The name Marina Granovskaia is simply synonymous with football management. The Russian has really made some name for herself in a field dominated mostly by men. She recently won the Best Club Director in European football at the Golden Boy awards organized by Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
Marina has been the sporting director for Chelsea since 2013 and we are today going to have a look at her first 5 signings as Chelsea director.
It appears the first signing she made was Burkinabe’s, Bertrand Traore. He signed a four and half year deal but found himself on two loan spells after playing 10 games for Chelsea and scoring twice.
He later joined Lyon on a permanent deal from Chelsea but he is now back to the premier league plying his trade for Aston Villa after Villa cough out 17 million pounds for his services.
Many Chelsea supporters seem to have forgotten about him since he now plays for Manchester but before Kante and Jorginho boxing the midfield, there was a player Marina signed known as Nemanja Matic.
He is one of the few players to have two spells at the club as he was originally part of a swap deal for David Luiz in 2011 from Benfica. But some few months down the line, Marina thought it wise to bring him back to the club and so signed him again for 21 million pounds from Benfica and Nemanja Matic went on to become one of the powerhouses in the premier league then making it in the 2014-15 PFA Team of the Season.
He happens to be one of the best deals Marina has performed as he was sold to Manchester United in 2017 for a whopping sum of 40 million pounds.
I think one of the regrets of Marina is the sale of Mohamed Salah even though the club made a profit of 2 million pounds from his sale. He was brought from FC Basel for a purported fee of £11million in January 2014.
Due to lack of playing time, he got himself loaned into the Italian Serie A. First to Fiorentina, then to AS Roma where the club finally made the deal permanent with 13 million pounds exchanging hands for his services.
That £2million profit may have seemed decent enough at the time, but it is now laughable. I think it’s one of the regrets of Marina as Mo Salah is now one of the torments of Chelsea anytime Liverpool meets Chelsea.
Kurt Zouma is one of the most prolific defenders signed by Marina. He really paid his dues for the club anytime he got the opportunity to play.
After a few loan spells, Zouma became a solid defender, but was sold to West Ham this summer for £30million. A tidy profit for a player in a position where Chelsea is well stocked.
He is one of the successful businesses Chelsea has had. I hope they won’t be regretting with time.
It appears the 30 million pounds Chelsea spent for the services of Fabregas from Barcelona was not in vain as he really had a great season at Chelsea.
As Fabregas gave 18 assists en route to winning the Premiership. Fabregas spent almost 5 years at the club, winning two titles before Chelsea sanctioned his move to AS Monaco.
These were the first 5 signings of Marina Granovskaia as the sporting director Chelsea.