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Chelsea’s £635.7m fortune wasted on 19 players during Roman Abramovich era



CHELSEA owner Roman Abramovich has officially put the club up for sale.

Abramovich makes ‘incredibly difficult decision’ to sell Chelsea

Roman Abramovich’s time as Chelsea owner looks set to be over in the near future after putting the club up for sale. The Russian billionaire has helped establish Chelsea as one of the biggest powerhouses in European football, winning every trophy there is available since taking over the club in 2003.

Stamford Bridge has also seen legendary coaches come and go such as Jose Mourinho, Guss Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte as well as club icon Frank Lampard taking on the job.

Thomas Tuchel is the latest man to take the hot seat and the German head coach has impressed in his first year in charge with three trophies already.

Throughout Abramovich’s time in charge, a large fortune has been spent on bringing in the best players from around the world with players such as Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba and N’Golo Kante among others.

But there has equally been a number of big-money transfers which have failed to live up to expectations over the years. Express Sport takes a look at 19 players in particular who underwhelmed at best during their time at Chelsea.

Chelsea have spent a fortune under Roman Abramovich
Chelsea have spent a fortune under Roman Abramovich (Image: GETTY)

Andriy Shevchenko – £39.5m

The first big transfer error of Abramovich’s reign came in 2006. Shevchenko was still at the top of his game for AC Milan when he signed for Chelsea aged 29, but he failed to adapt to the Premier League and left as a free agent just three years later.

Khalid Boulahrouz – £11.8m

The man brought in to replace William Gallas for a relatively high fee at the time only ended up playing 13 league games before being loaned out a year later and moved in permanently in 2008 for just £4.5m.

Fernando Torres – £52.6m

Arguably one of the most contentious transfers in Premier League history when Chelsea stole superstar striker Torres from rivals Liverpool in January 2011. The move spectacularly backfired for Chelsea though as the forward suffered a torrid time in west London. Liverpool meanwhile used the money from Torres’ sale to bring in Luis Suarez… and Andy Carroll. Mixed bag all round.

Juan Cuadrado – £27.9m

Another move which sensationally backfired with Chelsea sign*ing Cuadrado and agreeing to send Mohamed Salah to Fiorentina on loan. It was in Italy where Salah would begin to show his true form before making Chelsea regret their decision when Liverpool swooped in. Cuadrado meanwhile lasted just two years at Chelsea before joining Juventus.

Loic Remy – £11.8m

After sending Torres out on loan in 2014, Chelsea were in need of attacking reinforcements and turned to QPR frontman Loic Remy. A relatively low-risk fee, but still never cut the grade at Stamford Bridge.

Filipe Luis – £18m

Rated as one of the best left-backs in world football at the time, the capture of Luis was seen as a coup but he was regularly overlooked with right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta favoured before the Brazilian was sold a year later.

Abdul-Rahman Baba – £23.4m

Chelsea were out of luck finding a left-back capable of coming in and Baba certainly wasn’t one of them. Chelsea paid over £20m for him back in 2015 and despite playing just 15 games for the club, incredibly he’s still on their books currently on loan at Reading.

Abdul-Rahman Baba is still a Chelsea player
Abdul-Rahman Baba is still a Chelsea player (Image: GETTY)

Radamel Falcao – £6.3m (loan fee)

A low-risk deal but still a big-name player who failed to cut the grade in one year at Chelsea. They did save themselves £38m in their option to buy though.

Michy Batshuayi – £35.1m

That was instead spent on the signing of Michy Batshuayi, who like Baba, incredibly remains on Chelsea’s books. He has played for the Blues since 2020 though and are set to lose out massively on the fee they paid Marseille back in 2016.

Alvaro Morata – £59.4m

Chelsea’s history of poor money spent on big-name strikers continued in 2017 when Antonio Conte was given huge sums of cash to spend. Morata proved a disaster at Chelsea and is easily one of the worst signings in the club’s history. Incredibly, they did make most of the fee paid back from Atletico Madrid.

Tiemoue Bakayoko – £36m

That 2017 summer was certainly Conte’s downfall with Bakayoko another big-money signing who failed to meet expectations. Also another player still on Chelsea’s books somehow.

Tiemoue Bakayoko also remains on the books at Chelsea
Tiemoue Bakayoko also remains on the books at Chelsea (Image: GETTY)

Danny Drinkwater – £34.1m

Copy and paste from above but a signing which had many fans scratching their heads despite Drinkwater’s role in Leicester’s incredible Premier League title win the year before.

Davide Zappacosta – £22.5m

One of many players Chelsea overvalued in the market by some margin. He only left on a permanent basis last summer for just £8m.

Emerson – £18m

Despite Chelsea desperately looking to bring Emerson back in January, the Italian has never impressed during his time at Stamford Bridge. They may well be able to recoup most of the money paid for him however.

Ross Barkley – £15.1m

The same can’t be said for Ross Barkley though, who left his role as Everton fan-favourite to become a benchwarmer at Chelsea. Little over a year left on his contract and every chance he could leave for free.

Romelu Lukaku has struggled in his first season back
Romelu Lukaku has struggled in his first season back (Image: GETTY)

Kepa Arrizabalaga – £72m

A club-record signing which caught everyone by surprise. Even more surprising has been Kepa’s fall from grace. Two Carabao Cup final debacles have now overshadowed his career. Time to move on for the Spaniard.

Gonzalo Higuain – £7m (loan fee)

Chelsea can’t argue about the level of superstar strikers they’ve had on their books. But equally, not many have gone on to enjoy successful spells at the club. Higuain’s time at Chelsea was short and sweet before leaving six months later.

Timo Werner – £47.7m

Werner is currently living a nightmare at Chelsea having been tipped as one of Europe’s most lethal strikers during his time at RB Leipzig. Now, he seems to be lacking all confidence in front of goal and looks out of place in Chelsea’s team

Romelu Lukaku – £97.5m

Maybe too early to tell on Lukaku’s club-record return to where it all began. But, given what the Belgium international has done in his career since leaving Chelsea the first time along with the money spent on other strikers in between Lukaku’s first and second spell at the club, it’s proven to be a disaster so far. He’s out of favour with Chelsea fans too after THAT interview

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