Sorry to tease you Blues about signing players when your club can’t until the summer 2020 transfer window.
But the signings from down the years at Stamford Bridge we’re going to be looking at in this list are not the Lampards, the Drogbas or the Hazards, far from it.
I bet the West Londoners wished they did have a transfer ban when they tried to acquire these ill-fated stars…
We start with one of the more recent ones in Tiemoue Bakayoko, someone who technically still plies his trade at Stamford Bridge but we’re unlikely ever to see in blue again.
The fact that Antonio Conte’s Chelsea forked out a remarkable £40m-ish on the sub-standard midfielder will send shivers down the spine of anyone in west London and unless the club can sell up, they’re still lumbered with him until 2022.
From one pricy Pensioners flop to another and Jiri Jarosik, a name synonymous in Blues folklore as one of the worst to ever represent them.
The centre-back signed from CSKA Moscow in 2005 and lasted no more than half-a-season before a loan to Birmingham City and his subsequent sale to Celtic, enough time for the Chelsea faithful to very much make up their minds on him.
Well, Asier Del Herono’s name meant that one way or another he was always going to be laughed at in English football but he would have hoped the sniggers wouldn’t have also been caused by his performances.
The overwhelming memory most were left with from the defender’s only campaign at the Bridge was not his shoddy showings, rather his horrendous UEFA Champions League tackle on a young Lionel Messi – simply shocking.
Juan Sebastian Veron, what a player, Manchester United, Internazionale, Lazio, Argentina, countless trophies and memorable moments – so what’s he doing on this list?
That’s a good question.
Having joined for around £20m from Old Trafford in the summer of 2003, things never really clicked for the seminal central midfielder in west London as his successful spell in English football ended in an anti-climax and Veron went down as one of Chelsea’s worst ever signings.
Much like Veron, Mateja Kezman represented some very prestigious clubs throughout his career, somehow.
The hit-and-miss poacher only spent the one term in England, making 41 appearances for a meagre return of just seven goals, streets away from what Jose Mourinho would have hoped for when he captured him from PSV – at least Kezman’s only real Chelsea highlight was a special one though, scoring the winner against Liverpool in the 2005 League Cup final.
When a manager has no idea a player is signing due to the whole deal being conducted by the sporting director behind his back, it doesn’t have the makings of a great transfer. And so this proved with Winston Bogarde.
No one seemed to want the former Ajax, Barcelona and Holland centre-back at Chelsea, however, he was determined to stay until the end of his contract in 2004 to pick up his lofty £40k-per-week salary and who could blame him?
Bogarde only ever made 12 competitive appearances for the Blues, ridiculous.
Adrian Mutu’s Chelsea tale is a sad one. It could have been one of greatness if the Romanian hadn’t let him substance abuse issues ruin it by being sacked for his addiction to cocaine.
Mutu had a great record on the pitch in west London, registering ten goals and nine assists in just over a season before the cocaine story came out and the world came crashing down on him.
The reason the talented centre-forward makes the is the £15m the Blues threw away on him.
There would be no such drama in the short Stamford Bridge stay of another failed attacker, ex-Germany prodigy Marko Marin.
The Pensioners thought they were getting something special when Werder Bremen finally gave up their budding 16-time German international in 2012 though he would only ever join the long list of Blues youngsters to be prolifically sent out on loan before exiting at the end of their contracts.
Argentine frontman Franco Di Santo was once nicknamed the “new Maradona” as well as the “little Crespo,” the fact that he’s a Wigan Athletic cult hero probably explains how far he got in living up to those tags.
After a switch from hometown club Audax Italiano, the ex-Argentina international barely made any impact at all in west London and swapped Stamford Bridge for the DW Stadium in 2010 with zero strikes to his name.
In contrast to Di Santo, Chelsea supporters certainly haven’t forgotten the name Andriy Shevchenko and they’re never likely to however much they might have wanted to.
The world football icon is another who enjoyed a near-perfect career apart from the one blemish on his CV, the spell with the Blues.
