Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Michmutters

Premier League, Chelsea transfers, rumor mill, transfer flops, Fernando Torres, Timo Werner, number nine jersey curse, Romelu Lukaku

Heavy spenders Chelsea have already been busy during the transfer window, and are almost certainly not finished despite spending €186.59m ($A270m) so far.

According to reports, the club are reportedly prepared to sign both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, ​​as well as Wesley Fofana from Leicester.

Chelsea have already signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina, Carney Chukwuemeka and Marc Cucurella in their squad overhaul.

World-class striker Aubameyang, a former club captain of London rivals Arsenal, would represent the latest in a long line of superstar strikers to have joined Stamford Bridge – although many have struggled to make their mark.

Indeed, Chelsea’s number nine jersey has been worn by so many flops in recent years that coach Thomas Tuchel revealed that no-one will wear the number this season.

“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed … nobody wants to touch the No 9,” he said.

But it’s not just the number nine jersey that has been a curse at Chelsea. Dating back to the end of the last century, many of Chelsea’s big-name attacking signings have failed to make their mark.

Here are some of the great Blues flops of the modern era.

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Transfer fee: £10m ($17m AUD) from Blackburn in 1999

Playing record: One goal in 28 Premier League games

Chelsea reached deep into their pockets to lure Sutton to Stamford Bridge from relegation stricken Blackburn, for what was then a club record fee.

The striker had signed from the Rovers, where he starred alongside Premier League icon Alan Shearer, after they placed second-last in the 1998-99 season.

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But the former England international had a forgettable debut campaign with the Blues, scoring just one goal from his 28 Premier League appearances.

Sutton’s sole contribution on the scoresheet came in a 5-0 thrashing of English giants Manchester United, which was a highlight in an otherwise quiet tenure in London.

His season went from bad to worse when he failed to make Chelsea’s bench for the 2000 FA Cup Final against Aston Villa, which the Blues won 1-0.

Sutton was a one season flop at Chelsea, though, after securing a transfer to Scottish giants Celtic.


Transfer fees: €22.5m ($32m AUD) from Parma in 2003

Playing record: 10 goals from 38 games

Mutu began his Chelsea career in fine form, scoring four goals from his first three appearances for the giants of English football.

Playing in front of new fans for the first time, the Romanian scored the winning goal on his club debut against Leicester City.

But drama ensued as his relationship with Jose Mourinho reportedly reached its boiling point, with Mutu facing backlash from his manager after he claimed to be injured.

Chelsea later fired the striker after he tested positive for cocaine use in 2004, and was suspended for seven months.

Although he was not at the London club anymore, Mutu failed another anti-doping test in January of 2010, as reported by the Guardian.

Mutu, who also wore the number seven jersey at Chelsea, was handed a nine-month ban for that incident.

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Transfer fees: €43.9m ($63m AUD) from Milan in 2006

Playing record: Nine goals from 48 Premier League games

Chelsea splashed the cash once again to sign Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko, who became the biggest signing in English football at the time.

Shevchenko, who was 30-year-old when he moved to London from Milan, was handed the number seven jersey under decorated coach Jose Mourinho.

But he failed to live up to the hype, scoring just 14 goals from 51 games during his first season with the famous London club.

Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.
Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.Source: AP

Shevchenko was loaned out to AC Milan, the club he’d signed from, during the 2008/09 season after failing to hit his stride at Stamford Bridge.

As reported by The Guardian, manager Carlo Ancelotti believed that Shevchenko was the fourth best striker at the club, just three years after he secured his record transfer.

Shevchenko was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the 2009/10 Champions League, and later returned to Dynamo Kyiv.


Transfer fees: £50m ($85m AUD) from Liverpool in 2011

Playing record: 20 goals in 110 Premier League games for Chelsea

Fernando Torres rose to footballing stardom during a successful stint at Liverpool, where he truly embodied the phrase ‘human highlight reel’.

Torres had already made his name in Spain, after being handed the Atletico Madrid captaincy at just 19 years of age.

The Spaniard left Madrid for Liverpool, although he’d return to the club at the back end of his career, and quickly proved himself to be one of the most exciting players in England.

Fernando Torres struggled to find some form after completing his move to Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

But drama struck early in 2011, as Torres completed a sensational transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The Blues again broke the British transfer record for a reported fee of £50 million, as the striker completed a mid-season move sent shockwaves throughout the league.

Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better, though, as Torres made his club debut for Chelsea after Liverpool.

The Blues lost that 1-0 and maybe it was a sign of things to come, as Torres went on to score just 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

But while he failed to fire, these big money moves are all about making an impact when it counts, and Torres did that in the biggest competition that world football has to offer.

While he was far from an overwhelming success at Stamford Bridge, Torres did score a game sealing goal against Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final.

Chelsea went on to win their first ever Champions League crown in the 2011-12 campaign, beating German powerhouse Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties.


Transfer fee: £11m ($18m AUD) from Basel in 2014

Playing record: Two goals from 13 games

Mohamed Salah has cemented his legacy as a Premier League legend after a stellar career with Liverpool, but his career in England wasn’t always so successful.

The ‘Egyptian King’ made just 19 appearances for Chelsea, before he was loaned out to Fiorentina just 13-months after moving to London.

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Salah’s two best Premier League games in Blue came in a 6-0 win over rivals Arsenal, where he scored, as well as a promising showing against Stoke.

Salah was later loaned out to Roma, before securing a permanent move to the Italian capital soon after.

But the scintillating winger really took his career to the next Liverpool after he secured a well-known transfer to Liverpool.

Not only has Salah tasted success in both the Champions League and Premier League with the Merseyside club, but he’s widely considered to be one of the best footballers on the planet.

In fact he’s become so popular, the Economist revealed that more than one million Egyptians spoiled their ballots by trying to vote for Salah during the presidential election in 2018.

With many noteworthy individual accolades on the football field to speak of as well, Salah is certainly another gem that Chelsea failed to cherish when they had the chance.


Transfer fees: Around £60m ($103m AUD) from Real Madrid in 2017

Playing record: 24 goals from about 72 games

After impressive spells with European giants Juventus and Real Madrid, Morata was brought into the club as a replacement for Diego Costa.

Costa, who won two Premier League titles and scored 59 goals for Chelsea, returned to Atletico Madrid after being told he was free to look elsewhere.

Morata was another striker who had the weight of the world on his shoulders when he moved to Stamford Bridge, due to the hype surrounding his arrival.

But the Spaniard failed to make an impression on the scoresheet, scoring just 15 goals in his 48 games.

After initially signing for the club on a five year deal, Morata was eventually loaned out to Atletico Madrid on an 18-month deal.

Atletico signed him on a permanent deal later, although he was loaned out to Juventus soon after in September, 2020.


Transfer fees: €60m ($87m AUD) from RB Leipzig in 2020

playing record 23 goals in 89 appearances

Werner was one of the hottest properties on the football transfer market as European giants came looking to sign the star striker after an incredible spell at RB Leipzig.

During his four years at the German club, Werner scored 90 goals and had 40 assists from 156 competitive games.

Liverpool were also believed to be in the hunt for his signature, before he completed an expensive move to Chelsea on a five-year deal.

But the German quickly fell out of favor at Chelsea, having scored just 23 goals in 89 appearances.

With Chelsea reportedly looking to sign some strikers in the ongoing transfer window, the 26-year-old left the club and returned to RB Leipzig.


Transfer fees: £97.5m ($167m AUD) from Inter Milan in 2021

Playing record: 15 goals in all competitions from 44 games

Belgian Romelu Lukaku may have had a fairly expensive price tag to his name last year, but that didn’t stop Chelsea from making another mind-blowing investment in their future.

Once again, the Blues broke their transfer record to sign the striker from Italian giants Inter Milan.

Romelu Lukaku was a marquee signing for Chelsea, but he failed to make his mark on the scoresheet. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

With their Champions League glory still fresh in the minds of football fans, Chelsea managed to lure the powerful striker back to Stamford Bridge on an incredible transfer.

Despite their European success, Chelsea had come fourth in the Premier League the year before, but this signing was widely considered to be a difference maker.

Many believed that Lukaku could fire for the Blues after a previous stint at the club earlier in his career, before more well-known and successful stints with the likes of Everton and Manchester United.

But it was a disastrous return to the Premier League for Lukaku, who scored just eight goals before completing a loan move back to Inter Milan – and leaving the number nine jersey vacant.



Transfer news, rumours, Willian to Fulham, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea, Marcus Rashford to PSG, latest, updates

A Brazilian winger with over 250 Premier League appearances to his name could be returning to the English top flight, while Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed his admiration for a top transfer target.

