Three Best Pieces Of Business Chelsea Have Made This Century
Chelsea are one of the most decorated clubs in English football in the last decade or two and a lot of the credit has to go to the recruitment model that has been working well for quite a while now. The Blues had 30+ players on loan last season – the most for a top flight club in the country, and have at times spent insane amounts on players who have failed to deliver.
But every now and then, they have managed to sign some world class stars at cheap prices and have reaped the benefits of it for a long time. Chelsea have had a number of bargain signings in the last decade and here are three of the best value for money transfers the club has done in this century.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Marseille; £7m)
Arguably one of the best defenders in England right now, Azpilicueta is the first choice for club and country and has been one of the most consistent players at the Stamford Bridge in the last three years. He has now made 160 league appearances for Chelsea and has established himself as a first choice for Antonio Conte as well, five years after joining the club. He cost just £7m when he was bought from French side Marseille and is easily one of the best bargain buys in recent history.
Thibaut Courtois (Genk; £7.9m)
A product of the Genk academy, Courtois joined Chelsea from the Belgium club back in 2011 and spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid. After more than 100 La Liga appearances, Courtois was brought back to the Stamford Bridge by then manager Jose Mourinho. Since then, the 25-year old has established himself as the first-choice for club and country and stands as one of the best goalkeepers, not just in England, but also in Europe. What a signing for just £7.9m.
Ashley Cole (Arsenal; £5m)
Easily the best buy for Chelsea in this time, Cole joined the Blues at his peak from Arsenal, at a time when the power shift from the Emirates to the Stamford Bridge was in full swing. After helping Arsenal to some incredible victories, Cole decided to switch to Chelsea and though he was not a popular figure at the Emirates there on, he became one of the most successful players at the Bridge. He went on to make 229 league appearances for the Blues and stands as one of the best purchases the London club have done after the turn of the century.