Chelsea are undoubtedly one of the biggest spending powers in the world of football. Every summer or winter since the 2003 takeover from Roman Abramovich, the Blues have been linked with almost every player in the transfer window.
And many of those times, the London club get their man.
Whether they succeed, however, is an entirely different story.
While some players have gone on to become Chelsea legends, many have either failed to make any impact or just didn’t live up to the high expectations coming with their usually absurd price tags.
Here we take a look at Chelsea’s Top 5 worst ever signings in the history of the Premier League.
Chris Sutton will always be remembered as one half of the great SAS pair for Blackburn Rovers’ one and only Premier League title back in 1995, scoring 21 goals that year. However although after the departure of Alan Shearer caused his goal tally to drop the following campaign, the Englishman got back to his goal-scoring ways and managed 12 and then 21 goals in 1997 and 1998.
Blackburn’s relegation 1999 opened the door for Chelsea, who paid £10million to bring the striker to Stamford Bridge.
Signed to become Gianfranco Zola’s partner up front, Sutton was unable to cope with Chelsea’s style of play during 39 appearances, in which he only managed to score one league goal.
And only after one season, the Blues had enough of the flop and sold him to Scottish club Celtic for just £6million.
Shaun Wright Phillips was one of Manchester City’s best players back in the 2004-2005 season, and Chelsea thought he would provide decent competition to first choice winger Arjen Robben.
However the Blues shelled out a massive £21million for the Englishman, who went on to warm the bench for much of his time at Stamford Bridge.
And when he did play, he was limited to the odd goal in between a string of inconsistent and unspectacular performances. He was basically no-where near the level of the then Premier League champions, and after three seasons was sent back to Man City for less than half the price at £9million.
Classified as one of the best strikers in the past decade, the former AC Milan star could do no wrong at the San Siro.
In 2003 Shevchenko’s inspiring performances led Milan to the Champions League trophy before claiming the coveted Ballon D’or in 2004, and then falling just short of his second European title in 2005.
His displays attracted the interest of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who signed the player despite Mourinho’s rejections for £30.8million… a then English transfer record.
However he lived nowhere near the hype or his price tag, as the Ukranian only managed four league goals in 30 appearances in his first year at Stamford Bridge. He didn’t do much better the next season with five, and was loaned back to former club AC Milan where he couldn’t manage to score a single league goal in 18 appearances.
Torres arrived from Liverpool in the January of 2011 on a £50million fee, which still holds as the highest amount paid by an English club for a player.
And while he was scoring goals for fun during his time at Anfield, Torres has been unable to recapture the form that made him one of the world’s most lethal finishers.
In his first half-season Torres only managed one goal in 14 appearances, with coaches citing that he was still getting used to his new surroundings.
But the next year didn’t improve on a personal level, as he missed a sitter (video above) against Manchester United and only managed six goals in 32 Premier League appearances.
Torres did play a helping hand in helping the Blues lift their first ever Champions League trophy, but for the amount spent for the Spaniard he is undoubtedly one of the worst transfers in Chelsea’s history. Now with Drogba back at the club, we could see the ‘flop’ make his exit away from Stamford Bridge.
Winston Bogarde may have arrived on a free transfer compared to the rest on the list but while the others played games and had some part in Chelsea’s successes, Bogarde came in as one of the best free transfers of the summer to become probably one of the worst signings in Premier League history.
The Dutchman, who won La Liga with Barcelona and the UEFA Champions League with Ajax, was a purchase from manager Gianluca Vialli but when Claudio Ranieri took over the reign that same summer, Bogarde didn’t fit his new boss’ plans and was looking to leave.
However no club were willing to match his high £40,000-a-week contract, which meant that he didn’t even attempt to play for the Blues, but go to training and sit out his four-year contract.
He famously quoted: “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.”
No club trusted him to play after that, so the Dutchman retired in 2004.