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Worst Chelsea Signing During The Roman Abramovich Era

Posted on February 25, 2019 by John Harris

Abromovich-soccerRoman Abramovich brought Chelsea for £140 million in 2003, but by no means was that the end to his spending. Over the last 16 years, the Russian has spent over £1.5 billion on new players, with not all of those being of the caliber needed to compete for honors.

The Abramovich era has seen a trophy haul of 13 major trophies; including five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and one Champions League success. The 2009/10 campaign also saw the Blues complete their first FA Cup and Premier League double.

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1.            Adrian Mutu (£16 Million from Parma)

Things started very well for Mutu following his big-money move from Italy. He scored four goals in his opening three matches and was shaping up to be a top quality signing. However, things quickly turned sour for the Romanian international.

Chelsea signed the former Series A star in 2003, and he was quick to fall out with new manager José Mourinho who arrived the following season due to questions about the Romanian’s attitude.

Mutu’s Blues career ended unceremoniously, to say the least when the club released him after testing positive for a class A drug. He was a real waste of what looked to be a promising talent. His Parma record spoke for itself, as he scored 16 goals in 30 appearances. Chelsea sued the Romanian for a breach in their contract, something that Mutu remains liable for.

2.    Andriy Shevchenko (£30 Million from AC Milan)

The Ukrainian striker was once the hottest striker on the globe, with defenders quaking in their boots when they saw his name of the opposition line up. However, this form which saw him deliver 175 goals in just over 300 appearances at AC Milan deserted him after he joined Chelsea for a then-record fee of £30m.

The Russian would land his man in the summer of 2005. However, the move would backfire as the Ukrainian scored just 22 times in his 77 outings for the Blues before being loaned back to Milan.

3.    Mateja Kezman (£5.3 Million from PSV)

Kezman arrived in London with a lot of excitement due to his frankly ridiculous record of 105 goals in 122 Eredivisie appearances. The Serbian striker was handed the number nine shirt at Stamford Bridge following Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s move to Middlesbrough.

It was hoped that the dynamic forward would bring his natural eye for goal to the Premier League.

However, Kežman managed to net just four times in 25 Premier League outings and was swiftly sold the following summer. The saving grace was that he cost the Blues and Mr Abramovich a mere £5m.

4.    Radamel Falcao (Loan from Monaco)

Quite frankly this entire list could consist of Chelsea forwards, due to the poor form of once great strikers once they sign for the Blues. Fans would have thought that Chelsea would have known to steer well clear of Radamel Falcao after his failings at Manchester United during the previous season. Yet they opted to take him on loan after winning the Premier League title.

The Colombian particularly impressed in a pre-season match against Barcelona but that was as good as it got. His only competitive goal for the club came in a 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. Falcao undoubtedly was a fantastic striker in his heyday for Atletico Madrid and Porto. However, the form of the Colombian in the Premier League puts him among the flops.

He only managed 12 appearances for Chelsea, before returning to French side Monaco, where he has since won a league title and began to show glimpses of his old form. Since returning from his loan spells in England, he has scored 48 goals in 76 appearances.

5.    Tiemoue Bakayoko (£40 Million from Monaco)

A more recent disappointment is Tiemoue Bakayoko. The ex-Monaco striker joined the Blues with a massive reputation following his exploits in helping the French side to Ligue 1 glory. However, he is currently on a two-year loan away from Chelsea at Milan. The 24-year-old was dubbed a long term replacement for Nemanja Matic upon his arrival, but a disastrous 2017-18 season saw the Frenchman loaned out to AC Milan.

The French midfielder could turn his Blues career around and live up to the hype. Bakayoko could be reinstated into the first team when he returns from Milan. However, that looks increasingly unlikely due to his poor form in Italy. But, for now, he goes down as one of the worst signings under Abramovich, due to his poor performances and massive price tag.

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