Chelsea’s last six transfer deadline day signings and how they fared

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Transfer deadline always brings some exceptional drama with it. Whether that is a big-money signing, Peter Odemwingie forcing a move or Sky Sports News presenters being rugby tackled at Premier League grounds. 

Chelsea’s transfer business during the summer of 2021 has been impressive, even if only two new faces have arrived. When one of those is Romelu Lukaku, it is hard to complain.

But how much business do the Blues usually get done on the final day of the window? We take a look at the last six deadline day signings made by the club.

Matteo Kovacic

Kovacic has become a fan favourite since joining the Blues permanently in the summer of 2019, but the season before saw him join the club on loan.

The deal went through on deadline day in 2018 for the midfielder, who had just won his third Champions League in a row with Real Madrid, and he currently remains a regular in Chelsea’s side after adding a fourth European crown to his collection in May.

Mr UCL.

Michael Hector

After starring in Reading’s impressive run to the FA Cup semi-finals in 2014-15, Jose Mourinho saw enough to persuade the powers that be to splash £4million on the imposing centre-back.

A bright future awaited at Stamford Bridge then, right? Wrong. Four years with the club brought with it zero first-team appearances and three loan spells. Fulham snapped him up permanently in 2019 where he remains today.

Papy Djilobodji 

Djilobodji cost Chelsea £2.7million when they signed the defender from Nantes on the same day Hector arrived.

But just 24 hours later, he was not included in the Blues Champions League squad for the season. It was all downhill from there. Just a year after joining, Djilobodji was on the move again, joining Sunderland for £8million.

His time at the Stadium of Light also ended under a cloud as he was sacked for breaching his contract and failing a fitness test after going AWOL in the summer of 2018 in a bid to force a move.

Raul Meireles 

Chelsea spent £15million on the Portuguese midfielder in 2011 as they sought to replace the injured Michael Essien. Bids for Luka Modric were unsuccessful, so they settled for Meireles.

A Champions League title and FA Cup followed, however, including a screamer from Meireles to send Chelsea into the semi-finals of the former. The 38-year-old is now retired and was most recently seen on a Portuguese lip-syncing show. Whether it is appearing on reality TV or somehow winning a player of the season award, Meireles always entertains.

READ: Raul Meireles and the strangest Player of the Year award in Prem history

Ashley Cole

Cole was brought in on transfer deadline day of the 2006 summer transfer window, joining in a cash-plus William Gallas deal, a move that Arsenal fans took really well.

He would spend the next eight years at Chelsea, winning a Premier League, four FA Cups and a Champions League in the process. But it was former manager Arsene Wenger that best summed up his qualities.

“He is a defender who simply loves to attack. Defends, because he has to defend and because it is part of his job. Everybody loves to play with [him] because as soon as you won the ball back, he was up there to attack,” the Frenchman said.

Claude Makelele

Chelsea spent £16million on Makelele, bringing him in from Real Madrid in the summer of 2003, with Claudio Ranieri claiming his new recruit would be the “battery” of his side. A very astute characterisation.

During his time at the Bridge, he literally made the defensive midfield position his own, with the “Makelele role” named in honour of him.


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