10 Asier Del Horno: The Spaniard wasn’t a bad left-back and showed promise after his £8m move from Athletic Bilbao. However, after being sent off for a challenge on Lionel Messi in the Champions League and it all went downhill from there.
Chelsea’s then manager Jose Mourinho lost faith in the fullback and shipped him out for £5m to Valencia.
9 Slavisa Jokanovic: Claudio Ranieri’s first signing as Chelsea boss only cost the club £1.7 million from the year 2000’s La Liga champions Deportivo La Coruna, but in my opinion he has to be included in the list as he is one of the worst players I have ever seen in a Chelsea shirt. Jokanovic was supposed to be a good technical midfielder, but he was too slow for the pace of the Premiership and was found out.
The Yugoslavian, who had played 53 games for the Blues, was released by the club in 2002 and retired after a short stint at Ciudad Murcia.
8 Robert Fleck: Signed for a then club record fee of £2.5m in 1992. He was prolific at Norwich (66 goals in 181 appearances), but Fleck was useless at Chelsea and only managed four goals in 48 games.
Fleck is Chelsea’s cult flop amongst the Chelsea fans, who sung We all live in a Robert Fleck World (to the tune of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine) in his honour.
7 Khalid Boulahrouz: “Khalid the Cannibal” certainly didn’t eat up any of the opposition attackers in the Premier League and he didn’t strike any fear into their hearts either. The Dutchman was too slow for the English top flight and many Chelsea fans’ lasting memory of the player would have been his red card during the 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium on May 7, 2007 which handed Manchester United the title.
6 Chris Sutton: A £10 million transfer fee and only one goal in 29 appearances for Chelsea makes him one of the club’s biggest flops and was branded a “disaster” by former Blues chairman Ken Bates.
Chelsea managed to recoup a fair amount on what they spent on Sutton after selling him to Celtic for £6m.
5 Mateja Kezman: Whilst at PSV Eindhoven the forward scored 105 goals in 122 games in the Dutch Eredivisie, so when he signed for Chelsea for £5.3m many would have thought the west London club landed themselves a bargain player.
I always appreciated Kezman at Stamford Bridge, but he failed to replicate his form for PSV in the Premier League and only scored 4 goals in 25 league matches.
4 Adrian Mutu: Whilst at Chelsea the Romanian forward never seemed a serious professional during his time at Stamford Bridge. He drank, smoked heavily and of course had a penchant for a certain white powder.
His hedonistic tendencies ended up being his undoing as he was sacked by the west London club after testing positive for cocaine in 2004. Mutu recieved a seven-month ban for his actions.
The 31-year-old, now at Fiorentina, has since received another bad for failing a drugs test and is currently serving a nine-month ban. He is also being forced to pay Chelsea £14m after being found guilty of a breach of contract.
To see who made the top three click here
3. Andriy Shevchenko: Signed for a then British transfer fee record of £30.9 million the former AC Milan striker is often regarded as one of the biggest Premier League transfer flops of all time (I haven’t put him at number one for reasons I’ll go into later).
Sheva came to Chelsea with the reputation of being one of the world’s best goal scorers, but his transfer fee weighed heavily on him (just 22 goals in 75 appearances) and he faded in the shadow of Didier Drogba. However, he had he moments, particularly in the 4-4 game against Aston Villa (2007/08 season) so cannot be considered the worst Chelsea flop in my opinion.
Although he was prolific at Milan the price tag was astonishing for a 29-year-old, especially when you consider that Thierry Henry left Arsenal at the same age for around £16m.
2. Winston Bogarde: The Dutch defender was a one-off, but not in the good sense. Bogarde signed for Chelsea when Gianluca Vialli was the manager during the 2000/01 season following Emerson Thome’s departure. But as soon as Ranieri arrived he wanted the player gone.
…Bogarde had other ideas and was content to earn a lucrative £40,000-a-week doing absolutely nothing as he received almost no playing time. The club tried to force the player to leave by demoting him to the reserves and the youth team, but he wouldn’t budge.
He became a figure of ridicule by the English press for his selfishness:
“This world is about money, so when you are offered those millions you take them. Few people will ever earn so many. I am one of the few fortunates who do. I may be one of the worst buys in the history of the Premiership but I don’t care.”
Bogarde, a proper mercenary.
1. Juan Sebastian Veron: The Argentinean midfielder was found out as a player who wasn’t right for English football after he disappointed following a £28.1m move to Old Trafford, so it came as a shock when Chelsea decided to splash out £15m on him.
At Chelsea Veron still could not manage to adjust to English football which makes him a flop twice over.
The former Lazio man had his injury problems at Stamford Bridge and was even threatened with a machete whilst his London home was being burgled, which wouldn’t have helped him settle at all.
However, there is no excuse for failure and a lack of effort. Veron failed…quite predictably.
Who do the Chelsea fans think is their biggest ever flop?