Under the Roman Abramovich era, Chelsea has spent hundreds of millions to buy some of the world’s most talented players. During this time, supporters have also had to suffer through a few horrible signings that didn’t work out.
Here is my list of the ten biggest flops to play for Chelsea:
1. Winston Bogarde
Chelsea signed Winston Bogarde from Barcelona on a four-year contract and stupidly paid him £40,000 per week. One week after he was signed Gianluca Vialli was sacked and Claudio Ranieri took over. The Italian quickly realised he was surplus to requirements and wanted to offload him but the Dutchman’s wages made that impossible. In an attempt to force him out of the club, he was banished to the reserves but Bogarde didn’t care, he was happy to stay despite no chance of first-team action. During his four year stay at Stamford Bridge, he made a measly 11 appearances and earned £10 million. What a guy!
2. Juan Sebastian Veron
Man United broke the British transfer record to sign Juan Sebastian Veron from Lazio but after two disappointing seasons, Sir Alex Ferguson shrewdly sold him to Chelsea for £15 million. Despite scoring on his debut in a 2-1 win over Liverpool, the Argentinean form dipped and was later loaned out to Inter Milan and Estudiantes. Technically a brilliant player but was unable to cope with the Premier League’s fast tempo.
3. Tal Ben-Haim
Ben-Haim was picked up on a free transfer from Bolton, where he was a solid defender for Big Sam. Signed as a back-up for John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho, he made 13 appearances for Chelsea. The Israeli was fairly dreadful anytime he stepped onto the pitch and was shipped out to Manchester City where he also enjoyed limited playing time.
4. Jiri Jarosik
Jarosik was a strange £3 million purchase from CSKA Moscow. A blind man could see he wasn’t good enough to play for the Blues but at least he played enough games to win a Premier League medal in the 04/05 campaign, one more than Steven Gerard! Jarosik was loaned out to Birmingham City that season and then sold to Celtic.
5. Jose Bosingwa
Bosingwa joined the club for £16.3 million from Porto and looked like a solid full back during his stint in Portugal. He lost his place in the team to Ivanovic due to a few dodgy defensive displays and somehow managed to stay at the club for four years. The club let his contract expire, and money bags QPR prolonged his stay in London for another year. It’s safe to say he’ll be more remembered for his unibrow than football ability.
6. Mateja Kezman
The Serbian goal poacher had a remarkable scoring record in the Eredivisie with PSV, netting 105 goals in 120 games. At the time, £5.2 million seemed like a bargain for one of Europe’s most lethal finishers. Kezman’s time at Stamford Bridge proved to be a complete nightmare and didn’t come close to replicating his goalscoring exploits in Holland. He scored four goals in the Premier League before Jose Mourinho sold him to Atletico Madrid.
7. Andriy Shevchenko
At the peak of his powers in Milan, Shevchenko was incredible. It’s a real shame by the time Chelsea signed him, he was 29 years old and his body was breaking down. Roman Abramovich bought the striker to mount a serious challenge for the Champions League, Mourinho had little or no involvement in the deal. Shevchenko was a shell of his former self and lost the goal scoring instinct he showed in the Serie A. His spell in London ended in 2009 when he rejoined his old club, Dynamo Kyiv.
8. Khalid Boulahrouz
Boulahrouz was a tough, aggressive defender brought in to the squad for his versatility. Bizarrely, he wore the number 9 shirt, vacated by Herman Crespo. Boulahrouz had made only 13 appearances for the club before he was sent out on loan out to Sevilla. Despite his limited game time, he still managed to rake up 5 yellow cards and one red card.
9. Tiemoue Bakayoko
Bakayoko was recruited from Monaco as a long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic. Chelsea splashed out £40 million win his signature, a decision they now highly regret. His debut season in the Premier League was a disaster, littered with mistakes and inconsistent performances. Bakayoko is still young though and has time to turn around his career at Chelsea but let’s face it, that’s unlikely to happen. He’s currently on loan to Milan, where his form hasn’t improved.
10. Slavisa Jokanovic
The Serbian was bought for £1.7 million in 2000 from Deportivo La Coruna after helping them win the La Liga the previous season. Jokanovic was a technically gifted footballer but was too slow to play in the Premier League. Much to the delight of supporters, he was released in 2002 after 53 appearances for the Blues.