Painful reading for Mauricio Pochettino

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

Manchester United and Chelsea are among the Premier League’s biggest underachievers when you compare how much their squads cost to their position 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 endured their worst-ever start to a Premier League season, although they have turned things around somewhat in recent months to move up to sixth in the table.

Chelsea’s squad is the second most expensively assembled and recent defeats have left Mauricio Pochettino’s side languishing in the bottom half of the table. The Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool won’t help.

At the other end of the scale, Brighton continue to punch well above their weight, while Aston Villa remain on track for a Champions League place.

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

We’ve put Everton where they currently stand in the official table – 15th, following their six-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, adapted to include January business.

League Position: 7th
Squad cost: 16th
Total squad cost:  £204million
Difference: +9

Brighton & Hove Albion transfer spend wage bill Premier League 2023-24

Aston Villa
League Position: 4th
Squad cost: 9th
Total squad cost: £416million
Difference: +5

League Position: 1st
Squad cost: 6th
Total squad cost:  £664million
Difference: +5

League Position: 9th
Squad cost: 13th
Total squad cost: £295million
Difference: +4

League Position: 12th
Squad cost: 15th
Total squad cost: £211million
Difference: +3

League Position: 3rd
Squad cost: 5th
Total squad cost: £720million
Difference: +2

League Position: 18th
Squad cost: 20th
Total squad cost: £50million (estimated – via The Mirror)
Difference: +2

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

Crystal Palace
League Position: 13th
Squad cost: 14th
Total squad cost:  £261million
Difference: +1

League Position: 16th
Squad cost: 17th
Total squad cost: £193million
Difference: +1

West Ham United
League Position: 8th
Squad cost: 8th
Total squad cost: £428million
Difference: =

League Position: 4th
Squad cost: 5th
Total squad cost: £728million
Difference: -1

League Position: 19th
Squad cost: 18th
Total squad cost: £180million
Difference: -1

Sheffield United
League Position: 20th
Squad cost: 19th
Total squad cost: £130million
Difference: -1

League Position: 14th
Squad cost: 12th
Total squad cost: £296million
Difference: -2

Newcastle United
League Position: 10th
Squad cost: 7th
Total squad cost: £565million
Difference: -3

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

League Position: 15th [would be 13th if not for points deduction]
Squad cost: 10th
Total squad cost: £360million
Difference: -5

Nottingham Forest
League Position: 17th
Squad cost: 11th
Total squad cost:  £314million
Difference: -6

League Position: 11th
Squad cost: 2nd
Total squad cost: £978million
Difference: -9

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