Catch up on all of the transfer whispers doing the rounds in the latest edition of the Rumor Mill!

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Former Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Willian quit Corinthians on Saturday (AEST) following the Brazilians’ Copa Libertadores elimination against domestic rivals Flamengo, after claiming he and his family received death threats on social media.

“Willian asked us for his (contract) termination. We are sad not to have him any more and also because it didn’t go the way we expected. But we have to keep those here that are happy,” said club president Duilio Monteiro Alves.

It was only a year ago that the 34-year-old only rejoined the club where he made his professional debut in 2006. Local media have linked him with a move to promoted English Premier League side Fulham.

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The return to Corinthians in Sao Paulo quickly turned sour for Willian both on the pitch where he scored one goal in 45 matches, and off it.

“Whenever Corinthians lost and I didn’t play well, my family received threats and insults on social media. My wife, my children, recently they also started attacking my father, my sister,” Willian told the Globo Esporte website.

“I didn’t play as well as I expected but I was never a player who scored 20 or 30 goals a season,” he told ESPN Brasil on Wednesday.

Willian, who also played for Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine and Russians Anzhi Makhachkala, leaves the club three days after they were eliminated from the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals by Flamengo, 3-0 on aggregate

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he will always have a “close bond” with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as speculation links the Barcelona forward with a move to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are looking to reinforce their forward line after the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.

Aubameyang, who only joined Barcelona in January, would appear to fit the bill with both Premier League experience from four years at Arsenal and the time he spent under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.

The Gabon international scored 79 goals in 95 appearances under Tuchel.

“This is totally separate from anything that is happening now, but I enjoyed a lot working with Auba while I was at Dortmund,” said Tuchel on Friday at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s visit of Tottenham.

“Some players stay your players because you were very, very close, and Auba is one of those players.

“There was always straight away this close bond. They always stay your players in a way.”

A behind-the-scenes documentary on Arsenal’s 2021/22 season has revealed the scale of disciplinary breaches that saw Mikel Arteta freeze Aubameyang out of the Gunners’ first-team squad.

However, Tuchel said “there was never an issue” with Aubameyang’s discipline during their time in Germany.

Chelsea has been linked with a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.  (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)
Chelsea has been linked with a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)Source: AFP


Erik ten Hag expects Marcus Rashford to remain at Manchester United despite rumors this week that Paris St Germain have made contact with the forward’s representatives.

Rashford’s form dipped dramatically last season as he scored just four goals in 25 Premier League games, which has led to him being dropped from the England squad just months before the World Cup.

The 24-year-old, who has one year left on his contract with a club option for a further year, has twice scored in wins against PSG in the Champions League at the Parc des Princes.

But Ten Hag said he is too important to lose despite his struggle for form, which continued in a 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton in the Dutch coach’s first match in charge last weekend.

“He’s really important,” Ten Hag said. “You have seen from the first day I’m here, I’m really happy with him, I don’t want to lose him.

“He’s definitely in our plans at Manchester United.”



Premier League news, lineups, fixtures, Chelsea vs Tottenham, team news, Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, start time, scores

A thrilling opening weekend saw the Premier League return with a bang. Liverpool and Manchester United were stunned, Spurs claimed a statement victory, while Erling Haaland made his mark for Manchester City.

Now attention turns to Matchday 2. Erik ten Hag faces a huge call over Cristiano Ronaldo as the Red Devils seek to get their season off and running, while Spurs visit Stamford Bridge in the first big-six blockbuster.

Here are the big storylines to watch out for this weekend.

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Manchester United finished last season by losing their final six away games – a nightmare streak that ruined any hope of Champions League football. It was their worst run of road losses since March 1981 – but defeat at Brentford this weekend would make it their worst run since all the way back in 1936, when they lost ten on the trot away from Old Trafford.

But is it a serious prospect against a relative minnow in the Bees? Well, history hasn’t helped United much to start this season – their defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion last week was their first-ever loss at home to the Seagulls.

Christian Eriksen starred for the Bees last season, winning 7 of his 11 games on the park, but struggled in a false nine position for United against Brighton.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in the second half shifted Eriksen into the midfield, a move which benefited the team immensely.

