Eden Hazard and the Top 10 Most Sensational Chelsea Transfer Deals
Chelsea have had their fair share of sensational transfers.
Some transfers turned into a club legend. Others set a transfer fee record. And some combined a little of each.
Regardless of the situation, these 10 transfers will always be talked about. They were monumental moments in the club's history and changed the club for better or for worse.
Again, these moves were each sensational for different reasons, but each of them have affected how the club approaches the transfer windows. Not all of the players had tremendous careers, but they all had an impact on Chelsea.
10. Michael Essien
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In the summer of 2005, Chelsea wanted a new midfielder.
For a then—club record of £24.4 million, the Blues brought in Michael Essien from Lyon. Since then Essien has battled injuries, but he was still one of the world's best midfielders for a very long time.
Essien doesn't have his pace or fitness anymore, but for three years, he was arguably the best box-to-box midfielder in the world.
9. Roy Bentley
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John Terry is one of two captains to lead Chelsea to a top-flight title.
The other? Roy Bentley.
Chelsea brought Bentley in from Newcastle United for a whopping £12,500. Yes, that's in the thousands, and it was nearly a record for Chelsea.
Bentley led the team in scoring in each of his eight seasons at the club, and he currently sits at fifth on the all-time club scoring list. Bentley was a great striker, and he's a club legend.
Considering the Blues paid only £12,500, his value was pretty sensational.
8. Andriy Shevchenko
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Andriy Shevchenko was successful at a few clubs.
Chelsea wasn't among them.
Sure, he tried hard. Yes, he seem determined to make it work. Unfortunately, Shevchenko was just bad.
By all accounts, he wanted to be successful at Chelsea. By all accounts, he was incredibly unsuccessful at Chelsea. He was purchased for a club record and wasn't worth a dime of it.
Retrospectively, it was one of the worst moves in the club's history and it won't soon be forgotten.
7. Claude Makelele
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For £16.8 million, Chelsea bought (arguably) the best holding midfielder in history.
Roman Abramovich brought him in during his first spending spree, and Claude Makelele made an impact right away. He helped Chelsea finish second in the league and make it to the semifinals of the Champions League.
Makelele played at Chelsea for five years and was a spectacular player for the club. He's a club legend. And he was signed in Abramovich's first summer, making Makelele something of a symbol for expensive transfers.
6. Fernando Torres
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Those are the only players that were purchased at a higher price than Fernando Torres.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, Torres hasn't exactly played like any of those players.
On the final day of the January transfer window in 2011, Chelsea made a last-minute purchase of El Niño, hoping he would help Chelsea play a prettier style of football while scoring just as many goals.
Unfortunately, Torres hasn't lived up to the transfer. However, he will most likely start this year, and he has a chance to prove that he was worth that £50 million price tag.
5. Charlie Cooke
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In 1966, Chelsea shattered its club-record transfer fee and brought in Charlie Cooke for £72,000.
It was a crazy fee then, and Cooke turned out to be worth it.
The Scottish winger played nearly 400 matches with the Blues, and he was a fan favourite. Cooke was quite the player, and his record-setting transfer was defensible given his fantastic play.
4. Eden Hazard
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Let's hope he is as special as advertised.
By winning the Champions League, Chelsea did a good enough job of convincing Eden Hazard that Stamford Bridge was the place for him. The 21-year-old Belgian is football's "next big thing," and the Blues are hoping he lives up to the hype.
Hazard has been talked about highly for quite awhile now, and it's time to prove his worth. He will be the focus of an attack that could be one of the most lethal in England. If he plays well, Chelsea could win multiple trophies for the second consecutive year.
If he doesn't play well, Hazard would join Andriy Shevchenko as one of the biggest flops in club history.
3. Ashley Cole
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Ashley Cole was unhappy with his weekly wage at Arsenal.
What did Chelsea do? Ask him to move across London and nearly double his salary.
What did Cole do? He earned the nickname "Ca$hley."
It was a crazy transfer, but it's far in the past now. It's not forgotten by any means, but most people (aside from North Londoners) will think of Cole as a Chelsea player. If they don't, they'll have to think of him as one of the most successful English players in history.
Cole has three Premier League titles and seven F.A. Cup titles between his stints at the two clubs, and he's still ready to win more. Cole is great, and I'm glad the second half of his career has been at Chelsea.
2. Frank Lampard
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For £11 million, Chelsea bought one of the best players in club history.
Frank Lampard is undoubtedly one of the all-time great Chelsea players, and the Blues have West Ham United to thank for him. If Lampard had stayed with the Hammers, his career may have been completely different.
Maybe he would've bounced around smaller clubs without proving himself on a big stage. Maybe he would've become a legend at West Ham. Maybe Chelsea fans would've grown to hate him.
Whatever the case could've been, it's not. Lampard came to Chelsea and became a legend.
1. Didier Drogba
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In the summer of 2004, Chelsea bought Didier Drogba for a club-record £24 million.
He is now the fourth leading scorer in club history, and he has the most goals in European competition. Drogba is one of the greatest players in Chelsea history, and his transfer was a defining moment.
By bringing in Drogba, Chelsea changed the way football was played. They beat up teams, attacked right down the middle and bullied their way to victory.
When Chelsea brought in Jose Mourinho, the culture changed. Likewise, Drogba helped change the culture. Without Drogba, Chelsea wouldn't have been nearly as successful during the past decade.
Therefore, it's clear that Drogba's deal in 2004 was the most sensational in Chelsea history.