10. Gabriele Ambrosetti
The Special One signed the Dutch / Moroccan versatile defender in the summer of 2006, when William Gallas left for London rivals Arsenal. The former HSV man cost no less than 17.2 million, but despite his ability to operate either in the heart or on the right of defense he only played 23 times for Chelsea. Perhaps remembered mostly for wearing the number 9 shirt.
3. Adrian Mutu
8. George Weah
Ambrosetti’s Chelsea nightmare ended in the summer of 2003 – and then came Smertin, for some reason. At 28 already an established international, who had shown his potential in both his native Russia and France, the holding midfielder left Bordeaux for a fee of 7.2 million, only to be loaned out to Portsmouth a few days later – perhaps because Claudio Ranieri had already brought in a certain Claude Makélelé. Smertin featured in 25 games for the Blues and scored once. An elected MP in Russia, he’s now also a vice-president of one of his former clubs, Lokomotiv Moscow.
The Argentine was signed from Internazionale for a massive 33.9 million in the summer of 2003, as Chelsea was trying to fill the gap left by the departure of its best ever player, Franco Zola. Despite representing the archetype of a center forward, Crespo would never really fit in, even though he did net 25 times in 73 outings,Reggie Wayne Youth Jersey,. Quite simply, it wasn’t enough and he would eventually re-join the Milan giants in 2008 – for free…
January 2011. Both a World Cup and European Championship holder with his national side and with 81 goals to his name in just 142 appearances for Liverpool, Fernando Torres has the world at his feet. Chelsea splash out a club record USD 75.6 million to brand him as the sixth most expensive signing in football history. The sky is the limit.
Even die-hard Chelsea fans must be struggling to recall the Czech international in the club’s blue and white. Although he was part of the squad which claimed both a Premiership trophy and a League Cup title, the creative midfielder-turned-defender featured in just 20 competitive matches. These days back at Sparta Prague, where it all started for him, Jarošík impressed José Mourinho playing against the Blues with CSKA Moscow in November 2004. But 15.7 million is quite a lot, don’t you agree?
Who? Don’t worry, it’s OK if you don’t remember the Serbian international ever wearing the Blues shirt. That’s only because… he hasn’t. Not in a competitive fixture, that is. Chelsea paid Beograd 6.8 million in November 2005, when Rajković was just 16 (!) – at the time a world record for a teenager. But the Serbian, today still only 22, never acquired a work permit in Britain and was finally sold to Hamburg last August, after four different loan spells.
The Flop Ten
By Panos Bletsos
1. Slobodan Rajković
5. Khalid Boulahrouz
If you think Chelsea scouting failed miserably in 2006, let me take you back to ’03 again. Remember Crespo? Well, the Argentine wasn’t the only big-money signing that summer, as Abramovich had just bought the club and went on a shopping spree. The Romanian international, one of the most brilliant players of his generation, was brought in from Parma for 29.4 million. He would go on to score 10 goals in 38 outings before failing a drug test for cocaine in September ’04,Danny Woodhead Youth Jersey. Too bad…
January 2012. Less than a year on, the Daily Mail asks for Chelsea’s administration to send the Spaniard home in a cab, as the 27-year-old striker fails to score for a 17th match in a row for either club or country. The priciest player of all time in the English game is booed off the field by Norwich City fans, who chant “What a waste of money” and “We’d rather have Grant Holt”. The London side have just played out a goalless draw at Carrow road against the Premier League newcomers, who bought Holt from lowly Shrewsbury Town for just 611,Nick Mangold Jets Jersey.000 – that’s 124 times less than what Torres cost Chelsea…
Hailed as “The Italian Ryan Giggs” by his compatriot Gianluca Vialli, at the time Chelsea boss, the 26-year-old left winger cost USD 6.4 million when bought from Vicenza in August 1999. Just like the real Giggs, he was born in 1973. The only difference is that the Welshman is still adding to his 896 appearances and 162 goals with Manchester United – not to mention his trophy collection. Ambrosetti netted once in only 23 outings and finished his career in Italy’s fourth tier six years ago.
6. Jiří Jarošík
4. Andriy Shevchenko
Money can’t buy you love. They can’t buy success in football either. The biggest disaster of that summer of 2003 was what also looked like another sure bet, as the talismanic Argentine had much to prove after a mediocre spell with Manchester United. Chelsea did not hesitate to invest 29.4 million, but only got one goal (in a 2-1 victory at Liverpool) and 14 appearances in return. The Times filed Verón’s signing as one of the 50 worst ever in the history of the Premier League. I’m pretty sure Juan feels the same.
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7. Hernán Crespo
Having found the back of the net just five times in 42 outings and with the kind of cash he’s cost Roman Abramovich, Torres is more and more looking like (much) money gone down the drain. Does he top Chelsea’s flop list? Perhaps he does. But it’s certainly not the first time the Londoners have invested a fortune on a player who never lived up to his billing. A closer look at their transfer activity since 1992, when the Premier League was founded, reveals some very interesting stuff. And as the ex-Atlético de Madrid prodigy is still one of the Blues, and can therefore change his luck, here’s my Chelsea Flop Ten countdown without him:
You may agree or you may disagree. After all, this classification is merely subjective. The fact remains that none of those ten players listed above justified Chelsea’s expectations. And if there are a few more names that easily come to mind, I should say that I have not included big-cash signings later hindered by injuries (Brian Laudrup, Gigi Casiraghi, Boudewijn Zenden) or others who were later sold for a satisfactory amount (Chris Sutton, Emerson Thome, Scott Parker,Cam Newton Youth Jersey, Tiago, Shaun Wright – Phillips, Asier del Horno, Lass Diarra, Franco Di Santo, Yuri Zhirkov). In any case,Miles Austin Cowboys Jersey, money isn’t everything in football. Grant Holt, anyone?
Only included in this list because his loan from Milan in January 2000 reportedly cost Chelsea 9.8 million. Otherwise the Liberian striker, arguably among the top footballers of his generation, managed to become a massive hit among the club faithful in less than six months, scoring five crucial goals in just 15 appearances and winning the FA Cup.
A few months before signing Boulahrouz, in May of 2006, Chelsea broke what was then the English transfer record by paying Milan a staggering 60 million. The best Ukrainian footballer since the great Oleh Blokhin looked like he was definitely worth it, but he only netted 22 times in 76 appearances, as he never really became a piece of the Blues puzzle,Earl Thomas Seahawks Jersey. Seem familiar, Fernando?
2. Juan Sebastián Verón
9. Aleksey Smertin