Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard – Chelsea’s 10 greatest transfers of past 30 years
Chelsea and the transfer market have a mixed relationship over the past 30 years.
Life is changing at Stamford Bridge with the arrival of co-owner Todd Boehly following the completion of his £4billion takeover of the club from Roman Abramovich.
The Blues spent more than any other Premier League club in the summer transfer window this year, signing eight new first team players and almost breaking the £300million mark.
It remains to be seen as to whether any of the new signings under the new ownership model will reach the heights of the likes of Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.
With so many great signings having joined Chelsea in the past, football. Frank Lampard is regarded as a club legend at Chelsea.
Signed from West Ham at a young age for a fee in the region of £14million, Lampard developed into one of the world’s best midfielders under Jose Mourinho and continued to perform throughout his 13-year career at Stamford Bridge.
The now Everton manager made 644 appearances for the Blues scoring 211 goals and providing a further 145 assists as he remains the Premier League’s all-time top scoring midfielder with 177 goals in the English top-flight.
During his career, Lampard lifted the Premier League three times, FA Cup four times, EFL Cup twice, UEFA Champions League and Europa League, as well as winning the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 2005.
Didier Drogba is an all-time fan-favourite and was one of the best all-round strikers in Premier League history.
The Ivorian striker’s physicality paired with his unbelievable ability in front of goal saw him score 164 goals in 384 appearances for the Blues.
His best moment arguably came in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final when he nodded home a late equaliser against Bayern Munich before scoring the winning penalty to help Chelsea win their first ever Champions League trophy.
Drogba was named Chelsea’s greatest ever player in a poll of 20,000 fans conducted by Chelsea FC Magazine in 2012 following his historic match-winning performance.
The former Ivory Coast international was the definition of a ‘big-game player’ after scoring nine goals in nine cup finals for the Blues and his £34million signing is up there with one of the best in the club’s history.
Eden Hazard was regarded as one of the hottest talents in Europe when he signed for Chelsea from Lille in 2012.
The Belgian winger’s best years were at Stamford Bridge though where he was adored by fans for his trickery, flair and overall performances.
Hazard registered 202 goal contributions in 352 appearances for Chelsea, winning the Premier League twice, an FA Cup, an EFL Cup and two Europa League titles. Gianfranco Zola arrived at Stamford Bridge following his £4.5million signing in 1996 from Parma.
Zola’s most famous moment in a Blues shirt came when he scored a brilliant backheel goal against Norwich in 2002 and he is considered to be one of the best players in Chelsea history.
Petr Cech proved to be one of the best goalkeepers in Premier League history after arriving at Chelsea for £7million from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes.
He helped the club win four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, and one UEFA Europa League title, whilst also holding Chelsea’s all-time record for clean sheets with 228.
Ashley Cole made the controversial move from Arsenal to direct rivals Chelsea in 2006 with William Gallas moving in the opposite direction.
Cole is widely regarded as the best left-back in Premier League history and was a sensational addition to the Blues squad, winning the Premier League, four FA Cups, the EFL Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Claude Makelele signed from Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2003 and went on to win two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and an FA Cup. The French midfielder was brilliant at breaking up play and starting attacking moves for the Blues, with an exceptional passing and tackling ability.
Makelele was the heartbeat of Ranieri’s Chelsea side with the Italian manager labelling the French icon as the ‘battery’ of the team. Cesar Azpilicueta has been a constant in Chelsea’s success over the past 10 years and proved to be one of the best signings in the Blues’ history.
Azpilicueta signed for £7million from Marseille back in 2012 and is the current club captain, helping the Blues win two Premier Leagues, an FA Cup, an EFL Cup, UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Europa Leagues, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, making him one Chelsea’s most decorated players in the club’s history. N’Golo Kante made the move from reigning Premier League champions Leicester to Chelsea in a £30million deal in 2016.
Kante’s contract runs out next year and Graham Potter will be hoping he can convince the 31-year-old to sign an extension after he has proved crucial to success at Stamford Bridge since joining the club. The France international was a key player in winning the 2016/17 Premier League and UEFA Champions League in 2021.
Kante has also won the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup since signing from Leicester six years ago. His immense passing, long-range shooting and defensive work made him a key part for plenty of Chelsea’s success after signing from Lyon for £14million in 2005.
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