Chelsea's Top 10 Signings Of Abramovich Era

The arrival of the Russian Roman Abramovich has transformed Chelsea into one of the world’s club football super-powers, and a once-dusty trophy cabinet had to have a few new shelves fitted in recent years. It’s surely only a matter of time before the Champions League makes its way to London. Chelsea have made approximately 50 signings since the take-over of Roman Abramovich. About £470 million has been spent on these players – that averages out at over £9 million per player.

Didier Drogba
From: Olympique Marseille
Date: July 2004
Fee: £24M
Commonly regarded, along with Fernando Torres, as the most feared striker in the Premier League, Drogba has evolved into the perfect centre forward. He’s strong, skilful and is equally as likely to score from inside or outside the box. Though the Ivory Coast hit-man continues to be a controversial character, it shouldn’t distract from his abilities. Ask any defender how best to play him, and they’ll probably answer with a quizzical look and a shrug of the shoulders. Despite the fact that Drogba still continues to stay on his feet like a baby giraffe on a frozen lake, he remains not only a great goal-scorer, but a scorer of great goals.

Michael Essien
From: Olympique Lyonnais
Date: August 2005
Fee: £24.4M
Originally thought to be a midfield enforcer in a similar mould to Patrick Vieira, Essien has proved to be an immensely effective and highly-rated lynch-pin of the side. A tough and tenacious tackler, The Blues are usually not the same team without him. The Ghanaian, blessed with a better engine than a Volkswagen Golf, is a box-to-box specialist, equally adept at breaking up opposition attacks as he is at beginning a foray into enemy territory.

Petr Cech
From: Rennes
Date: July 2004
Fee: £7.1M
Although his abilities have been questioned in recent months, Cech remains one of the world’s best goalkeepers. His first couple of seasons at the Bridge were almost Schmeichel-like in their brilliance, and his performances saved Chelsea on several occasions.When under swirling crosses, he can occasionally take on the air of a hamster under hypnosis, but the fact remains that he’s a wonderful shot-stopper. Quick off his line and unquestionably brave, Cech has been a superb signing for the club.

Claude Makelele
From: Real Madrid
Date: August 2003
Fee: £16M
The Zaire-born French international scored only two goals during his time at Chelsea, but that was never really his game, anyway. Makalele was a world-class defensive midfielder, who helped turn the side into a mean machine. He rarely ventured too far forward in matches, preferring instead to hang back and pounce on any opposition counter-attacks. Tough in the tackle and an excellent passer, only a lack of pace prevented from being one of the world’s very best.

Nicolas Anelka
From: Bolton Wanderers
Date: January 2008
Fee: £15M
When Avram Grant brought Anelka from the land of pints of mild to the land of white wine spritzers, eyebrows, but not expectations, were raised. Although his start wasn’t promising, he’s since gone on to forge a more than sharp partnership with Didier Drogba.

Joe Cole
From: West Ham United
Date: August 2003
Fee: £6.6M
The Upton Park wunderkind has given Chelsea a cavalier touch and some truly memorable performances over the years. Highly-skilled and highly popular, he’s turned many a game with his extravagant skills.

Arjen Robben
From: PSV Eindhoven
Date: July 2004
Fee: £12M
The Dutch wide-boy gave the club some much-needed pace when he arrived, and his turn of speed down the flanks left many a classy full-back in his wake. He was also a truly unusual Stamford Bridge phenomenon; when he left, he actually made the club a profit.

Ricardo Carvalho
From: FC Porto
Date: July 2004
Fee: £19.85M
One of the unusual aspects of the Chelsea spend-fest is the lack of a perfect centre-back partner for John Terry. Carvalho has been utilised more than most, although several managers have tried, and failed, to find the right man. The Portuguese stopper, tough and uncompromising, may not have been a bargain, but he’s played well over 100 games for the club now.

Ashley Cole
From: Arsenal
Date: August 2006
Fee: £5M plus William Gallas
A more than controversial signing, the England left-back began his Chelsea career with a series of performances that can only be described as ordinary. In the last couple of seasons, however, he’s getting back to his best form. Quick and with an eye for the overlap, he remains an England regular.

Michael Ballack
From: Bayern Munich
Date: May 2006
Fee: Absolutely nothing
He’s strong and creative, no mean free-kick specialist but one of the world’s best midfielders at the time plus he was on free transfer. The Blues have paid huge amounts for several players that really didn’t work, such as Juan Sebastian Veron Mateja Kezman, Andriy Shevchenko and Khalid Boulahrouz.

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