Biggest Signings in Abramovich's Tenure as Owner

Thomas AtzenhofferCorrespondent IIJuly 3, 2012

Biggest Signings in Abramovich's Tenure as Owner

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    In 2003,  Roman Abramovich purchased the majority share of Chelsea Football Club as well as assuming the club's massive debt in a deal worth £140 million.

    Since that time, he has spent more than double that amount on players and club improvements to help make the Blues a superpower in the English Premier League and one of the most successful clubs since the turn of the new millennium.

    Purchasing new talent for the club has been one of the chief ways that Abramovich has made a difference for the club.

    With this summer of 2012 having already seen at least one potentially major signing, we stop and take a moment to look at the biggest and most influential signings of Chelsea's history under Roman Abramovich.

    All statistics and historical information provided by Chelsea's official website.

Fernando Torres

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    It is still yet to be seen that Fernando Torres comes good for Chelsea in the long run. The £50 million man still has three plus years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, but little time left to prove he is worth the price tag.

    If his summer performances for Spain in the UEFA European Championship are anything to prove he is returning to form, he will definitely be in a better position to become one of the most influential signings of the Abramovich era at Chelsea.

Andriy Schevchenko

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    When Ukrainian striker, Andriy Shevchenko joined Chelsea in 2006 it was thought that Roman Abramovich had just made the deal of the century at £30 million.

    However, the AC Milan legend never found his feet in the English game.

    After a terribly frustrating time at Stamford Bridge, he eventually left without having brought the club back to the heights of success that they had in 2004 and 2005 as he only scored 22 goals in 77 appearances.

Eden Hazard

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    The recent signing of Eden Hazard is potentially another major move in the history of Abramocih's Blues era. At 21-years-old, Hazard has the expectations of the entire club on his shoulders.

    After an impressive start to his career in France with Lille OSC, the Belgian youngster hopes that his move to England will skyrocket his game to superstardom.

    Chelsea fans will hope the same thing as Hazard has major expectations riding on his signature with the London club.

Michael Ballack

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    Although Michael Ballack never quite was as good for Chelsea as he could have been, the German international is by far the best free signing in Abramovich's history.

    The former German international made 167 appearances for the Blues scoring 26 goals for the Blues and providing many other key passes as he helped the Blues to another EPL title in 2009-10.

Nicolas Anelka

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    The signing of Nicolas Anelka by Abramovich is another that didn't see the Russian break the bank for, and the result of the Frenchman's time at Chelsea surprised many.

    His four years at Chelsea saw his partnership with Didier Drogba produce 59 goals and 26 assists for the Frenchman in 182 appearances.

Florent Malouda

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    Five years at Chelsea have seen £16.5 million signing Florent Malouda make 220 appearances scoring 45 goals and assisting a further 44.

    He has been the constant professional out of the wings on the pitch and as well as off the pitch, and has earned his place in Abramovich's biggest signings thanks to all the trophies that have been won during his time.

Michael Essien

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    Michael Essien's move from Olympique Lyon cost Abramovich £24.4 million in 2005, and it was made to seen as one of the best in the owner's era.

    The signing beat that of Didier Drogba to be the most expensive signing of all time and for the first several years of his Chelsea career, the Ghanaian proved he was worth it.

    Essien was an enforcer like no other as the Blues primary defensive midfielder, and was unstoppable for his first three seasons from 2005-2008.

    Injuries have since taken their tole on the player, but even at the age of 29 he still has flashes of the dominant force he was in the past.

Claude Makelele

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    You cannot have a position named after you, "The Makelele Role," without having been an important and influential player.

    Makelele left Real Madrid to join Chelsea in 2003 as one of Abramovich's first acquisitions.

    Although his statistics do not show a load of goals of assists, without Makelele's string pulling in the midfield, the Chelsea offense under Jose Mourinho would never have been as effective.

Ashley Cole

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    Arguably the best leftback in the history of England, Ashley Cole has been painted as a mercenary and a hated figure by Arsenal fans and many others throughout the country for his move to Chelsea.

    However, it is hard to say he only moved for money—it is more likely a combination of ambition and money.

    Cole has been part of Chelsea's success since his arrival in 2006 and has helped to lift eight pieces of silverware for the club, whereas if he had stayed at Arsenal he would not have won anything else since the Premier League.

    Although he has crossed over the 30-year milestone at the age of 31, he continues only to get better as his experience only aides his abilities.

Petr Cech

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    Although his price tag was only a budget's dream at £7 million, Roman Abramovich's signings of Petr Cech has been worth that number tenfold.

    The Czech Republic international has been the rock at the back of Chelsea's success since winning the first team position in 2004-05.

Didier Drogba

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    There has been no better signing than that of Didier Drogba in the period of Abramovich's ownership.

    The Ivorian striker scored in nearly every major championship match for the Blues' during his time.

    A price tag of £24 million has proved to have been fully worth it given the number of times he has scored a decisive goal for the club.

    Drogba scored a goal in each of the clubs four FA Cup victories since his arrival. His performance's in the League cup have seen him be a huge part of the 2005 edition as well by scoring the two winning goals against Arsenal again in 2007.

    A brace in the 2005 Community Shield and a penalty shootout goal in the the 2007 Community Shield were deciders.

    Lastly, his goal in the 88th minute of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League Final drew the match level before extra time and then his final penalty of the shootout sealed the victory for the Blues as they became the first London-based English club to win an European title.

    There is no doubt there is no other player that can match the importance of Drogba during the last eight seasons for Chelsea. During his tenure in London, he made 341 appearances, scoring 157 goals and providing 71 assists.