Is this the worst Chelsea XI of the Abramovich era?

If Roman Abramovich hadn’t joined Chelsea in the summer of 2003; the likelihood is that Chelsea would no longer be in business.

In that time, the Russian oligarch has pumped obscene amounts of money into the club, clearing debt, organising sponsorships and buying world renowned football stars and bringing them to Stamford Bridge.

But despite all the positives that Abramovich has brought to the club, it hasn’t all been good news.

Most notably on the player front, there have been some real shocking decisions, particularly in the early Abramovich years.

From spending vast sums of money on flops, to buying players simply out of the blue, there have been quite a few strange signings over the last 13 or so years.

Abramovich is an expert at buying oil, but football players…not so much.

Click below to find out the WORST CHELSEA XI of the Roman Abramovich era…

GK – Ross Turnbull

Ross Turnbull

Ross Turnbull is the definition of a second-choice goalkeeper.

His career so far has lasted a whopping 14 years, despite being just 31 years old; but despite that he has managed to get less than 150 first team appearances in league football – an absolutely shocking number.

A worst keeper of the Abramovich era was always going to be tough, given that The Blues only really had one for the first 10 years of it in Petr Cech; so any other keeper was always going to be play second fiddle.

The only other player that could compete with Turnbull for this spot is Hilario, but he has gone on to have a successful coaching career with the club; and reportedly earned very little in wages during his spell.

Now at Leeds United, having failed to gain a league appearance for the club since joining…it is not looking good for Ross Turnbull.

Baba Rahman

Baba Rahman

It is a bit unfair to give Rahman this title, but in reality he has very little competition for this spot.

When he was signed things looked positive, he was one of the top left backs in Germany, and fans had high hopes.

However, last season was a disaster; he looked out of his depth and failed to look threatening going forward or solid defensively.

He now looks set to be shifted out for far less than the £20 million fee this summer, and he will no doubt not look back on his time at Stamford Bridge fondly.

CB – Papy Djilibodji

Another fairly recent signing; this is an obvious one. The deal to bring Papy Djilobodji to London was an absolutely bizarre one.

He was signed in the final few days of last summer’s transfer window, and failed to make any sort of impact during his debut season with the club.

We still don’t really know what he looks like, how good he is, or where he will end up this summer.

All we know is that he’s called Papy Djilobodji…and he wont be making it into the Chelsea team any time soon.

CB – Khalid Boulahrouz

Khalid Boulahrouz (Sporting Lisbon)

When Khalid Boulahrouz joined Chelsea, he made the bizarre decision to take the number 9 shirt, despite being a defender – much to the confusion of the Chelsea faithful.

Signed for around £10 million, Boulahrouz lost his place in the Chelsea team within a year, before spending his second season on loan with Sevilla.

He was then shipped out for around £5 million.

A disaster all round.

RB – Jose Bosingwa

Jose Bosingwa QPR defender

Jose Bosingwa gets a lot of stick for how good he was in the final years of his Chelsea career, but he wasn’t THAT bad during the opening year or two.

However, he never did really live up to his near £20 million price tag, and has become the but of many fans jokes for the state of his defending (and the state of his eyebrow…)

LM – Marko Marin

Marko Marin (Chelsea)

Did you know that Marko Marin is still actually on the Chelsea books?

The German winger played a solitary season for The Blues, which was marred by constant injuries, and has been on loan ever since.

He never lived up to his near £10 million price tag, and will no doubt be let go on a free when his deal comes to an end in a few years.

What a waste of money.

CM – Steve Sidwell

Steve Sidwell

From a business perspective, the Steve Sidwell deal is actually a good one. The Blues bought him on a free, and then sold him a year later for a £5million profit.

What makes him a part of this team on a purely football basis is the simple fact that he was never good enough to wear a Chelsea shirt, and he was only really ever at the club to make up the numbers.

Sidwell is at best a low level Premier League or Championship player; at Chelsea he was simply batting above his average.

CM – Juan Veron

Juan Sebastian Veron

The pinnacle of Chelsea transfer mistakes.

On his day he was a world class midfielder, but despite failing at Manchester United – Abramovich saw fit to give Veron a near £20 million transfer to join Chelsea.

At the time he was the most expensive (cumulative) player in Premier League history, and after years of injury problems and 15 appearances later; Veron was shipped out by Chelsea too.

An awful signing.

RM – Juan Cuadrado

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Juan Cuadrado is the only player on this list that still has the opportunity to prove himself at the club; but things do not look good for him, despite Antonio Conte revealing that he wants to give him a chance.

During his 6 months in England he looked lazy, weak on the ball and generally uncomfortable. All this despite a near £30 million fee for the Columbian winger.

For a player that almost shares a transfer fee with Eden Hazard, you would expect much more.

I hope I’m proved wrong; but Juan Cuadrado at this point is one of Roman Abramovich’s worst signings by far.

FWD – Mateja Kezman

Mateja Kezman (Liverpool 2 – 3 Chelsea AET 2005)

When Mateja Kezman signed for Chelsea he had scored over 100 goals in the Netherlands, and looked sure to be a star at Chelsea.

However, like many in this list; he was a TOTAL flop.

After a year and only 4 league goals for the club, he was eventually shipped out for a cut price; signalling yet another transfer failure for Roman Abramovich in his early years in charge.

FWD – Adrian Mutu


On the field, Adrian Mutu looked an incredible player. He was prolific during his first few months in London, and looked set to become a Chelsea great. Then it all changed.

Mutu eventually failed a drugs test, testing positive for Cocaine use, and was subsequently fired by the club.

The legal case for this is still on going, and has no doubt cost Chelsea MILLIONS in legal fees. And at the rate that the investigation is going, they wont even begin to see that money back for years, if ever!

For carrying such a high transfer fee, having so much potential and the subsequent legal and PR issues that this saga caused; Adrian Mutu deserves a spot on this list.