Chelsea’s most expensive signing for each 2010s season – & how they fared
Chelsea haven’t been afraid to splash the cash in the 2010s, but the results haven’t always matched the outlay.
The club that changed the meaning of big spending when Roman Abramovich took over in 2003, and haven’t exactly slowed down.
In every season since 2010-11, the Blues have signed at least one player for more than £20million. Here’s how the most expensive signing from each campaign this decade fared.
When Chelsea brought in Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January 2011, the Spaniard was the most expensive footballer ever signed by an English club,
That record has since been broken more than once, while Chelsea themselves have since broken that club record twice, for Alvaro Morata and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Torres didn’t come close to hitting his Liverpool form in the league for Chelsea, but his goal in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2012 will ensure few care all that much.
Another member of the victorious 2011-12 Champions League squad, Mata cost £23.5million from Valencia in the summer before that triumph over Bayern Munich.
His departure seemed to come pretty suddenly, with Manchester United boss David Moyes swooping to bring him to Old Trafford in January 2014.
While the attacking midfielder’s productivity in the final third has dipped of late, we shouldn’t forget the goals and assists he chalked up in his two full seasons in west London.
Probably the Blues’ outright best signing of the decade, Hazard joined the summer after the Champions League victory following a battle with several of Europe’s top clubs for his signature.
In 352 games, many of them in a wide role, the Belgian scored 110 goals and reached double-figures in all but one of his seasons.
While £32million was a tidy sum for the then-Lille man, Chelsea developed Hazard into such a vital player that they eventually trebled their money by selling him to Real Madrid in 2019.
It feels like every year is ‘the year Willian leaves Chelsea’, but he’s stuck it out and will see out the decade with the Blues.
The former Shakhtar and Anzhi winger was among the first signings to join the club in Jose Mourinho’s second spell and arrived with Anzhi team-mate Samuel Eto’o in 2013.
The 2019-20 season saw him bring up 200 league games and 300 games in all competitions for the club, and he has some big goals to show for his time in London.
After missing out on the league title in 2013-14, Mourinho spent big in an effort to make sure he got it right second time around, and they don’t come much bigger than Costa.
The Spaniard arrived after helping Atletico Madrid to a shock La Liga triumph (and a Champions League final), and scored 20 times as Chelsea romped to the title.
After the disappointment of 2015-16, the £32million man hit another 20 goals under Antonio Conte, ensuring he ended his time at Stamford Bridge with two league wins to his name.
Pedro isn’t a bad player by any means, but when he’s the most expensive summer signing for a club in the Champions League you might need to ask questions.
Mourinho added the Spaniard to Chelsea’s ranks in the same summer he brought in the likes of Baba Rahman and Asmir Begovic, and at the very least you can appreciate Pedro is still there.
The former Barcelona man has been, broadly speaking, an OK signing. Not a lot more, not a lot less.
Batshuayi might have scored a title-winning goal for Chelsea, but that doesn’t make him the roaring success some hoped he’d become after a 23-goal season for Marseille.
The Belgian has spent three separate spells away on loan, with his time at Borussia Dortmund (nine goals in 14 games) the most productive.
However, he has managed to maintain a better than one-in-two record at international level despite the regular upheaval in his club career.
Things started so well for Morata following a £60million move from Real Madrid, with six goals in his first six Premier League games, but things quickly tailed off.
A near three-month goal drought had some anticipating an exit after just one year and, while that didn’t materialise, he was sent to Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan beginning January 2019.
The Spain international’s form at Stamford Bridge even cost him a World Cup place in 2018, but he returned for La Roja this season and has nine goals in 21 games for club and country.
Chelsea’s current first-choice goalkeeper remains the most expensive signing in the club’s history, arriving for a reported £71.5million from Athletic Bilbao after Thibaut Courtois was sold to Real Madrid.
The Spaniard helped Maurizio Sarri’s Blues make it into the Champions League, keeping 14 league clean sheets in his first season, which sounds good.
However, he has also made a few high-profile mistakes, and notably had a high-profile row with Chelsea’s former manager during the 2019 League Cup final.
Chelsea’s transfer ban ensured Kovacic was the only player to cost the club a transfer fee in 2019-20, with the Blues given permission to exercise the clause to make his loan move from Real Madrid permanent (Christian Pulisic having been signed the previous season and loaned back to Borussia Dortmund).
Signed on a temporary deal after playing his part in Croatia’s run to the 2018 World Cup final, he featured regularly before Chelsea paid £40million to sign him on a five-year contract.
The one-time Inter midfielder has featured in every league game under Frank Lampard, scoring his first Chelsea goal in the Champions League draw away to Valencia.