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11 Most expensive Chelsea signings of all time and how they fared for the Blues

11 Most expensive Chelsea signings of all time and how they fared for the Blues

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Since the year 2003 when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea Football Club, the London side has become one of the richest clubs in the world and even become arguably the most successful club in the 21st century being rated the club with the most trophies since the year 2000.

In Roman Abramovich’s era as the owner of the club, the blues have always made big-money signings over the years but sometimes, they don’t always get the kind of return they’d want from the player.

Today, here at SportsLeo we analyze for you Chelsea’s 11 most expensive signings of all time and whether each was a hit or a miss.

  1. Tiemoue Bakayoko (£40m)

In 2017, every big club in Europe went to Monaco for a shopping spree after the club’s performance the previous season, winning the Ligue 1 and advancing to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, and Chelsea was not left behind. The blues landed the signature of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko who was expected to create a dominant partnership with Ng’olo Kante.

In his first season with Chelsea,  not only did Bakayoko failed to impress, but he put in a handful of performances which many Chelsea supporters described as some of the worst ever produced by a modern Chelsea player. One year later, Bakayoko was thrown into the vast loan squad and has never gotten out of the loan army since then. This signing was Chelsea’s biggest miss of the decade.

  1. Mateo Kovacic (£40m)

Mateo Kovacic initially joined on loan in 2018 from Real Madrid and was signed a year later during the famous Chelsea transfer ban of 2019. That same season, Kovacic was awarded Chelsea player of the year under Frank Lampard.

Mateo Kovacic.
PHOTO: Courtesy

The midfielder is popular amongst Chelsea fans for his ability to sustain any kind of pressure and always driving the ball forward even under difficult circumstances.

Despite his lack of major contributions in the final third, Kovacic has always been one of the best midfielders in a Chelsea shirt and this signing was a big hit.

  1. Ben Chilwell (£45m)

Towards the end of the 2019/2020 season, it was clear to Chelsea that they needed to get a new Left-Back and they went for Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell and managed to sign him eventually. The England international enjoyed a good start of life at the Bridge although he lost his spot amidst Thomas Tuchel’s arrival but soon won it back. This shows how important he is as he is better defensively and has a better pace compared to Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri.

The defender has been everything Chelsea needed on the left flank of the defense. A good hit.

Ben Chilwell.
PHOTO: Courtesy

  1. Timo Werner (£47.5m)

Signed last summer from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, the forward has had a tough start of life at London scoring six premier league goals in his debut season 22 goals fewer than he recorded in his final Bundesliga season. On the flip side of the coin, Werner was an assist machine, being involved in 27 goals at the end of the year in all competitions.

He has been quite a good player but the fact that Chelsea has had to go back to the market to look for a new goalscorer just 12 months later means he has been a miss to the Blues.

Timo Werner.
PHOTO: Caption

  1. Jorginho (£50m)

Signed in 2018 from Napoli together with manager Maurizio Sarri, Jorginho endured a hard start of life at Bridge but he was determined to change the perception Chelsea fans had on him.

With time he was fans favorite, helping the club lift the coveted UEFA Champions League last season and is even in contention for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award. This was a hit for Chelsea.

  1. Fernando Torres (£50m)

In 2011, Torres declined to join Chelsea who was so much interested in him but £50 thrown by Chelsea to Liverpool was too much for the Merseyside reds to decline the offer.

Torres went through the hardest times of his career at Chelsea lacking both goals and assists as a striker. Despite the huge transfer fee which was a record-breaker at that time, Torres was a big miss for Chelsea albeit the goal against Barcelona in Nou Camp in the Champions League semifinals in 2012 to send Chelsea to the finals, going on to win its first-ever Champions League trophy.

Fernando Torres.
PHOTO: Courtesy

  1. Christian Pulisic (£58m)

Bought in 2019 from Borussia Dortmund to succeed departing Eden Hazard, Pulisic never lived up to his expectations in his first season with never-ending injuries. His highlight, however, came after the Covid-19 lockdown, when he spent the period towards the end of the 2019/20 season as the best player in England. His pace, dribbling, and goals contribution were electric form helping the Lampard side secure a top 4 place in the EPL. At this point, the jury is still in Pulisic as he still has a lot to deliver. We won’t give a verdict on this signing but maybe, just maybe a hit.

  1. Alvaro Morata (£60m)

This is the third striker on the list and it shows just how much Chelsea has spent on strikers since the departure of legend Didier Drogba.

When the board could not grant Antonio Conte his coveted signing, Romelu Lukaku, they opted for Spaniard Alvaro Morata. For a few months, the signing looked like a hit on the head as Morata bagged six goals in his first six EPL matches and sat at 10 goals in December as Chelsea sat on top of the EPL table.

The striker, however, managed only one goal between December and May when the season ended as injuries and lack of confidence mounted on the back of the young forward. This was just another miss for Chelsea as many later came to say it’s the ‘Chelsea number 9 curse’. For the record, only Diego Costa succeeded as a striker for Chelsea since Didier Drogba.

  1. Kai Havertz (£71m)

The German moved to Chelsea at the start of the 2020/21 season and contracted Covid-19 even before he could get the season running.

Despite a hard start in life in London, the arrival of fellow German Thomas Tuchel as the head coach seemed to ignite his career and he was soon on fire even scoring in the UEFA Champions League finals to help Chelsea lift the trophy. Chelsea fans know Kai still has a lot to provide. A big hit for Chelsea if they keep him.

  1. Kepa Arrizabalaga (£71.6m)

After Thibaut Courtois departure to Real Madrid, Chelsea was left panicking without a goalkeeper and it didn’t take them long to trigger the £71.6m release clause of Kepa Arrizabalaga in 2018, making him the most expensive goalkeeper in history and Chelsea’s most expensive signing in the club’s history.

After a solid debut season (2018/2019), the following season, (2019/2020) yielded some of the worst performances by a goalkeeper.

Head coach Lampard felt like he needed a new goalkeeper and that is when Edouard Mendy was signed in 2020 and quickly turned the tables and produced performances compared to EPL’s best goalkeeper Petr Cech.

This was a miss for Chelsea.

  1. Romelu Lukaku (£97.5m)

After completing his medicals on Monday and flying to London the same evening to complete his Chelsea move, Lukaku will become Premier League’s most expensive signing in history.

A striker who has 113 Premier League goals having played before for Chelsea, Everton, West Bromwich Albion, and Manchester United, a lot is expected of him and a verdict will be given after his first comeback season for the blues.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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