Chelsea FC: 10 Best Transfer Signings in Blues History

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IOctober 21, 2011

Chelsea FC: 10 Best Transfer Signings in Blues History

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    In the past, Chelsea have been blamed of paying too much for players they have targeted.

    Since the Abramovich era, Chelsea have made many expensive mistakes among which the Shevchenko deal was the worst of the lot. In recent times, the £50 million for Torres too has looked a waste after the Spaniard has failed to live up to the expectations.

    Though Chelsea might have been a little extravagant in their transfer deals, they have also made some very great deals. The ones involving David Luiz and recently Juan Mata have looked very promising.

    Numerous articles have been made criticising Chelsea's extravagant spending habits. But in the following slides, we will look into the club's best deals so far since its creation. The ones where the club got a lot more than they paid for.

Kerry Dixon

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    A Chelsea legend, Kerry Dixon is the club's second-highest goalscorer of all time with 193 goals in 420 appearances, behind only Bobby Tambling.

    Bought from Reading for £150,000 with another £25,000 in additional terms, Dixon proved his worth much more than the signing fee. He played a pivotal role in helping Chelsea claw back from the Second Division in 1989 after getting relegated the previous year.

    Dixon was sold off to Southampton for £575,000 in 1992 as the club passed through difficult times. The deal was one of the best in Chelsea history as the Blues earned more than triple the sum they had earlier paid for securing his services.

    All this was done after Dixon scored his way to the Chelsea record books and into the hearts of Chelsea fans as a legend.

Didier Drogba

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    The Ivorian hitman has already established himself as a Chelsea legend in the heart of the Blues faithful.

    The self-proclaimed Special One had brought in Marseille's promising Ivorian striker to bolster his squad's attacking threat. Given Drogba's influence in Chelsea's success over the years, £24 million seemed a petty amount.

    The oft-hot-headed Ivorian has been Chelsea's highest foreign goalscorer with a massive 145 goals in all competitions. His exploits twice earned him African Footballer of the Year as well as a brace of Premier League Golden Boots.

    The Ivorian has been warming the bench lately making way for new signing Torres and the youngsters, but he still remains an influential figure in the Blues squad. Mourinho got this deal correct and Chelsea are still reaping the benefits.

Arjen Robben

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    The more spoken of the flying Dutchman, the less it is.

    Arjen Robben will always hold a special place in Chelsea, not only for his contributions in guiding the club to consecutive Premier League titles but also for his behaviour and humble nature.

    Robben arrived from PSV in 2004 for a paltry sum of £12 million. His stay at the Bridge lasted only three seasons, of which some was wasted to injury. But those three seasons he played in a Blues jersey, he did enough to leave a legendary trail behind him.

    He would have contributed massively if he had stayed for a few more seasons, but even then, Chelsea got a lot out of him in both performance and business. The Dutchman was sold to Spanish giants Real Madrid for a massive £24 million—which was double his signing fee.

    Robben was one of the excellent deals that Chelsea have made over the years.

Claude Makelele

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    "We will not miss Makélelé. His technique is average, he lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety percent of his distribution either goes backwards or sideways. He wasn't a header of the ball and he rarely passed the ball more than three metres. Younger players will arrive who will cause Makélelé to be forgotten." - Quoted Florentino Perez, Source- Wikipedia.

    The Frenchman made Real president Florentino Perez eat back the statement he made during Makelele's departure from the Bernabeau.

    The humble and soft-spoken midfielder made his place at the heart of Chelsea midfield his own and no one has been able to replace him even after so many years following his departure. He became the icon of defensive midfielder during his stay at Chelsea.

    Makelele arrived at Chelsea in 2003, for a paltry sum of  nearly £17 million. Thereafter, he became a pivotal player in Mourinho's hugely successful squad. He was the team's spine in forging attacks as well as falling back to defend.

    Makelele left Chelsea in 2008 after a influential and hugely successful spell at Stamford Bridge. Even today, youngsters like Romeu or McEachran are compared to the legendary Makelele.

    Though he left Chelsea on a free transfer, his influence and contribution made this deal one the best in the Abramovich era as well the club's history.

Gianfranco Zola

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    Chelsea brought in a 30-year-old creative midfielder from Parma for a paltry £4.5 million in a bid to bolster their squad on November 1996.

    The timid man went on to play seven seasons for the Blues and was voted as "Chelsea's Greatest Player Ever" by the fans. He was also included in the Chelsea F.C. Centenary Eleven and earned the "Order of the British Empire."

