Chelsea 3-1 Southampton: Picture highlights
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Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia showed her transfer market nous by inserting two crucial buy-back clauses, worth a combined £108million, into the terms of two high-profile departures this summer. Both Tino Livramento and Tammy Abraham have enjoyed stellar starts to life at their new clubs, to the point where the Blues could soon be tempted to make use of their smart work.
Livramento, a youngster who was far from a household name when he joined Southampton this summer, has caught the eye with his early-season performances.
He looked to have rescued a point for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday by winning a penalty, although two late Chelsea goals secured a 3-1 victory.
The only thing missing from Livramento’s breakthrough campaign is team success, with the Saints still searching for their first Premier League victory of the season.
Blues fans will be overjoyed to learn that transfer chief Marina Granovskaia inserted a £40m buy-back clause into the deal which saw the 18-year-old head to the south coast.
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That is according to The Sun, and that would be a steep increase in the meagre £5m fee it took Southampton to lure him away this summer.
As one of the club’s most promising young talents, boss Thomas Tuchel was supposedly reluctant to let him leave, although his prospective route into the first team seemed crowded.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James were always likely to create a barrier to entry at right-back, while he was given the chance to impress in pre-season for Southampton and he has kept his spot since.
Having not made a single appearance for Chelsea’s full-blooded senior side, Livramento has appeared in all seven of Hasenhuttl’s Premier League games so far this season.
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At £40m, perhaps it will not be long before the Blues are tempted to activate their buy-back clause, while a tidy profit with a quick turnaround could also leave the Saints satisfied with the deal.
Something else for the west London side to consider is the supposed £68m buy-back option included in Abraham’s deal to join Jose Mourinho at Roma.
Spending that kind of money on a striker seems less urgent as long as Romelu Lukaku is doing the business in front of goal, but Abraham’s distinct advantage lies in his age.
Four years Lukaku’s junior, Abraham could eventually get the call back if his strong start to life in Italy continues long term.
Although Chelsea have two get out of jail free cards regarding their decisions to let Livramento and Abraham leave, they have not always been so savvy.
The likes of Tariq Lamptey, who has gone on to impress at Brighton despite being struck down by injury, has no such clause which could come back to bite them based on his early promise.
Inserting such clauses could become standard procedure for the Blues based on their expansive web of young talent, both training with the first-team and out on loan.
In truth, it may not be a huge surprise to see both Livramento and Abraham line up for Chelsea in the future, despite both opting to take their careers elsewhere for now.
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