Chelsea's 5 Worst Signings Under Roman Abramovich

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2012

Chelsea's 5 Worst Signings Under Roman Abramovich

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    When Ken Bates sold Chelsea to a Russian billionaire named Roman Abramovich for £140 million ($223 million) in 2003, a new era of English football was created: the Petrodollar Premier League.

    In less than 10 seasons, not only has Abramovich spent £86 million ($137 million) on managers, but he's also spent over £683 million ($1.09 billion) on 62 player transfers. That's enough for at least a couple of super yachts.

    Not all of Rom's purchases have been wise, though. Here are five that did not represent great value for the money...


    Statistics: John NOT Terry 

Juan Sebastian Veron, £15 Million, 2003-04

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    Manchester United fans could hardly contain their joy when they prised Juan Sebastian Veron from Lazio for a British transfer record £28.1 million in July 2001.
     
    However, it quickly became obvious that the Argentinean midfielder wasn't cutting it at Old Trafford, and he was shipped off to the Blues for a cut-price £15 million two years later. 

    Unfortunately, Veron was equally rubbish at Chelsea. He managed just seven games and a single goal before being sent out on extended loan spells to Inter and Estudiantes

Khalid Boulahrouz, £7 Million, 2006-07

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    Nicknamed "Khalid the Cannibal" for his ability to "eat up" the opposition, Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz arrived at the Bridge in August 2006, where he proceeded to eat up Chelsea's wage bill—and not a lot else.

    For some reason, he was given the No. 9 shirt of (another poor-value transfer) Hernan Crespo, but started his Chelsea career with some decent Champions League appearances.

    However, he failed to compete win a spot in defence over John Terry or Ricardo Carvalho, playing just 13 games before being sent on an equally ineffective loan to Sevilla the following season.

Andriy Shevchenko, £30 Million, 2006-07

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    Roman Abramovich spent a great deal of time and energy trying to lure Andriy Shevchenko from Milan, where he had acquired a myriad of honours, including a Champions League trophy, a Ballon d'Or and a FIFA World Player of the Year award.

    Sheva finally arrived in May 2006 for an English record transfer fee, but the Ukrainian failed to find the deadly form he had exhibited in Serie A. He managed just nine goals over two seasons before being shipped back out on loan to Milan. 

    That, statistics fans, is more than £3.3 million (plus wages!) per goal. 

Adrian Mutu, £15.8 Million, 2003-04

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    Romanian forward Adrian Mutu looked like a great acquisition at the start of the 2003-04 season, particularly when he scored four goals in his first three matches. 

    However, his relationship with Jose Mourinho became strained, and he only scored three more goals before failing a drugs test for cocaine in October 2004.

    Mutu was fined, banned for seven months and, after a lengthy legal battle, ordered to pay Chelsea €17m in damages. Currently playing with Ligue 1 side Ajaccio, Mutu has repeatedly appealed the hefty fine, and Mr. Abramovich has yet to see a penny of his compensation. 

Fernando Torres, £50m, 2010-11

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    Poor old Fernando Torres. The Spaniard was signed from Liverpool in the January 2011 transfer window, for a British record fee of £50 million, with more weight on his shoulders than an Olympic power lifter.
     
    It took the once-prolific striker until April to score the only goal of his first season at the Bridge, and he only scored six goals in the last campaign. He has failed to score in his last 470 minutes of gameplay. 

    Unless Rafa Benitez can horse-whisper some magic back into El Nino, this might end up as one of the most overpriced transfers of all time.