Well.. the fact I have to break this down into numerous parts sums up the amount of nightmare signings Chelsea have had!!
Roman Abramovich took the reins at Stamford Bridge in 2003, bringing in a manager called Jose Mourinho… you may have heard of him?
In the years following, Abramovich turned Chelsea into a powerhouse. Winning numerous leagues, cups, and the elusive Champions League in 2012. However the big name signings we all know and love, don’t show the bigger picture. Below are some of the famous, and forgotten flops in the Abramovich era.
Juan Sebastian Veron
There is only one player to start with. Having been a star player for Lazio, Veron moved first to Manchester United, where he spent 2 years in the first team. He signed for Chelsea for £15m, and fans were excited with such a big name entering the club. However Veron played a mere 7 games in his year at Chelsea, before being shipped out on loan to Inter Milan and then Estudiantes, where he ultimately ended up staying after his loan spell.
Kezman arrived at Stamford Bridge having been in red hot form during his time at PSV Eindhoven, finding the net 105 times in 122 appearances for the Dutch side. However this form was short lived, with Kezman only scoring 4 goals during his year in London. He was ultimately sold to Atletico Madrid for a fee of £5.3m – the same price as Chelsea paid for him.
Jiri Jarosik joined Chelsea from CSKA Moscow for a fee in the region of £3m. His time with The Blues was short lived however, playing only 14 games before being loaned out to Birmingham City just a year after he signed.
Asier Del Horno
After coming through the ranks at Athletic Bilbao, Del Horno impressed during his time in La Liga, making over 100 appearances and scoring 13 goals. This earned him a move to Chelsea for a fee in the region of £11m. However, once moving to England, Del Horno didn’t impress at all. In fact he is remembered mainly for his horrific straight red card challenge on Lionel Messi. He left Chelsea a year after joining, and retired due to regular injuries, at 30 years of age.
I don’t think any list would be complete without Andriy Shevchenko. In his prime, one of the best strikers in the world. However the version Chelsea got definitely wasn’t his prime. Signing from AC Milan for a massive (at the time) £40m, Chelsea thought they were getting themselves a serious goal scorer. However in 77 appearances in blue, Shevchenko managed just 22 goals, mainly coming in cups against lower opposition. He was then loaned back to AC Milan to try and regain his form, however he again disappointed, only scoring 2 goals in 26 matches for the Rossoneri.
One of the strangest signings I have ever seen enter this football club. Boulahrouz chose the number 9 shirt, making you think he was a new striker on the block. Incorrect. He was in fact, a left back.
If the number 9 wasn’t strange enough, Boulahrouz came with the nickname ‘The Cannibal’ due to the fact he would ‘eat up’ opponents. Well we can definitely say that never happened during his spell in London, playing only 20 games in 2 years, mainly from the bench. After a painful season in London, he switched to Sevilla on loan, doing nothing during his time in Seville. He eventually moved back to Germany with Stuttgart and has never been mentioned again in SW6.
Like Jiri Jarosik, Yuri Zhirkov joined Chelsea from Russian side CSKA Moscow, and like Jarosik, he ends up on the list of flops.
Zhirkov joined Chelsea in 2009 for a fee of £18m, making him the most expensive Russian footballer ever. Bright things were expected of him during his time at Chelsea, but Zhirkov struggled to break into the first team on a permanent basis, playing just 29 times in the Premier League, and not impressing at all in his 2 years with the club.
Zhirkov left Chelsea in 2011 back to his native Russia, where he remains to this day, playing for Zenit Saint Petersburg. Unlike most on this list, he continued having a successful career. Earning over 100 caps for Russia making him one of the most decorated players in Russian football.
There we have the first part of the worst signings in the Abramovich era. Some may be controversial, some not so!
Let us know who would make your list of Chelsea flops, and stay tuned for part 2!