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The worst signings by Chelsea under Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich has finally achieved his goal of winning the Champions League, the trophy that he lusted and coveted over for almost a decade. It has finally come to Stamford Bridge. But in order to achieve this, many managers and players were bought and also axed. Let us have a look at all those players and managers who were bought in as a result of poor business and did not enjoy great success at the Bridge.  

10. Fernando Torres (2011-present):

Surprised? Some of you might be wondering why he’s placed at the number 10 spot and why not further down while others(mostly Chelsea fans) at his inclusion in the first place. Well, regardless his goal against Barcelona which sealed Chelsea’s place in the Champions League Finals, he still has lots to prove. His £50 million tag is doing him no good and I placed him on the tenth spot only because he still has a career at Chelsea. With the departure of club legend Didier Drogba, he remains Chelsea’s main target man this season and after scoring 2 goals in 3 games already, one would hope he’d score at least 20 premier league goals this season. But until then, he’d be on my list.

9. Yuri Zhirkov (2009-2011) :

Zhirkov was sold for £13million, so his poor performances in a Chelsea shirt must be put into context. The club only lost £5million on the Russian. Zhirkov’s principle problem was that he is a left-back by trade, and yet Chelsea already had the best left-back in the world at their club. Tried in other positions, including left and central midfield, Zhirkov never managed to hold down a place.

8. Luiz Felipe Scolari (July 2008-Feb 09) : 

Chelsea bought the world cup winning manager in July 2008. There was much hype about his abilities after his achievements with Brazil in the World Cup 2002. But Scolari never really adjusted in the Premier League and after a run of poor results which saw Chelsea lying below Aston Villa in the table and in danger of not finishing in the top 4, he was sacked after 7 months in charge.

7. Asier Del Horno.(2005-06)

The special one got things right more often than not but how can we overlook the £8m fee Jose Mourinho paid to bring left back Del Horno to West London in the summer of 2005.

The Spaniard showed early promise but went downhill fast after being sent off against Barcelona for a rash challenge on Lionel Messi. Mourinho quickly lost faith in him and he was flogged to Valencia at a loss of £3m only a year later.


6. Adrian Mutu. (2003-05)

Nearly £16 million was spent on this Romanian. He had a really good start for Chelsea but, after scoring 4 goals in his first 3 games, his form dipped considerably. The next season the club sacked him after he was found cocaine-positive. He is not higher in this list because of the fact that he has since been ordered to pay Chelsea Football Club back most of the money that was spent on him.

5. Glen Johnson (2003-07)

Glen Johnson was bought for £5 million from West Ham United F.C. and was a defensive liability  for Chelsea – as he often is for Liverpool and England nowadays. He scored a few good goals for Chelsea and seemed like he might have a good future because of his age. This hope soon flew out the window along with Johnson’s starting-place when the reliable Paulo Ferreira took his place.


4. Juan Sebastian Veron (2003-07) : 

The Argentine stands as one of the biggest flops in the history of Manchester United, having cost them a record £30 million. He had an amazing spell at Lazio but failed miserably at United. What is more surprising is the fact the Chelsea bought this premier league misfit just 2 seasons later for a sum of £15 million. He started only 7 games under Chelsea and was lasted just the 1 season.

3. Shaun Wright-Phillips (2005-08)

It was a £21 million signing from Manchester City. If SWP had broken through the youth system or been signed for a couple of million pounds from a lower league then he wouldn’t be in this list. The fact was that he was being chased by some of the biggest clubs in Europe and he cost £21 million. Despite lots of expectation and excitement, SWP’s Chelsea career, a bit like his England career, never really took shape.


2. Andre Villas-Boas (2011-12)

Villas-Boas first came to Chelsea as a scout from 2004-2007 during Jose Mourinho’s tenure, and five major domestic trophies were won in that period.He also assisted Mourinho at Porto and Inter Milan, and worked in a similar role under Sir Bobby Robson during the former England manager’s spell in charge of Porto.

After being recruited by Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich in what was thought to be an attempt to implement a more attractive style of play, Villas-Boas suffered early defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal and questions were raised about his tactical strategies.

Villas-Boas also appeared to have a difficult working relationship with senior players at Chelsea, several of whom were only slightly younger than him. He was rightly sacked after a disastrous 1-3 away loss to Napoli where his team selection was heavily questioned.  

1. Andriy Shevchenko (2006-08)

It was obvious, wasn’t it? You just can’t argue with it.He was expensive, there was so much hype over his arrival, he’d been, reportedly, courted by the club for years, he stayed for a bit too long and, at £30 million, he was Chelsea’s record signing at that time.  If his horrid miss in the ’05 Champions League Final was any indication, the goalscoring powers of the 2004 Ballon d’Or winner were fading.The club eventually ended up forking out £3.4 million for each of his league goals, before returning to Milan.