lTransfer windows are as integral as they get. They allow clubs to sign players that help them win titles, make a statement and can even mean the difference between staying up or getting relegated. Whilst the value of the signing is best gauged on the pitch, it is the big-money signings that make the most headlines. If they go well, great, if they don’t, then… well.
Ever since Roman Abramovic bought Chelsea, he hasn’t been shy to spend lavishly. His quest for glory ensures that his team have some of the finest players in the world and he is willing to spend in order to achieve that.
As usual, some of his big-money deals didn’t have the impact as one would have hoped, while some others went on to seal their place as club legends. So here we are, ranking Chelsea’s five expensive signings from the worst to the best.
5 Fernando Torres – £50 million
When you sign a player for £50 million from a rival club, making him your most expensive purchase of all time, it usually creates a lot of controversies. So Fernando Torres to Chelsea was always going to cause a storm—and it did. Liverpool fans were infuriated with the Spanish striker and some say that it was their curse that stopped him from being the elite striker for Chelsea like he was with the Reds.
But that’s all voodoo stuff, the truth is something we can never know. At Liverpool, Torres was one of the most feared strikers in the world. Half a chance inside the box and bang! Goal! Indeed, he had a great record with the Reds, scoring 81 goals in 142 appearances for them.
However, Chelsea should have known better. Torres was already struggling to find his feet and scored only nine goals in 26 games for Liverpool in the 2010-11 season before being bought by Chelsea in the January transfer window.
What happened after that was nothing less than piteous. At first, the Liverpool fans enjoyed it, but even they felt sympathy towards him during his final years at Chelsea. He could only manage 45 goals in 172 games for the Blues before being shipped off on loan to Milan and then to Atletico Madrid on a free transfer, which makes him the worst signing in the history of Chelsea.
4 Andriy Shevchenko – £30.8 million
This was more of a poorly thought-out signing than anything else. Andriy Shevchenko is a legend in every sense of the word. And the Premier League along with Chelsea fans might not remember him for what he truly was, but it doesn’t change his status in the pantheon of the football world.
When Jose Mourinho signed Shevchenko, he was just a month away from his 30th birthday. At 30, it is really harsh to expect a striker to adjust to a new league—and he might as well have if it weren’t for constant injuries.
He was Chelsea’s most expensive purchase at the time of arrival and remained so until Fernando Torres was bought. The Ukrainian showed glimpses of brilliance every now and then, but couldn’t really take off and lasted only two seasons.
In the end, he finished with figures 22 goals in 77 games, which simply doesn’t do justice to the striker that he was.
3 Michael Essien – £24.4 million
Now starts the good part for Chelsea. Michael Essien came in from Lyon with the reputation of being a fiery all-action midfielder and left Chelsea as one of its legends. The Bison, as he was known due to his insane strength, was the best box-to-box midfielder in the world during his time at Chelsea.
He was one of Mourinho’s most loyal pupils and repaid his faith back in the best possible way. The fact that Chelsea got him for only £24 million is a miracle in itself. In today’s market, and at his peak, the Ghanaian would be well beyond that price.
He served the club for nine years, winning two Premier League titles and a Champions League while also becoming an inspiration for aspiring midfielders.
2 Eden Hazard – £32 million
Looking back at the time when he was signed in 2012, he was perhaps the brightest prospect in the world of football. After helping Lille to a memorable League and Cup double in 2010-11, Eden Hazard publicly declared that he would leave the club a year later.
In the end, Chelsea won the race and acquired his signature for only £32 million, which is definitely one of the best value for money signings of all time. In his five years at the club, Eden Hazard has won the Premier League twice along with numerous individual honours like PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Premier League player of the year.
Given that he was signed for relative peanuts, coupled with the way he has grown at the club, he lists second in this list and will most likely end up at the top by the time he finishes his career at Chelsea.
1 Didier Drogba – £24 million
Ah, Didier Drogba. The man that made Chelsea fans dream. Perhaps their greatest ever player, Didier Drogba was signed for £24 million in 2005 by then manager, Jose Mourinho. A lot of pundits criticised this move given the exuberant transfer fee (for that time) for a player who had only two great seasons in his career.
However, Mourinho simply answered them by asking them to judge his transfer fee when he leaves the club—and we are pretty sure that those same critics are now his biggest fans.
The Ivorian was never really an out-and-out scorer. Indeed, only twice did he ever cross the 12-goal mark in the league. However, it was his relentlessness and link-up play that earned him so much plaudits. His physical and aerial strength were a menace to deal with.
The legendary former Marseille striker played a total of 381 games and scored 164 goals. The best moment of his career was scoring the Champions League winning penalty for the Blues. He also won the Premier League title four times, making him Chelsea’s greatest ever signing.
www.sojworld.com (c) June 28, 2017.