The signing of Pedro for a sum in the region of £21m brings Chelsea’s spending on wide forwards to £107.9m since Jose Mourinho returned to the club in summer 2013.
Andre Schurrle, Willian, Christian Atsu, Mohamed Salah, Juan Cuadrado and Senor Rodriguez himself account for the expenditure, with only the opaque nature of Brazilian youngster Nathan’s ownership preventing his being added to accounts.
Of those to have had a chance, all bar Willian have failed to endear themselves to Mourinho sufficiently to be considered regular starters, despite all bar loan-deal money spinner Atsu being signed for precisely that purpose.
Even the Brazilian workhorse has his weak points, having scored just twice in the league last term and eight times in 94 appearances for the club across all competitions.
It seems that the sourcing of wide-forwards, a position which has evolved into the most destructive in world football, is a blind spot for the Blues in Mourinho’s second spell at the club.
Why that may be the case remains a conundrum. Schurrle and Salah may not have been defensively diligent enough, but can the same be said of Cuadrado, often a wing-back during his time at Fiorentina?
In any case Mourinho was willing to tolerate Eden Hazard’s out-of-possession lapses, even after they played a part in Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final elimination by Atletico Madrid in 2013/14.
Harry Redknapp queried just how much say the Portuguese has over transfers at Stamford Bridge in his column in the Metro on Friday.
Again there could be a grain of truth in the suggestion that Mourinho simply isn’t being bought the kind of wide forwards he genuinely covets.
Yet the underlying suspicion is that the relationship between his natural tactical inclinations and the role has always been an uncomfortable one.
In his first spell at Chelsea players such as Joe Cole and Arjen Robben came in and out of favour, while Shaun Wright-Phillips (an exciting talent at the time lest we forget) never really got going following his big money move from Manchester City.
At Inter the Portuguese preferred to use centre-forward Samuel Eto’o on the flank of his 4-2-3-1, while Angel Di Maria was occasionally binned in favour of employing Karim Benzema on the right in his title-winning 2011/12 campaign at Real Madrid.
In the last few months of that campaign it wasn’t unusual to see Benzema AND Gonzalo Higuain line up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the attacking trident.
Could it be that Mourinho’s pragmatic tactical inclinations can legislate for only one swashbuckling wide-forward in an XI (Ronaldo, Hazard), with the man on the opposite wing forever condemned to a vaguer supporting role that even the manager doesn’t truly understand the nature of as a result?