Whether Erik ten Hag rushes Ronaldo into the starting line-up in search of a maiden Premier League win will be a crucial selection conundrum, especially since the Portuguese legend is still short of fitness.

But after conceding two goals in the first half in the opening week – and it could well have been three if VAR didn’t overrule a penalty early in the second half – ten Hag clearly has just as many problems in defense (especially on set pieces ).

With Brentford adding to their well-earned reputation for fighting out of tricky situations when they fought back for a 2-2 draw against Leicester, this one will likely be battled out until the final whistle sounds. It just might signal more woe for the Red Devils.

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It’s the first big-six clash of the season, and it should be an absolute beauty as Chelsea host Tottenham.

But there’s a heavy weight of history standing in their way: Spurs have won just once in their last 37 matches at Stamford Bridge. No wonder the Blues are favorites for this one, despite their ‘rusty’ 1-0 win over Everton last week – as coach Thomas Tuchel described it.

Spurs, on the other hand, fought back from an early deficit to win 4-1 over Southampton – a result that means they have scored the most Premier League in the 2022 calendar year to date.

Antonio Conte has enjoyed a full pre-season and a big transfer window in Tottenham, and this match will be a true litmus test for just how far they’ve come – and whether they can actually challenge at the pointy end this season.

“I think it’ll be a good test to mark whether they are really in the contest for the title,” former Spurs back Pascal Chimbonda told Sky Sports News.”

Perhaps the biggest key to their improvement is their depth: none of their six signings started against Saints. Some, like Richarlison, could start this time out, while Ivan Perisic might also hope to replace Ryan Sessegnon.

PREDICTED XI: Hugo Lloris; Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Cristian Romero; Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, Ivan Perisic, Emerson; Heung-Min Son, Dejan Kulusevski; Harry Kane.

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For Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel hasn’t been fully happy with his transfer window so far despite some big-name arrivals in Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, and Marc Cucurella.

Koulibaly and Sterling both started and should start again this time out, while Cucurella came off the bench and could depose Ben Chilwell from the starting role. Christian Pulisic’s impressive bench cameo could also see him introduced to the XI.

If they fail to score from open play again, it could just nudge the new owners to push even harder to complete the signings of targets Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, ​​or Wesley Fofana from Leicester City – having already missed out on Manchester City’s Nathan Ake and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

The first heavyweight bout of the season is here, and it could have huge ramifications on the trajectories of two big-six members.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Edouard Mendy; Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kalidou Koulibaly; Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Jorgino, Reece James, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz; Raheem Sterling.

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Frank Lampard might be a Premier League and England great, but this weekend he meets another man of similar pedigree – his old England teammate Steven Gerrard.

The duo met 34 times during their playing careers, and Lampard had the upper hand with 16 wins compared to Gerrard’s 11. Both will be desperate for victory this weekend in their first-ever managerial meeting.

For Lampard, the biggest worry – among many – is his staggeringly poor defensive record away from home.

In 38 games in charge of Everton and previously Chelsea, his sides conceded 73 goals at an average of 1.92 per 90 minutes. That includes a Blues side that would win the Champions League six months after his departure from him.

There were concerns about Everton’s squad entering this season (having sold star striker Richarlison to balance the books), and those only worsened on opening day when defenders Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina both copped serious injuries.

Everton have since pulled a late signing swoop for Conor Coady and midfielder Amadou Onana (from Wolverhampton on Monday and Lille on Tuesday, in that order), while they added another solid defender in James Tarkowski from Burnley in pre-season.

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After Everton lost to Chelsea 1-0 and Gerrard’s Aston Villa lost to promoted Bournemouth 2-0, the pressure is on.

But where will the Toffee goals come from?

Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Andros Townsend are months away from returning, but Lampard welcomes back-up forward Salomon Rondon to the team after suspension.

And the club is reportedly chasing Southampton’s Che Adams to boost their stingy offence, having missed out on Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet who instead joined West Ham.

“We know there is a void in forward areas, we are short in numbers there,” Lampard said amid a difficult pre-season.

Arresting his poor defensive record on the road will be a key priority – but their lack of firepower up front could be just as worrying down the track.

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Wesley Fofana to Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona, ​​Frenkie de Jong contract, Arsenal, Chelsea, record transfer, defender

Barcelona have reportedly threatened legal action over Frenkie de Jong’s contract, after the Spanish giants claimed to have found evidence of criminality on “the parties who signed” the upgraded deal.

