Benrahma next? The last 10 players Chelsea signed from the Championship
Despite signing some of the biggest names in the world over the years, Chelsea have also been happy to sign players from outside of the elite leagues.
The Blues are renowned for spending vast amounts of money in the transfer market, but that doesn’t mean they ignore promising players at smaller clubs.
We’ve looked back at the last 10 signings Chelsea have made from the Championship to see how they fared.
No, not the Peanuts character.
After coming through the ranks at Ipswich Town, Brown joined Chelsea as a 16-year-old in 2016.
He is yet to play for the first team but was the top scorer in the UEFA Youth League last season, registering 12 goals in nine appearances.
The striker joined Belgian second division team Royale Union Saint-Gilloise on loan in January 2020 and made three league appearances before the season was cancelled.
Good Grief, Charlie Brown. What a goal for Chelsea U19spic.twitter.com/RtogCVtgS4
— MUNDIAL (H) (@MundialMag) February 20, 2019
Hector signed for Chelsea from Reading in 2015 and was immediately loaned back to his former club for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.
He then had further loan spells at Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday, failing to make a single appearance for Chelsea as a result.
The Blues were still able to sell the centre-back at a profit to Fulham in January 2020.
Palmer joined Chelsea from the Charlton youth academy in 2013 and was regarded as one of their most promising talents.
Despite winning two FA Youth Cups and two UEFA Youth League titles, he failed to make a competitive senior appearance for the Blues.
After five separate loan moves away from Stamford Bridge, the 23-year-old wanted a permanent home and joined Bristol City in 2019.
“It was kind of like I needed something new, I didn’t really see progress at Chelsea at that time,” Palmer told Darnell Simpson’s YouTube channel in May 2020.
“The age I was at, it was the time to move on, there was that feeling that it was time to take the next step.
“I knew within myself that I wasn’t going to break through at Chelsea this season.
“The stage I was at, it wasn’t the right thing to go on another loan, it was becoming loan after loan after loan.”
Bamford had only played two first-team games for Nottingham Forest when Chelsea signed the striker for £1.5million in January 2012.
He was tipped for a bright future at Stamford Bridge but spent the vast majority of his five-year spell at the club out on loan.
The 26-year-old couldn’t force his way into the first-team picture at Chelsea and completed a permanent move to Middlesbrough in 2017, moving on to Leeds a year later.
After being relegated with Middlesbrough in 2009, few would have predicted that Turnbull would sign for Chelsea.
The goalkeeper insisted that he wasn’t moving to Stamford Bridge to sit on the substitutes’ bench, but that’s exactly what happened.
He made just seven league appearances for the club before being released on a free transfer in 2013.
— Chad (@ChelseaChadder) May 19, 2016
Mellis joined Chelsea from Sheffield United as a 16-year-old in 2007 and became a regular in their reserves.
He made his senior debut against Zilina in the Champions League in 2010, but that proved to be his only appearance for the club.
The midfielder was sacked by Chelsea in 2012 after he admitted setting off a smoke grenade at the club’s Cobham Training Centre. We’ve all been there.
Macho was released by Sunderland after their relegation in 2003 and became the first signing of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea.
The goalkeeper struggled with injuries and failed to make a single appearance for the club, leaving for Rapid Wien in 2004.
“After a week, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament and it was heartbreaking. It was an awful feeling,” Macho told Goal in April 2020.
“I had invested so much and I couldn’t show what I could do. I knew after that it would be very tough to get back in.”
There are two polarising schools of thought regarding Cole at Chelsea.
One bemoans the fact that the prodigious talent who shone as a young player amid West Ham’s relegation was forced to rein in some of his more expressive skills to establish himself at Chelsea after some choice words from Jose Mourinho.
Another, the one which we subscribe to, argues Cole rather matured and was willing to sacrifice some personal highlights to instead enjoy collective glory – three league titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup.
We love him, and if you don’t, well…you can f*ck off.
Another promising young player signed from West Ham following their relegation, Johnson failed to truly establish himself at Stamford Bridge, never making 20+ league appearances in a single season in west London.
The right-back began to flourish during a loan spell at Portsmouth, where he began to cement a place for himself in the England side.
Something of a Premier League cult hero, Gujohnsen was signed by Chelsea after scoring 21 goals for Bolton in 1999-00.
The forward initially formed half of the ‘fire and ice’ partnership with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink that helped fire the Blues into the Champions League before continuing to adapt to life post-Abramovich, making himself a valuable part of Jose Mourinho’s first two title-winning squads.
Admittedly, his post-Chelsea career did get a bit out of hand.