Value For Money! – Top 3 Bargain Signings By Chelsea Since 2000
Today, Chelsea football club might be one of the richest in Europe and can afford to sign some of the most expensive players in the market. But there once was a time when they conducted some excellent transfer business and did not spend insane transfer amounts we see these days.
Dozens of talented players have pulled on the Chelsea shirt over the last two decades but here’s a look at three particular signings who were both talented and cheap.
Michael Ballack – Bayern Munich 2006 (Free)
Michael Ballack was undoubtedly one of Chelsea’s greatest bargains, having joined the Blues on a free transfer from Bayern Munich back in 2006. Ballack was one of the finest German players to have played in the Premier League and was quite influential in Chelsea’s success.
The German midfielder lifted five major trophies including the 2009-10 Premier League title. Although he never successfully managed to displace Frank Lampard in the pecking order, he did manage to provide flair in midfield. Leaving Bayern Munich must not have been easy but with Chelsea’s lucrative package, Ballack certainly made the right choice in the end.
Petr Cech – Rennes 2004 (£7m)
Spending £7m million for a goalkeeper in 2004 seemed like a lot of money but Petr Cech was worth multiple times his price in his peak years. He was undoubtedly one of Chelsea’s greatest shot-stoppers. In his eleven year spell at Stamford Bridge, Cech lifted more than 14 major trophies including four Premier League titles and a Champions League title.
His contribution to the Blues during his time at the Bridge made him a favourite among the fans. Especially his performance in the 2011-12 Champions League final when he saved a penalty from Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben in extra-time and followed that up with two more spot-kick saves in the shootout.
While Thibaut Courtois might be the future of Chelsea, Petr Cech will remain as one of the club’s greatest ever players.
Ashley Cole – Arsenal 2006 (£5m + William Gallas)
The former England international left-back was perhaps one of the best defenders in Europe during his best years and undoubtedly England’s finest. His performances over the years more than made up for Chelsea trying their best to get the man even if it meant upsetting Gallas and the Arsenal board.
Cole went on to have an extremely successful career at Stamford Bridge winning 9 major trophies including the 2011-12 Champions League title, making him one of Chelsea’s best transfer deals. Although Marcos Alonso has been showing great promise at left-back for Chelsea since his arrival, it won’t be easy for the Spaniard to match the successful career of Ashley Cole.