According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, the Catalan club is hoping to either sell the Dutch star or revert the deal back to what it was before to help solve their financial woes.

De Jong has been heavily linked with a transfer to Manchester United, although Chelsea recently emerged as a potential suitor for his services.

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Meanwhile, striker Timo Werner is close to finalizing his death with RB Leipzig after arriving in Germany for his medical.

The 26-year-old rose to footballing stardom during his first stint with the club, and became one of the biggest names on the transfer market before being snatched up by Chelsea two years ago.

While Chelsea may lose Werner, the Blues are heavily linked with another emerging star who they could sign on a world record fee.

Here’s all the news and gossip in the latest edition of our Rumor Mill!


Barcelona’s financial woes are in dire need of a solution recruit after La Liga rejected their attempt to register new players, including star Robert Lewandowski.

Frenkie de Jong has been linked with two of the biggest clubs in England, with a transfer shaping up as a potential solution to their money drama.

But the de Jong saga at Barcelona has reached a dramatic new twist with the club reportedly threatening legal action over the stars renewed deal.

Barcelona's Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong reacts during the 57th Joan Gamper Trophy friendly football match between FC Barcelona and Club Universidad Nacional Pumas at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 7, 2022. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)
Barcelona’s Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong reacts during the 57th Joan Gamper Trophy friendly football match between FC Barcelona and Club Universidad Nacional Pumas at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 7, 2022. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)Source: AFP

De Jong signed a two-year contract extension with the club on October 20, 2020, which kept him at the club for longer but reduced his salary in the short-term.

It’s believed the Netherlands international is owed €18 million ($26m AUD) in deferred wages, which the club is hoping to annul.

David Ornstein has reported that the deal presented by the club’s previous board involved alleged “criminality” and provides “grounds for legal action against those involved”.

Previously, Barcelona president Joan Laporta had insisted that he wants de Jong to remain at the club.

“Frenkie’s our player and we want him to stay at Barcelona, ​​he wants to stay too,” Laporta said.

“With him and his teammates, we have a very powerful midfield. He has offers, but we want him to stay.”


Manchester United had identified midfielder Fabian Ruiz as a possible alternative to de Jong and it appears the deal is progressing, as Erik ten Hag looks to complete his fourth signing.

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Guardian revealed an agreement has been reached between Juventus and Manchester United for £15 million ($26 million AUD).

Rabiot has had a decorated playing career so far, having won Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain on five occasions, and he’s also a Serie A winner.


Chelsea striker Timo Werner is on the cusp of returning to RB Leipzig, after arriving in Germany for his medical.

Tim Werner.Source: AFP

Werner had an underwhelming spell at the Blues, but is set to return to the club where he really made his name in world football.

The 26-year-old scored 90 goals and had 40 assists in his 156 games for RB Leipzig, before leaving in 2020.


Leicester defender Wesley Fofana could be wearing another navy jersey this season, as Chelsea prepare to launch a world record bid this week.

Football Londonunderstand that the Blues will attempt to sign their second center back of the English summer, after announcing Kalidou Koulibaly.

It’s believed that Fofana is pushing for a move away from the Foxes, even though coach Brendan Rodgers has insisted that he’s not for sale. According to the report, Chelsea are preparing a bid that would smash the world record for the highest fee paid for a defender — currently the 87 million euros ($A127m) Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire in 2019.


Barcelona will not sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay, as both players continued to be linked with transfers away from the Camp Nou.

Football insider Fabrizio Romano has said that no discussions have been held between Chelsea and Barcelona over Aubameyang, although he is on their “list”.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 07: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Pumas UNAM at Spotify Camp Nou on August 07, 2022 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The former Arsenal captain could be set for a sensational return to England with London rivals Chelsea, although he’s happy in Spain.

Meanwhile, Depay is reportedly negotiating a free agency with Juventus interested in acquiring his services.


Bologna director Marco di Vaio has made it quite clear that the Italian club want to retain striker Marko Arnautovic, amid rumors of an offer from Manchester United.

The Red Devils reportedly had a bid for the 33-year-old striker rejected.

“Man United on Arnautovic? We’re proud of Man United’s interest for Marko bur we are not planning to sell him,” di Vaio said.

“We want to keep him at Bologna as president said, he’s a key part of our project – there’s not even a price tag.”