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Chelsea have made a number of brilliant signings in the Roman Abramovich era; we’ve seen world-class players join the club and thrive, and we’ve also seen world-class players join the club and struggle. We’ve had some intelligent signings over the years, some senseless signings and also some very stringent deals that defied the transfer market.
The signings of the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic were by all means incredible. A relatively unknown Azpilicueta joined Chelsea in 2012 from Marseille for a lowly £6.5m transfer deal, and he has blossomed to be one of the best defenders in the Premier League. For many years, he has been hailed as the best one-on-one defender in the league. Chelsea also signed Ivanovic for just £9m in 2008, and he went on to become a legend at the club, playing a massive role in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in 2012.
The signing of Eden Hazard for £32m was another brilliant one, and after seven years of excellent service at the club, he was sold for a massive £87m transfer fee to Real Madrid that could rise up to £130m.
The list of Chelsea’s success in the transfer market is endless, but we’d take a look at four of the mistakes that the club has made over the years in the Roman Abramovich era.
1. Papy Djilobodji
Probably the most confusing signing in the Roman Abramovich era. Former Senegal international centre-half Papy Djilobodji joined Chelsea for around £2.7m in 2015, with the defender signing a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho was in need of defensive signings during the summer transfer window, and requested at the time that Chelsea sign John Stones from Everton. But the club ended up with an unknown Djilobodji much to the dismay of Jose.
At the time of the signing, Mourinho had no idea who the player was, which resulted in him only being afforded one appearance – which lasted about a minute – during his short Blues career.
In 2018, the Senegalese was released by English third-tier side Sunderland after breaching his contract and failing a fitness test.
2. Radamel Falcao
In his hay days, Falcao was the most feared striker in world football. Falcao was a beast while at Atletico Madrid and was loved by the Atletico fans who nicknamed him ‘El Tigre’.
Chelsea should have known to steer clear of Falcao after his failings at Manchester United during the 2014/15 season, yet the Blues opted to take him on loan after winning the Premier League title.
The Colombian struggled on loan at Chelsea and only made 10 appearances, although he scored an equaliser in a match against Crystal Palace, which the Blues would go on to lose 2-1, marking his only goal for Chelsea.
Falcao was injury prone, unfit and out of form, but the Blues chiefs deemed it wise to sign him.
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