Chelsea’s 10 Most Expensive Signings of All Time & How They Fared

Chelsea's Ukrainian Striker Andriy Shevc
Andriy Shevchenko in Chelsea’s seventh most expensive signing | CARL DE SOUZA/Getty Images

Chelsea have a history of splashing the cash (at least since 2003), and following last summer’s transfer ban, the Blues have returned to the market with a vengeance.

The Londoners swooped in to secure the signature of RB Leipzig forward and long-term Liverpool target Timo Werner for £47.5m – the sixth-most expensive signing in Chelsea history.

Prior to the purchase of Werner, who were Chelsea’s 10 most expensive signings and were they money well spent?

Michy BatshuayiMichy Batshuayi
Batshuayi has struggled to live up to his hefty price tag | Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Price: £35.1m

Hit or Miss: Miss

Batshuayi was the first signing made by Antonio Conte when he brought the Belgian striker in from Marseille in 2016.

It has yet to prove to be a shrewd purchase, with the 26-year-old spending just as much time out on loan as he has at Stamford Bridge. He has scored just eight Premier League goals all in all for the Blues.

With the signing of Timo Werner, Batshuayi is set to fall further down the Stamford Bridge pecking order and could well leave permanently this summer.

Tiemoue BakayokoTiemoue Bakayoko
Bakayoko has spent the last two seasons out on loan | Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Price: £36m

Hit or Miss: Miss

Bakayoko spent one full season in the Chelsea first-team following his big-money move from Ligue 1 champions Monaco – a deal that at the time made him the club’s second-most expensive signing of all time.

However, after a disappointing debut campaign – most memorable was a sending off after 30 minutes against Watford – he was shipped out on loan to Milan by Maurizio Sarri.

The Serie A outfit did not take up their option to buy the defensive midfielder, and Bakayoko has spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at former club Monaco.

Hakim ZiyechHakim Ziyech
Ziyech agreed to join Chelsea in February | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Price: £36m

Hit or Miss: N/A

Ajax have seen their exciting, youthful side that reached the Champions League semi finals completely dismantled, with Chelsea raiding the club for Ziyech in February.

The energetic winger caught the eye when the two sides met in the Champions League group stages, registering three assists as the pair played out a frantic 4-4 draw.

Renowned for his creativity, Ziyech has provided 82 assists in 165 appearances for Ajax, and should prove to be money well spent if he can replicate that form in the Premier League.

Andriy ShevchenkoAndriy Shevchenko
Shevchenko was a blockbuster signing from Mourinho, but managed just one season at Stamford Bridge | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Price: £39m

Hit or Miss: Miss

Jose Mourinho broke the British transfer record when he secured the signing of long-term target Shevchenko from Milan in 2006.

It was heralded as a dream acquisition, and on paper, it should have been. Shevchenko was one of the finest forwards in world football – Milan’s second all-time top scorer, and a Champions League and Ballon d’Or winner.

However, things did not quite go to plan. The striker scored just four Premier League goals all season, and he gradually fell out of favour as the campaign wore on. He did not even make the bench for the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League semi final against Liverpool.

The following season, Shevchenko was loaned back to Milan, before returning permanently to boyhood side Dynamo Kiev a year later.

Kovacic may not have joined Chelsea were it not for their transfer ban, but he has proven to be a smart acquisitionKovacic may not have joined Chelsea were it not for their transfer ban, but he has proven to be a smart acquisition
Kovacic may not have joined Chelsea were it not for their transfer ban, but he has proven to be a smart acquisition | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Price: £40.5m

Hit or Miss: Hit

Kovacic initially joined Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid in 2018, before making the move permanent the following summer.

Having been in and out of the Blues starting XI during his debut Premier League campaign and struggling somewhat under Maurizio Sarri, the midfielder has thrived this season, emerging as one of Chelsea’s standout performers.

Kovacic has come into his own under Frank Lampard, establishing himself as one of the Chelsea manager’s most dependable performers. His importance is not dissimilar to that of N’Golo Kante during Chelsea’s 2016/17 title winning campaign.

Jorginho had a job winning round the Chelsea faithful | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Price: £51m

Hit or Miss: Jury’s Out

Jorginho endured a difficult transition into English football after moving from Napoli in 2018. The midfielder followed manager Sarri from Serie A to Stamford Bridge, and was often criticised and scapegoated for the role he played in the largely unpopular ‘Sarri Ball’

He was near undroppable under Sarri, starting 37 times in the Premier League during the 2018/19 season, but has maintained his regular starting birth under Lampard and gradually won Chelsea supporters over with his intelligence and reading of the game.

This has not prevented Jorginho from being linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer, with – unsurprisingly – Sarri keen for yet another reunion at Juventus.

Chelsea's Spanish forward Fernando TorreChelsea's Spanish forward Fernando Torre
Despite largely being regarded as a flop, Torres provided one of the greatest moments in Chelsea’s history | ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Price: £50m

Hit or Miss: Miss

Not even the famous Champions League semi final goal against Barcelona – and Gary Neville’s iconic reaction – can atone for the £50m spent on Fernando Torres.

The forward broke Liverpool hearts when he made the famous deadline day switch to Chelsea January in 2011, and infamously went 903 minutes without scoring before finally netting his first goal for the club in April.

Torres’ goalscoring record did eventually improve – and he popped up with a couple of important ones – but he failed to hit the heights of his Anfield days, and only managed 38 Premier League goals in three-and-a-half years with the club.

Christian PulisicChristian Pulisic
Pulisic has shown flashes of promise in his maiden Premier League season | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Price: £52m

Hit or Miss: Jury’s Out

The winger became the most expensive American footballer when he sealed his £52m switch from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea in January 2019.

Pulisic spent the remainder of the season on loan at Dortmund, and the 21-year-old has been eased into the blood and thunder of Premier League action during his first year in England.

The USA international forced his way into Frank Lampard’s side in October, grabbing five goals in the space of a month – including a perfect hat-trick against Watford. Injuries have restricted his contributions in a Chelsea shirt thus far, but there have been glimpses to suggest that he could live up to his price tag.

Alvaro MorataAlvaro Morata
Morata failed to make the impact of predecessor Diego Costa | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Price: £60m

Hit or Miss: Miss

Chelsea paid £60m to prise Morata away from Real Madrid in 2017, with the Spanish striker billed as the man to step into Diego Costa’s shoes.

His start to life in England was strong, with a goal on his debut and a hat trick in September. By December of his debut season, Morata has already hit double figures.

However, the goals began to dry up after the turn of the year, with question marks over whether the forward had the physicality or the nasty streak required to lead the line in the Premier League.

In January 2019, after just 24 goals in 72 appearances, Morata was sent out on loan to Atletico Madrid, and made the switch permanent that summer.

Kepa ArrizabalagaKepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa Arrizabalaga has blown hot and cold since moving to Chelsea | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Price: £72m

Hit or Miss: Jury’s Out

Thibaut Courtois eventually forced through a move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2018, with Chelsea breaking their transfer record – and the world record transfer fee paid for a goal keeper – to replace him with Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

He enjoyed a promising first season at Chelsea, keeping 14 clean sheets in 26 Premier League appearances, but was in the headlines after controversially refusing to be substituted in the League Cup final, with a penalty shootout on the horizon.

Kepa’s second season at the Bridge has been a less convincing affair. The 25-year-old was dropped in January after a disappointing run of form, but has since worked his way back into favour and appeared to have found some consistency before the coronavirus enforced break.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.