    Gianfranco Zola is a Chelsea legend for his contributions to the team's success in the late 90s. During his stay at Chelsea, Zola made 297 appearances, scoring 80 goals in the process and helped his club win two FA Cups, a League Cup and a European Cup Winner's Cup.

    He was the only player ever to have been voted the "FWA Player of the Year" after joining a club midseason.

    He was Chelsea's biggest influence in midfield, creating goal scoring opportunities through his brilliant vision. He also had a keen eye for goal and scored some memorable ones during his stay at Chelsea. Of them, the one against Norwich in 2002 or the "twisted blood" effort made against Wimbledon will always stay etched in the memory of football fans.

    He has been voted and will always be the greatest Chelsea player. Hence, the paltry £4.5 million paid for securing his services can be easily stated as one Chelsea's best deals ever.

Dennis Wise

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    Chelsea's most successful captain prior to John Terry, Dennis Wise, the central midfielder known for his aggressive style, signed with Chelsea from Wimbledon for a then club-record fee of £1.6 million.

    Under his captaincy, the Blues won two FA Cups, a League Cup and a European Cup Winners' Cup. He made 445 appearances for the club, scoring 76 goals during his decade-long spell at Stamford Bridge.

    Though his time at Chelsea was marred with suspensions and disciplinary problems, his contribution cannot be overlooked. His goal against AC Milan at San Siro in 1999 is part of the Chelsea folklore. He is regarded as a Chelsea legend.

    The twice-voted Chelsea Player of the Year was sold to Leicester City for £1.6 million. The club got a good deal as they did not lose out on someone who had played for them for well over a decade.

Pat Nevin

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    Chelsea signed a player for a mere £95,000. The player performed superbly and became a club legend as well as a fan favourite. He twice won the Chelsea Player of the Year award during his five-year spell at the club. Chelsea got relegated and sold him for £925,000.

    This was perhaps one of Chelsea's greatest deals of all time.

    Pat Nevin arrived at Chelsea in 1983 from Clyde. He made an immediate impact upon his arrival and became a key member of the Chelsea team with his skills and lightning pace. He troubled opposition defenders with his dribbles and speed.

    During his spell at Chelsea, the winger made 193 appearances, scoring 36 goals. He is a fan favourite at the Bridge and is regarded as a Chelsea legend by many fans.

    His deal was very profitable for the club both in monetary terms as well as in terms of his performance.

Petr Cech

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    Paying a mere £7 million for one of the top goalkeepers in the world today is no doubt one of the greatest deals in football history.

    Petr Cech has made the place at the Chelsea goal his own since his arrival from Rennes seven seasons back. He previously held the Premier League record for going the most time without conceding a goal, which was later overtaken by United legend Van Der Sar.

    The two-time Premier League Golden Gloves winner and four-time Czech Footballer of the Year overcame a life-threatening injury and is presently regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. His presence under the Chelsea goal always brings a sense of relief to the fans as well as the players.

    He is only 29 years old and still has at least five or six more seasons to play and all these at a mere £7 million makes it one of the biggest deals in Chelsea history.

Marcel Desailly

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    The legendary Ghanaian-born French defender was brought at Stamford Bridge from AC Milan for a sum of £4.6 million in 1998.

    During his six seasons for the Blues, the Frenchman captained the club and established himself as one of the greatest defenders of all time. He is a Chelsea legend with a huge fan following. His partnership at the Chelsea defence with legendary Frank Lebouef was one of a kind.

    Chelsea might have made some poor deals over the years, but Desailly was never one of those deals.

Frank Lampard

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    Chelsea's greatest-ever midfielder, Fat Frankie has come a long way from his days of being bullied to becoming one of football's greatest legends.

    Signed from West Ham in the summer of 2001 for a sum of £11 million, Lampard has spent more than a decade at the Bridge achieving almost everything he could. The thrice Chelsea Player of the Year has won accolades and awards galore for his contribution in club football.

    He is the highest goal scoring midfielder in the history of Premier League as well for Chelsea. Voted the Premier League's Player of the Decade, Lampard has been one of Chelsea's most important figures since the Abramovich era. He has scored a minimum of 20 goals for five consecutive seasons, missing out only last season due to injury that saw his playing time reduced.

    He also set a record by making 164 consecutive appearances for Chelsea since his debut. The arrival of new blood has seen his playing time reduced at Chelsea, but that has not diminished his spirit as seen in his last few performances.

    Given his contribution to Chelsea for over a decade-long association, the signing fee of £11 million surely seems like one of the best deals in football history—leave aside Chelsea.