Chelsea Football Club
Nickname: The Blues
Best Premier League finish – 1st (2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10, 2014/15, 2016/17)
Chelsea’s recruitment strategy has mirrored the results of their recent Premier League seasons, mixed. David Luiz’s £50 million reunion led to a Premier League triumph but subsequently found him fluttering between the first team and the bench. The reverse can be said of Ross Barkley since Maurizio Sarri’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Although, their decision to sign Christian Pulisic and loan him back to Borussia Dortmund before a bidding war began, should be vindicated. The American prodigy still has plenty to learn but an abundance of time to do so at just 20 years of age. Lucien Favre has a history of developing youth and a further couple of months in his tutelage will be far more valuable than warming a West London bench.
When he does join the Blues squad at the end of the season, expect an adaptation period to Sarri’s methods but also the beginning of what could become a prosperous relationship, as a vital member of the attacking unit.
Top 5 Record Transfer Fees (as of 04/02/19):
- Kepa Arrizabalaga – £71 million (from Athletic Bilbao – August 2018)
- Alvaro Morata – £60 million (from Real Madrid – July 2017)
- Christian Pulisic – £58 million (from Borussia Dortmund – January 2019)
- Fernando Torres – £50 million (from Liverpool – January 2011)
- Jorginho – £50 million (from Napoli – July 2018)
(Figures include initial fees in GBP at the time of the transfer, as reported by the BBC unless specified otherwise)
Biggest Flop: Andriy Shevchenko
Due to an inflated market and lack of playing time Danny Drinkwater has cost Chelsea around £81,900 per pass. However, Drinkwater may be the latest, but he is not the largest in the long list of Chelsea disappointments.
Andre Shevchenko arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2006 to take Chelsea to the next level in Europe. The Ukrainian had pedigree as a former Ballon d’Or winner. As well as an affiliation with the Champions League that peaked in a 2003 victory with AC Milan, but began with Dynamo Kiev, where he had single handedly slain both Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Shevchenko failed to replicate his any of his previous form while in England. 47 Premier League appearances yielded just nine goals over the course of two seasons and he was promptly loaned back to AC Milan.
Chelsea have had many flops in the time that has elapsed since, though few have arrived with such expectation and at a price narrowly short of the world record at the time.
Biggest Bargain: Frank Lampard
Not in Lampard’s wildest dreams could he have imagined the level of success he would have with Chelsea when joining from West Ham for £11 million in 2001, but Stamford Bridge was on the cusp of a revolution. He would leave 13 years later with 11 pieces of major silverware and as the Blues record goal scorer.
Lampard may not have arrived via Roman Abromovic’s money, but he gladly reaped the rewards from it as an instrumental cog in Jose Mourinho’s machine, that ended a 50-year wait for a league title. From that moment on he never looked back and continued to find the net with a consistency no other Premier League midfielder can match to this day. As well as this, the Englishman topped the assist table in the Premier League on three occasions between 2004 and 2010.
More recently Cesar Azpilicueta appears a steal at £7 million, but the versatile defender will have to do a lot more to match Lampard’s reign over Stamford Bridge.
Records & Trivia:
- Gianluigi Buffon spent 17 years as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, Liverpool broke that record this summer by signing Alison. However, that record stood for just 20 days before Chelsea made Kepa Arrizabalaga the World’s most expensive goalkeeper.
- Lucas Piazon has been with Chelsea just four days fewer than Gary Cahill, however, in that time Cahill has made 289 appearances for the Blues to Piazon’s three.
- Chelsea’s current squad consists of eight players over the age of 30.
- Christian Pulisic became the 42nd player to leave Chelsea on loan this season when he completed his loan return to Borussia Dortmund.