newcastle United
League Position: 7th
Squad cost: 7th
Total squad cost: £570million
Difference: =

League Position: 12th
Squad cost: 12th
Total squad cost: £313million
Difference: =

League Position: 15th
Squad cost: 15th
Total squad cost: £211million
Difference: =

West Ham United
League Position: 9th
Squad cost: 8th
Total squad cost: £435million
Difference: -1

League Position: 20th
Squad cost: 18th
Total squad cost: £180million
Difference: -2

Nottingham Forest
League Position: 14th
Squad cost: 11th
Total squad cost:  £314million
Difference: -3

League Position: 16th
Squad cost: 13th
Total squad cost: £296million
Difference: -3

Manchester United
League Position: 6th
Squad cost: 1st
Total squad cost:  £992million
Difference: -5

League Position: 10th
Squad cost: 2nd
Total squad cost: £978million
Difference: -8

League Position: 19th [would be 14th if not for points deduction]
Squad cost: 10th
Total squad cost: £360million
Difference: -9

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