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Worst 5 Transfers In Chelsea History

Worst 5 Transfers In Chelsea History

When Frank Lampard took over at Stamford Bridge in 2019, expectations were very high. Despite not winning any title yet, Chelsea has once again started playing exciting football. But it’s the activity on the transfer market that clearly communicates Lampard’s desire to bring titles.

The team’s owner plans to bankroll one of the biggest transfer window spends ever despite tough economic times. By the beginning of September, the team had spent £231million to bring Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell. But does big transfer signings always translate to success?


There are many shocking transfers premier league teams have seen, Chelsea is not the only culprits. This post looks at the worst transfers Chelsea has previously done.

Related: Moses Not In My Plans- Lampard

Alvaro Morata 

There’s no denying that Alvaro Morata is a great player. The Spanish striker was presumed to be a big catch for Chelsea when he signed up for a record £60 million in 2017.  There was potential, after all, Morata had played a part in a Real Madrid goal every 65 minutes, in La Liga and the Champions League.  What’s more, he won both the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

When he finally started playing, Morata was impressive with a hat trick against Stoke City. With nine goals in his first 15 Premier League games and four assists, the Spanish striker seemed to have finally settled in EPL.

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However, the demands of English football led to a string of injuries cutting short what had promised to be a mercurial rise to the apex of English football. The Spanish striker tumbled from a Real Madrid and Juventus star to a Chelsea misfit. Conte tried helping Morata as did Sarri, but eventually, he had to find a way out of Chelsea.

Adrian Mutu

When Chelsea’s transfer history is written, Adrian Mutu will no doubt feature as one of the worst Chelsea signings ever. The Russian arrived from Parma in 2003 at a massive transfer price of £15.8 million. With so much pressure on his back, Mutu failed to perform.

He made only 27 appearances for the Blues in his only season scoring ten goals. But the worst was yet to come. He tested positive for a drug test in 2004, forcing the club to release him. The club instituted legal proceedings against him eventually winning £15.2m in compensation for the failed drugs test.

Asier Del Horno

This is another of Chelsea’s one-season wonders bought by Abramovich. He came to Stamford Bridge in 2005 and made 25 Premier League appearances. After grabbing a winner’s medal, Del Horno left having made no impact despite a lot of high expectations.

The only thing anyone can remember him for is crunching a 17-year-old Lionel Messi and receiving a red card for the harsh tackle. So poor was Del Horno that Chelsea only managed £4.8 million for the player ,half what they had paid when signing him up.

Shaun Wright-Phillips

Anyone who had followed Shaun Wright-Phillips story was so sure that the England international would succeed at Chelsea after a successful spell at Manchester City. There was a lot of excitement among fans around the speedy winger despite the hefty £21 million fee.

However, under Jose Mourinho, Wright-Phillips didn’t quickly adapt to the kind of game Chelsea played. The player made 124 appearances overall for the Blues (half of these from the bench) over three seasons but made no impact. Eventually, the England winger went back to Manchester City for £8.5 million.

Khalid Boulahrouz

Remember Khalid Boulahrouz? If you’re an ardent Chelsea fan, you might remember “Khalid the Cannibal” who arrived at the Bridge in August 2006. For a price of £7 Million, everyone expected the former Hamburg defender would make an impression.

However, he turned out to be one of the worst signings under Roman Abramovich. He only made nine appearances for the Blues and had to fight for a place against John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho. So bad was Khalid that the manager overlooked him and picked Michael Essien to fill in for Terry as a makeshift centre-back. The next season Khalid was shipped off to Sevilla where he made no impact at all.

Learning from History

Of course, every club makes a blunder during the transfer window but it’s always good to learn from previous signings. As Chelsea continues splashing money on top signings, fans will remember some of these former players once deemed great signings only to turn out as failures.  But with Frank Lampard having witnessed some of the blunders in signings throughout his playing career, he has enough insight to avoid the same pitfalls.

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  • Not complete enough, where is Fernando Torres? Alan Crespo? Shevchenko?