Since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, there have been a number of players who came to the club and flopped despite fans having big hopes for them. The following are four strikers who flopped at the club – hopefully Gonzalo Higuain does not end up joining this list.
5. Adrian Mutu
The Romanian arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2003 from Parma for a fee of around £15.8 million. He had scored an impressive 20 goals from 36 games in all competitions for the Italian side during the season before. Mutu started off life at Chelsea well under Claudio Ranieri and scored on debut against Leicester City and following that up with goals against Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham.
Mutu had a strained relationship with Jose Mourinho with both accusing each other of lying over the player’s availability for a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic. In September of 2004, Mutu received a several month ban from football after having tested positive for cocaine use. His contract with the Blues was terminated even before he received the ban.
Mutu is a player who could have achieved more had be had the correct mindset.
4. Alvaro Morata
Morata arrived at Chelsea from Real Madrid during the summer of 2017 as a direct replacement for Diego Costa. The Spaniard started off life with the West London club on a good note, scoring and providing an assist on his Premier League debut against Burnley. In September of 2017, he also bagged a hat-rick against Stoke City.
However, things went pear-shaped for him during the second-half of the 2017-18 campaign and the striker ended up missing out on a place in Spain’s 23-man World Cup squad. Overall, Morata went on to score 15 goals from 48 appearances in all competitions during his first season at Chelsea. Ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, Maurizio Sarri gave him a second chance and he once again failed to make the most of it. During the first half of this season, Morata scored just nine goals in all competitions from 24 matches.
He was shipped out on loan to Atletico Madrid in January 2019.
3. Andriy Shevchenko
Shevchenko arrived at Chelsea in 2006 when he was one of the world’s top-rated strikers and a two-time former Serie A top scorer. The Ukrainian scored during his competitive debut for the West London club in a 2-1 loss against Liverpool. Shevchenko was largely inconsistent and plagued with injuries during his time in England. He ended up going on to score just nine goals from 48 Premier League appearances.
After being deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, he went on to have an unsuccessful loan spell with AC Milan, with whom he had established himself as one of the world’s best strikers and then returned to his homeland of Ukraine with Dynamo Kyiv. Kyiv ended up being the last club that he would play for before he retired from the game in 2012.
2. Hernan Crespo
Crespo joined Chelsea in 2003 from Inter Milan for a fee of around £16.8 million. During his first season with the Blues, the former Argentinian international went on to make 31 appearances in all competitions and scored just 12 goals.
After Jose Mourinho was appointed manager of Chelsea in 2004, Crespo was deemed surplus to requirements at the club and sent on loan to AC Milan. After Chelsea failed to secure a striker to support Didier Drogba during the summer of 2005, Mourinho brought back Crespo to the club. He was a regular that season and went on to score 13 goals from 42 appearances in all competitions that season. The Blues won the League that season and it was Crespo’s first League title in European football. That season proved to be his last. He ended up joining Inter Milan on a two-year season loan in 2006 and he joined the Italian club permanently after being released by Chelsea in 2008.
Arguably the biggest Chelsea flop of all-time, Torres joined the West London club from Liverpool in 2011 for a then British transfer record of £50 million. He was one of the best forwards at the time and was expected to ignite Stamford Bridge. He however failed to do this and did not replicate the heroics which he showed with Liverpool.
During his four years with Chelsea, Torres went on to make 110 Premier League appearances and scored just 20 goals. By contrast, he played 102 top-flight games for Liverpool and scored 65 goals. The one positive that the Spaniard can take from his time with Chelsea is that he won one Champions League as well as the Europa League. If he had stayed on with Liverpool, he would not have done this.