Ranking Chelsea’s 10 most expensive signings by their value for money

Quick Reads

Benefitting from Roman Abramovich’s billions since 2003, Chelsea have made numerous expensive signings over the years – but how much value did their 10 most expensive signings provide?

The curse inflicting high-profile strikers at Stamford Bridge is well-known, but Chelsea have arguably had more success in other positions across the pitch –  their trophy haul across the past two decades would suggest as much

We’ve ranked Chelsea’s 10 most expensive signings from the worst value for money to the best.

10. Alvaro Morata

Exhibit A of that aforementioned striker’s curse.

Chelsea were champions when they spent £60million bringing Morata to Stamford Bridge in 2017 but the much-hyped forward failed to deliver in a blue shirt.

Every sitter became ammunition for social media knuckle-draggers and a move to Atletico Madrid in January 2019 suited all parties. A shame, but Morata will always be remembered as a disastrous signing.

9. Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa is the most expensive goalkeeper of all time, having cost Chelsea £72million back in 2018. 

He’s come nowhere near justifying that fee but did provide one of the all-time great Wembley moments – you know the one we’re talking about.

8. Timo Werner

A tricky one.

Yes, Werner’s all-round game was a crucial element of Chelsea’s success last season. His ability to create space and chances for others is seriously impressive and you imagine other forwards love playing alongside him.

But the Germany international’s total of six league goals wasn’t what Chelsea paid £47.5million for – hence the signing of Lukaku in 2021.

Chelsea fans backed him last year but who knows if that’ll remain the case if Lukaku scores 20+ this year.

7. Fernando Torres

Underwhelming, but not as bad as you might remember.

READ: Fernando Torres: The Chelsea ‘flop’ who still stole fans’ hearts

6. Ben Chilwell

Chilwell’s been usurped as England’s starting left-back by the renaissance of Luke Shaw, but he’s been impressively solid in a Chelsea shirt.

Signed from Leicester in 2020, the £45million man chipped in with three goals and five assists and improved under Thomas Tuchel. His defensive abilities were sometimes criticised at Leicester but his man-marking job on former team-mate Riyad Mahrez helped Chelsea lift Ol’ Big Ears in May.

5. Christian Pulisic

There’s still room for improvement, and with the amount of attacking talent at Chelsea there’s no room for slacking, but Pulisic has given us flashes of quality in his two years in English football.

The £57million signing has been inconsistent so far, scoring just 13 goals in the league across his first two seasons. But, on his day, he can be brilliant and is definitely worth preserving with.

4. Kai Havertz

Fans were very excited when Havertz joined Chelsea in 2020. The 21-year-old had 77 goal contributions in 150 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen before he switched to Stamford Bridge – it seemed like money well spent for one of Europe’s most exciting talents. 

But he struggled for much of last year – homesickness, COVID and Frank Lampard’s inability to play him in his right position were all factors – but Havertz redeemed himself by scoring the winner against Manchester City in the Champions League final.

And he’s started this season in promising form. A new signing needing time to settle in a new country before producing his best form – whatever next?

READ: Kai Havertz and the counter-attacking brilliance that’s becoming the norm

3. Mateo Kovacic

Kovacic has become a fan favourite since joining the Blues permanently for a fee of £40million in the summer of 2019 – winning the Champions League will do that for a player.

The Croatia midfielder, who also won three Champions League in a row with Real Madrid, remains a regular in Chelsea’s side and is called underrated so often that he’s in danger of becoming slightly overrated (AKA The Dennis Irwin conundrum).

In short, a very good player to have around.

2. Romelu Lukaku

After dominating Italian football with Inter, scoring 64 goals in 95 games over the course of two seasons and helping the club win their first Serie A title in 10 years, Lukaku returned to English football as one of the best strikers in world football.

He had a point to prove following his disappointing spell at Chelsea a decade ago and took just 15 minutes to score on his debut against Arsenal in August 2021.

Lukaku may have cost £98million, but it would be a huge surprise if he wasn’t a success at Stamford Bridge.

1. Jorginho

He’s come in for some stick – mainly when he became the poster boy for Sarriball – but Jorginho has won over the Chelsea fanbase with his consistency as a deep-lying midfielder and unerring ability to score penalties.

The Italy midfielder has faced spells on the substitute bench but his perseverance has been rewarded with the 2021 UEFA Player of the Year.

Investing £40million in Jorginho has certainly paid off for Chelsea over the previous three years.


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