It is no longer news that Roman Abramovich has put Chelsea up for sale. After 19 trophy-laden years, it is time for Roman to say goodbye to the good people at Stamford Bridge.
Roman Abramovich made English football exciting again, in 2003, what we now regard as a big six — maybe more — was a big two. He injected money into the purchase of world-class players in order for Chelsea to be able to compete at the top level.
However, there were some bad investments that didn’t pay off for Chelsea. We take a closer look at the 5 worst signings of the Abramovich era.
5 Danny Drinkwater – £34.11m from Leicester City
Till today I still cannot understand why Chelsea bought Danny Drinkwater. It was almost as though Antonio Conte wanted to copy and paste the Premier League-winning Leicester City midfield without having a Jamie Vardy.
While Kante went from strength to strength after leaving Leicester, it was sadly a different story for his teammate Danny Drinkwater, who struggled to make the step up after Chelsea signed him in 2017.
4 Tiemoue Bakayoko – £36m from AS Monaco
The summer Chelsea signed Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco, it was as though the Blues would rule all of Europe for ages to come. Chelsea had N’golo Kante who was in top form, adding a powerhouse like Bakayoko meant they would outplay any midfield.
But for one reason or another, the one-time France international struggled badly in the Premier League and has since spent time out on loan at several different clubs including AC Milan and Napoli.
3 Alvaro Morata – £59.4 million from Real Madrid
Big things were expected of Morata when he signed for Chelsea from Real Madrid for £59.4 million. Alvaro Morata managed 16 goals during his time at the club with so many missed chances.
2 Andriy Shevchanko – £39.49m from AC Milan
Abramovich had long held a fascination with Andriy Shevchenko, with the Russian oligarch finally luring the striker to Chelsea from AC Milan for a then club record fee of £30 million in the summer of 2006.
Jose Mourinho, however, had no real plan on how to use the Ukrainian, with Shevchenko crowbarred into a side that didn’t play to his strengths.
Shevchenko scored just nine times in the Premier League before returning to AC Milan in 2008, with a permanent transfer to Dynamo Kiev secured the following summer.
He might have been one of the greatest strikers of his generation, but Chelsea fans saw a shadow of the player who shone at the San Siro.
1 Adrian Mutu – £17 million
Abramovich’s first summer transfer window in charge of Chelsea saw no fewer than 11 signings made for a grand total of £150 million with Adrian Mutu one of the more eye-catching additions, joining from Parma for £17 million.
The Romanian arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation as one of Europe’s brightest young prospects, but failed to show that at any point in England.
Mutu made 27 Premier League appearances in his one and only full season for Chelsea, finding the net just six times.
The forward was then banned from professional football for seven months after testing positive for cocaine use, an incident that saw Chelsea take legal action against the Romanian over a breach of contract.
Mutu left for Juventus in January 2005 and is remembered by Chelsea fans only for the disappointment he caused.
Honourable (more like dishonourable) Mentions
You might be wondering why Fernando Torres did not make the top 5, well that goal in Camp Nou did push him down the worst chart. He had peaked before he came to Chelsea and found it difficult to rediscover the form he had for Liverpool.
Other players worth mentioning are Mateja Kezman, Khalid Boulahrouz – £11.88m from Hamburger SV, Marko Marin – £7.2m from Werder Bremen, Radamel Falcao – £6.3m (loan fee) from AS Monaco, Mateja Kezman – £6.7m from PSV Eindhoven, Adrian Mutu – £17.1m from Parma, Juan Sebastian Veron – £19.62m from Manchester United, Davide Zappacosta – £22.5m from Torino. Michy Batshuayi – £35.1m from Marseille.