Just 77 matches and 22 goals will never endear yourself at a club when they’ve broken all kinds of records to bring you in for £30m, a whopping sum back then – if only he could have been like the man he’s pictured with above.
As you may have noticed and will continue to as we progress through this list, Chelsea have never had much luck with big-money and big-name strikers and it gets worse from here.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men broke the bank to the tune of a reported £50m British record sum to sign Fernando Torres from Liverpool in the January 2011 transfer window and from his unbelievable miss against Manchester United a couple of months after joining, it was all downhill – the Spain legend would only ever score 45 times in west London.
It’s hard to gauge what the Blues recruitment team was doing when it decided that Papy Djilobodji was a long-term replacement for John Terry.
In his only campaign at the Bridge (2015/2016) the former Nantes and Senegal defender racked up just one appearance and that came at Walsall in the League Cup, just a couple of years later he would be sacked by Sunderland, yes that’s right, Sunderland.
Here we go again, I think we’ve heard this story before; reputable forward moves to west London for a large wedge of cash and appears as shadow of the player he was once.
England one-cap wonder Chris Sutton arrived at Chelsea in 1999 after a gold-plated five years at Blackburn Rovers which included winning the Premier League and the division’s Golden Boot award in separate seasons.
But he endured a miserable first and only season with the Earl of Cadogan’s coat of arms on his chest, recording a pathetic two goals.
Manchester City great Shaun Wright-Phillips was always something of an enigma in English football, was he ever that good? His number of Three Lions caps certainly offers one answer to that question.
However, a different one lies in how he performed when he made a deserved move into the upper echelons of the Premier League for an eye-watering £21m in 2005, not scoring for the best part of a year-and-a-half, losing his regular place in the England set-up and returning to where he came from in Manchester three years later.
The less said about Radamel Falcao’s time with the Blues the better – Roman Abramovich will just be relieved the Colombian was only ever on loan and he never spent any actual money on him.
Falcao was brought in temporarily to provide support for Diego Costa in the 2015/2016 term and as injuries hampered his chances of securing a permanent move he was only ever able to find the back of the net once, very poor.
Continuing the trend of genuinely superb footballers who just seemed to struggle at Chelsea for some odd reason is Yossi Benayoun.
Isreal’s all-time leading cap holder was, in truth, perhaps a little too old for the standard when he hooked up with the former club of his fellow countryman manager Avram Grant and it took the Blues just one season to work this out before the central midfielder began to be loaned out and eventually was released.
Khalid Boularouz’s time with Chelsea was bizarre, right from the beginning when he took the number nine shirt from Hernan Crespo despite being a centre-back.
But most odd of all was Jose Mourinho’s decision to spend the best part of £10m of his summer 2006 budget on him in the first place as Boularouz never ceased to look out of his depth in England and was turned inside-out by pretty much every decent attacker around at the time.
Not only did Gael Kakuta contribute virtually nothing to Chelsea Football Club in his six years there following a move from Lens, he very nearly got himself and the team in a lot of trouble.
Kakuta’s transfer to Stamford Bridge was nothing short of fishy as it was claimed that the Blues persuaded the young and impressionable French star to breach his Lens contract by illegally signing for them.
He was slapped with a hefty fine and a ban whilst the West Londoners were also dealt a transfer embargo although all of these would later be lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport – was this perhaps a premonition for the Pensioners?
When you look back at the long list of Chelsea club-record signings you see names such as Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Dennis Wise – you also see Scotsman Robert Fleck.
The striker famously threw his toys out of his pram to force the surprising transfer from Norwich City through in 1992 and the four-time Scotland international was a complete disaster over his three years at the club, so much so that he became something of a cult hero.
Blues fans got a reminder of what they could have had for much longer when an aging Yuri Zhirkov bizarrely popped up for Russia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and did alright.
But the most expensive Russian star of all time when he joined the Pensioners from CSKA Moscow back in 2009 has always been too inconsistent to make it at the highest level in Europe and his best was never anything more than a flash in the pan for the Pensioners – in spite of making close to a half-century of appearances in west London.