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Chelsea’s 10 Most Expensive Signings Of All Time

Since Roman Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea in 2003, the club have become synonymous with big-money signings of some of the world’s best players.

The Russian billionaire turned the club’s fortunes around in less than two decades, developing a downtrodden team into one of the most successful sides in Europe, let alone the Premier League.

The controversial oligarch was able to lure top players to Stamford Bridge, courtesy of his limitless cash reserves, and make sure the Pensioners regularly sit in front of their bright trophy cabinet.

However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced him to sell his beloved Chelsea to a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, in May 2022, after helping them win numerous continental and domestic trophies.

Most of Chelsea’s most expensive signings have unsurprisingly come under Abramovich’s reign, but the new owners have already shown their readiness to follow that trend.

Below are the ten most expensive Chelsea signings of all time.

  1. Enzo Fernandez (Benfica, 2023) – €121m
  2. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan, 2021) – €113m
  3. Wesley Fofana (Leicester City, 2022) – €80.4m
  4. Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen, 2020) – €72m
  5. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao, 2018) – €72m
  6. Mykhaylo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk, 2023) – €70m
  7. Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid, 2017) – €66m
  8. Marc Cucurellla (Brighton & Hove Albion, 2022) – €65.3m
  9. Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, 2018) – €64m
  10. Fernando Torres (Liverpool, 2010) – €58.5m

Let’s see how Chelsea’s ten most expensive signings ever panned out. 

#10 Fernando Torres

From hero to zero’ – there’s no better way to describe the trajectory of Fernando Torres’ career since he swapped Liverpool for Chelsea in 2010. 

While enjoying a rise to stardom at Anfield, the Spanish striker’s scoring outlay and overall contribution to the team were second to none in the Premier League.

Torres’ mesmeric performances for Liverpool convinced Abramovich to fork out a then-English transfer fee record of £50 million to acquire his services, only to regret that decision dearly over the next four years.

#9 Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic is a prototype of a modern-day winger.

Seen as a long-term replacement for Eden Hazard, the United States talisman has yet to put his class in the service of the greater good. 

Blessed with blistering speed and a sophisticated sense for the game, Pulisic has everything it takes to become a top player, but he has struggled to live up to his potential. 

#8 Marc Cucurella

How often do you see a club dashing out north of £50m to sign a full-back if it’s not Manchester City Marc Cucurella booked membership in that club in 2022. 

Only one season at Brighton & Hove Albion proved enough to assure everyone in the Premier League that the Barcelona youth academy graduate is a star in the making. 

Guardiola was, of course, keen to add him to his star-studded backline, but Chelsea acted quickly to steal him under the Spaniard’s nose and add that extra bit of pace and quality to the team.

#7 Alvaro Morata

Apart from Didier Drogba, the Pensioners have encountered little or no luck with what many dubbed top-class strikers. From Andriy Shevchenko through Torres to Alvaro Morata, all failed to live up to the billing. 

Morata’s paltry scoring return of 24 goals in 72 outings quickly made him a bit-part player in London, with many still having a hard time believing he was under contract at Chelsea for three years.

He cut short his Premier League misery in 2019 to join Atletico Madrid, with no one in the London camp losing too much sleep over the Spaniard’s return to his homeland. 

#6 Mykhaylo Mudryk

Chelsea raised plenty of eyebrows when they swooped in late to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk from under the noses of London rivals Arsenal.

The winger had been angling for a move to the Emirates Stadium, but Chelsea’s owners nipped in to secure his services.

While Mudryk looked a potential superstar for Shakhtar, he still has plenty to do to prove he can cut it in the Premier League.

#5 Kepa Arrizabalaga

This one brings tears to the eyes of Chelsea fans. If blunders and altercations with a manager were significant currencies in football, Kepa Arrizabalaga would be top of the list.

Abramovich must still be wondering what made him pay Athletic Bilbao a staggering £72m to turn the Spaniard into the most expensive goalkeeper in football history. 

Arrizabalaga is miles away from where he needs to be and Chelsea must regret their massive outlay on him.

#4 Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz may have struggled to deliver the goods week in, week out at the Bridge after having 77 goal contributions in 150 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen. Yet, he scored when it mattered the most.

The German whizz-kid was on the scoresheet to fire Chelsea past Man City in an all-English Champions League final in 2021, which will go a long way down in his Stamford Bridge resume. 

A bit more consistency from Havertz would get the Blues supporters even more excited, but the youngster rose to the occasion once to buy himself plenty of credit.

#3 Wesley Fofana

The former Leicester City star has been unlucky with injuries but is undoubtedly a defender with the talent to be a stalwart for Chelsea.

However, Fofana will need to improve on what he showed during the 2022/23 season if he is to truly fulfil his potential.

His cause has not been helped by the revolving door of managers and he will likely start to produce the goods when things settle down at the club.

#2 Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea’s desperate search for an out-and-out striker to lead the line brought a familiar face back to the Bridge as Romelu Lukaku returned home from Inter Milan in 2021. 

Following a prolific two-year spell at Giuseppe Meazza, the Belgian star thought the time came for him to prove his worth in London and finish what he started years ago. 

However, only one year after Chelsea purchased him back for a club-record fee of £101.7m, Lukaku was sent back to Serie A to get his career back on track once again.

#1 Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea showed they mean business during the 2023 winter transfer window by spending a club-record fee to sign Enzo Fernandez.

The midfielder was a start performer for Benfica and played an integral role as Argentina emerged victorious at the 2022 World Cup.

Fernandez made a bright start to life at Chelsea and is a good bet to become one of the team’s top players over the next few years.