Roman Abramovich's Best Value-for-Money Transfer Buys at Chelsea
Roman Abramovich celebrated his ten-year anniversary as owner of Chelsea Football Club earlier this year. The Russian billionaire has been held up as the man who changed English football, for better or worse, with his free-spending ways.
The BBC have done their sums and worked out that Abramovich has spent a total of £683.75 million on players in the last decade. His wealth has had an impact on the prices he has paid for a few players, as selling clubs know that they can hold out for a few million more, and that has certainly led to some questionable decisions over the years.
However, for every £50 million striker there have been one or two players who have provided value for the money that has been spent on them. Let's take a look at the top ten value-for-money transfers that Abramovich has made.
Value has been calculated by finding the difference between the initial transfer fee and the sell-on price of each player (if applicable.) That differential figure has then been divided by the number of appearances made, goals scored* and trophies won at the club.
*Petr Cech has been assessed on clean sheets rather than goals scored.
Branislav Ivanovic is still at the club so there is no telling how much of his £9 million fee Chelsea could recover. Assuming that no fee is received for him, he has cost £571,000 per action so far.
Didier Drogba cost £24 million in 2004 and left on a free transfer in 2012. His cost per action was £741,000.
Ricardo Carvalho followed Jose Mourinho from Porto in 2004 for a fee of just under £20 million. He was sold to Real Madrid in 2010 for £7 million, giving him a cost per action of £838,000.
Florent Malouda cost £13.5 million in 2007 and was released on a free transfer in 2013. His cost per action for the club was £869,000.
Geremi was one of the first signings of the Abramovich era in 2003 when he joined for a fee of £7,000,000. He left Chelsea for Newcastle United on a free transfer in 2007, having cost the Blues £993,000 per action.
10. Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole cost £5 million in cash plus William Gallas when he moved across London from Arsenal in 2006. Chelsea will not recover any transfer fee if they decide to let him go due to their policy of only offering one-year extensions to players over 30, which leaves Cole's cost per contribution at £428,220 so far.
9. Glen Johnson
Glen Johnson cost £6 million from recently relegated West Ham in 2003. He was sold to Portsmouth in 2007 for £4 million, leaving his cost per action at Chelsea at £398,413.
8. Salomon Kalou
Salomon Kalou cost £8 million from Feyenoord in 2006 and was released from his contract in 2012 after winning the Champions League. His cost per contribution at Chelsea was £388,276.
7. Joe Cole
Joe Cole was another player raided from West Ham after their relegation in 2003. He cost £6.6 million and was a key player for the club until a series of injuries saw him released from his contract in 2010. His cost per contribution at Chelsea was £284,324.
6. Petr Cech
Petr Cech cost £7 million in 2004 and has been the first choice goalkeeper at Chelsea ever since. Assuming he is allowed to leave on a free, his cost per contribution would stand at £196,157.
Alex cost £5 million in a complicated transfer deal in 2004 and was sold for £4.2 million in January 2012, a loss of £800K. His cost per action was £95,338.
4. Juliano Belletti and Michael Ballack
Juliano Belletti and Michael Ballack both arrived at Chelsea on free transfers and left West London in the same manner. That means that, wages aside, they cost the club precisely nothing, which is a bargain in anybody's books.
3. Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge cost Chelsea £4 million when he transferred from Manchester City in 2009. After failing to become a regular first-team player he was sold to Liverpool for £12 million in January 2013, making the club a profit of £8 million. That profit means that his contributions made the club an average of £672,222.
2. Wayne Bridge
Chelsea completed the transfer of Wayne Bridge from Southampton in July 2003 for a fee of £7 million plus Graeme Le Saux. In his debut season, Bridge scored the goal that knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League and became an instant cult hero at Chelsea until his falling-out with John Terry soured things.
He was sold to Manchester City in January 2009 for £12 million, making a profit of £5 million. His contributions were worth £983,959.
1. Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben cost Chelsea £12 million from PSV Eindhoven in 2004 and was sold to Real Madrid in 2007 for £25 million, an impressive £13 million profit. Despite his injuries, his contributions to the club made £991,173, making him Abramovich's best value-for-money signing of the past decade.