Chelsea’s 10 best transfers of all time

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Here are the Chelsea’s top 10 best transfers of all time.

Chelsea's 10 best transfers of all time

Since the turn of the century, Chelsea have been a force to be
reckoned with in both the Premier League and European
competition, racking up a multitude of honours to firmly place
them as one of England’s top teams.
In fact, since 2000, they have won a total of 23 trophies,
including two Champions Leagues titles and five Premier
League titles.

A key part of that has been the additions of some top signings
that have helped propel the club to its current status. Even
with the departure of previous owner Roman Abramovich,
Chelsea have been taken over by American investors who
have shown a willingness to invest heavily in some of the best
players in the world.
In fact, during the 2022 summer transfer window, Chelsea
spent more money than any club had previously splashed in a
single period.

Although some signings haven’t worked out – Andriy
Shevchenko, Fernando Torres and Juan Sebastian Veron spring
to mind – many have made themselves into heroes.
Here are FootballTransfers’ best 10 Chelsea signings ever.
Frank Lampard – £11m (West Ham, 2001)
Where to start? Arguably Chelsea’s greatest ever transfer,
Frank Lampard won everything there is to win at Stamford
Bridge and is a club legend. He took charge of the team for 18
months from 2019, but his real success came as a player.

Having been backed by Harry Redknapp, who said Lampard
“will go right to the very top” in a now famous interview, ‘Super
Frank’ as he’s known to Chelsea fans, proved that statement
right during his time at the Blues.
He’s the club’s record goalscorer, despite being a midfielder,
with 211 goals, and is fourth on the all-time list for
appearances with 648. He is third on the all-time list for
Premier League appearances with 609 and is fourth for both
goals (177) and assists (102).
He won 13 pieces of silverware for the club and came second
in the 2005 Ballon d’Or awards.
Frank Lampard is a Chelsea icon, and for just £11m, he was
an absolute steal.

Petr Cech – £7m (Stade Rennais, 2004)
Carlo Cudicini was the number one when Petr Cech arrived at
Chelsea, but after the Italian suffered a pre-season injury,
Cech was promoted and he never looked back.
He won the Premier League title in his first year and won the
Golden Glove award having kept 21 clean sheets in the
campaign, and conceded a mere 15 goals. It was Jose
Mourinho’s first season in charge, and Chelsea had changed
English football.
He went on to win a total of 14 trophies at the club, before
being sold to Arsenal for a £3m profit.
He is Chelsea’s best-ever goalkeeper, and his helmet is iconic
within English football.

Ricardo Carvalho – £20m (Porto, 2004)

Somewhat underrated by many, Ricardo Carvalho was
Mourinho’s primary target once he joined Chelsea, and he was
able to bring Carvalho with him from Porto , and it’s clear to
see why he wanted to.
Alongside the aforementioned Cech, and Chelsea captain
John Terry, Carvalho formed one of the most formidable
defences of the 2000s, helping the club win back-to-back
Premier League titles whilst conceding just 37 goals across
those two campaigns; less than a goal conceded every other

He was a regular until Mourinho left for Inter , and under Guus
Hiddink, Carvalho lost his place to Alex. He returned under
Carlo Ancelotti, however, and helped the club win the league
and cup double in 2009/10.
He left the club in 2010 to join Mourinho at Real Madrid after
winning an impressive three Premier Leagues in six years.

Didier Drogba – £24m (Marseille, 2004)
The ultimate big-game player. Didier Drogba knew how to turn
up when it mattered most. Mourinho had been determined to
sign the Ivorian since playing against him during his time at
Porto, and his wish was granted in his first summer as Chelsea

It was questioned by many at the time, but 104 Premier
League goals and 16 trophies later, nobody is questioning it

Whilst his goalscoring record has been often criticised by rival
fans, Drogba was more than a pure No.9, and in fact, he
accumulated over 12 Premier League assists in a single
campaign on three separate occasions. By reference, Lampard
only managed this feat twice.
With 10 goals in 10 finals, Drogba is undoubtedly a Chelsea
legend. His style of play is perhaps best epitomised by
Nemanja Vidic who described him as “physically the hardest”
striker he’s ever faced.
His heroics in the 2012 Champions League final cemented his
status as one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players.

