Who is Sam Jewell? Chelsea to appoint transfer guru after impressing at Brighton

The son of former Premier League manager Paul Jewell has become the latest figure to move from Brighton to Chelsea after impressing at the Seagulls

Harry Latham-Coyle
Tuesday 20 February 2024 10:46 GMT
Brighton’s head of recruitment Sam Jewell will take up a new position at Chelsea
Brighton’s head of recruitment Sam Jewell will take up a new position at Chelsea (Brighton & Hove Albion/Paul Hazlewood)

Chelsea are set to poach another transfer specialist from Brighton, with recruitment guru Sam Jewell to become the latest figure to take up a position at Stamford Bridge.

Brighton have announced that Jewell has been placed on gardening leave after accepting a new role at Chelsea.

Jewell will work under head of recruitment Paul Winstanley - who Jewell replaced at Brighton when Winstanley joined the Blues - as well as Laurence Stewart in the club’s new-look transfer team.

Jewell, 34, enjoyed a swift rise through the ranks at Brighton and was also linked with Manchester United. The Old Trafford club were reportedly looking to add Jewell to their appointment of former Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth.

The son of former manager Paul Jewell, who took Bradford City and Wigan into the Premier League, Sam is said to have been heavily involved in Brighton’s deals for Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo, who have since been sold for significant profits - the former to Chelsea for a British record fee of £111m.

He impressed Roberto De Zerbi in the transfer market, with another productive summer last year featuring a number of eye-catching and intelligent signings.

It came after he replaced head of recruitment Winstanley in November 2022, after his former boss joined Chelsea.

“He’s a top guy, my friend,” De Zerbi said of Jewell to The Athletic. “He worked very well in the last transfer market (window). He’s very young, but he has a big talent, big passion. He knows all players in the world… like me!”

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has been impressed by Sam Jewell
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has been impressed by Sam Jewell (PA Wire)

Jewell joined the south coast club in 2016, but is from good footballing pedigree.

Dad Paul Jewell enjoyed a productive managerial career, taking Bradford City and Wigan into the Premier League. The 59-year-old was last a director of football at Swindon Town, and has helped his son forge his own career in the sport.

“He was managing in the top flight when I was eight, so I grew up inside the game – it was all I ever knew,” Sam Jewell said of his father’s influence in an interview with Brighton’s website. “I was part of that environment, experiencing at very close quarters his highs and lows, and that has stood me in good stead for where I am today.

“I’ve got a close relationship with him – we speak most days. It’s good for me to have that sounding board and he now kicks every ball for Brighton, so the roles have been reversed!”

The younger Jewell spent time in the academies of Bradford and Leeds, but was also a talented golfer, competing alongside Rory McIlroy and Masters winner Danny Willett in a number of national events.

He began his career in football directorship and scouting at Newport County, before spending 18 months as chief scout at Swindon.

His move to Brighton in 2016 came to oversee recruitment at Under 21 level, before being elevated to the club’s emerging talent scouting manager two years later.

Paul Jewell, the former Wigan manager, has helped his son’s rise
Paul Jewell, the former Wigan manager, has helped his son’s rise (Getty Images)

Jewell learned Spanish during the Covid pandemic in order to be able to better converse with players who speak the language, which has aided Brighton’s recruitment in Latin America.

Brighton’s transfer dealings have been highly regarded within football, and while Jewell’s work within that is partly the reason he was on Chelsea and Manchester United’s radar.

“It’s very difficult to copy [Brighton] because we’ve got a very unique way of working, so I think the key for us is to not get complacent or let our guard down,” Jewell explained. “We’ve got a world-class manager and we [have been] playing in Europe, we are a big draw for players now.

“We’re never going to have the financial power of other clubs, but we feel we have a unique culture, a unique philosophy – and we’ve already seen players turning down bigger money elsewhere to come on this journey, which I’m sure they won’t regret.”

“Sam Jewell has accepted a new position at Chelsea FC,” read a short Brighton statement.

“Sam has now commenced a period of gardening leave. We thank him for his long service to our club.”

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