Michael Essien – £24.4m (Lyon, 2005)
Chelsea’s most expensive signing ever at the time, Michael
Essien joined the Blues as the reigning Ligue 1 Player of the
Year and carried on his form in England.
A powerhouse next to Lampard, Essien became a key part of
Chelsea’s second Premier League winning side, making 31
league starts during the season. He won Chelsea’s Player of
the Season award for the 2006/07 campaign, and was
nominated for the Ballon d’Or for the third consecutive year.
He became a rotation option at Chelsea after several injuries,
and left permanently in 2014 after winning nine trophies at the

Ashley Cole – £5m plus William Gallas
(Arsenal, 2006)
This transfer saga was filled with drama, but Ashley Cole was
eventually signed by Chelsea in the summer of 2006, and they
will be glad they wrapped his signature up.
Dubbed ‘Cashley’ by angry Arsenal fans, Cole went on to
become a Chelsea legend, winning a total of nine trophies at
the club, including four FA Cup’s that made him the most
decorated player in the competition’s history.

Arguably the best left-back in the world between 2005 and
2010, Cole was a stalwart at the back. He was vital in the
2009/10 double-winning side and his role in the 2012
Champions League win was immense, making crucial goal-line
clearances in both the semi-final and the final, as well as
scoring his penalty in the shootout.
He was eventually dropped in favour of Cesar Azpilicueta by
the returning Mourinho during the 2013/14 season, and left at
the end of that year for Roma.

Branislav Ivanovic – £9.7m (Lokomotiv
Moscow, 2008)

Having joined in January of 2008, Branislav Ivanovic failed to
make a first-team appearance in his first six months, with a
reported lack of fitness and pace the reason for this.
After failing to establish himself at either right-back or centre-
back in his first two seasons, Ivanovic was far from a Chelsea
regular, but in 2009/10, he found form under Ancelotti once
Jose Bosingwa suffered a season-ending injury. Ivanovic was
named in the PFA Team of the Year for that season, helping
the Blues with the aforementioned double.
He missed the Champions League final in 2012 through
suspension, but had scored the winning goal in extra-time
against Napoli in the last 16.

He also scored the winner in the 2012/13 Europa League final,
and once Mourinho returned, he was the best right-back in the
country. He helped the side to the 2014/15 Premier League
title and was named in the PFA Team of the Year once more.

He won a total of 10 trophies at the club.

Cesar Azpilicueta – £7m (Marseille, 2012)
Nicknamed “Dave” by Chelsea supporters who struggled to
pronounce his surname, Azpilicueta has become a fan
favourite since moving to Stamford Bridge and remains the
club captain.

He was a rotation option in his first year, but under Mourinho
he became the first choice left-back. Despite being right
footed, he excelled in this position and was named Chelsea’s
Player’s Player of the Year.

He was vital in Chelsea’s 2014/15 title win, and under Antonio
Conte he finally moved away from left-back. He played as the
right centre-back in a 3-4-3, and his positional awareness
helped the side win another title.
He was named club captain ahead of the 2019/20 season,
leading the side to 2020/21 Champions League triumph.

Seventh on the club’s all-time appearance list, he is quickly
closing in on Cech to become the foreign player to have been
fielded by the Stamford Bridge side the most.
He might have departed in the summer of 2022, but after
speculation he could leave for Barcelona, he ultimately
remained with the Blues.

Eden Hazard – £32m (Lille, 2012)
Joining the reigning European Champions, Eden Hazard < hit
the ground running and quite simply was a joy to watch in a
Chelsea shirt.
– Frank Lampard on Eden Hazard, 2013
He was the ultimate fan favourite, and after contributing over
200 goals, in all competitions, in just over 350 games, Hazard
deserves such acclaim. His best season was his last, in which
he scored 16 goals and assisted 15 in 32 Premier League
Hazard won six trophies at Stamford Bridge, and gained the
club a £90m profit when he moved to Real Madrid.
Although his move to Chelsea could scarcely have worked out
better, since moving to Spain he has struggled with injury

N’Golo Kante – £32m (Leicester, 2016)

Named PFA Player’s Player of the Year in his first season at
Chelsea, N’Golo Kante became the first player since Eric
Cantona to win back-to-back English top flight titles with two
different clubs when he helped Chelsea to the 2016/17 trophy.
The perfect foil for Jorginho , Kante is widely recognised as
one of the best midfielders in the world, with his all-action
style of play praised by many.

He helped France win the 2018 World Cup, and was crucial in
Chelsea’s 2021 Champions League triumph, winning the man
of the match award in the final and both legs of the semi-final.
Like Azpilicueta, he was linked with a departure from Chelsea
in 2022 but ultimately remained at the club. With just a year
remaining on his deal, though, a crossroads in his career is
fast approaching when his contract expires in 2023.
There is little doubt, though, that he is one of Chelsea’s best
signings ever.


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