Chelsea have had their fair share of German players in the Premier League era. We look at the greatest Blues from the four-time world champion nation to have played at Stamford Bridge, in our rundown of Chelsea’s best German players ever.
7. Marko Marin
Marko Marin was highly rated as a youth, before never quite living up to his potential. He joined the Blues in 2012 from Werder Bremen. He would remain on the books of Chelsea for four years, serving loan spells in Turkey, Italy, and Spain.
Marin scored a memorable Premier League goal against Wigan in 2013 with his first touch as a 92nd minute substitute.
Now aged 34, he was last on the books of Saudi club Al-Raed and Hungary’s Ferencváros before retiring in 2022.
6. Sebastian Kneißl
Kneißl is definitely the most unknown player in this list. The German spent five years on the books of the Blues, although he never made a competitive league appearance for the club.
After leaving Chelsea in 2005, he had spells with lower league teams in England and Germany and a loan spell with Westerlo. He retired from professional football in 2013, having last been on the books of German club SV Heimstetten.
5. Robert Huth
Huth was far from a football legend but is best remembered for helping Leicester to shockingly claim the 2015/16 Premier League title. He is also one of the rare breed of former Germany national team players who never played professionally in his homeland. Huth moved to Chelsea from Union Berlin in 2002 as a teenager. He started his professional career in 2002 with the Blues and was part of the early stages of the Roman Abramovich era.
He would end up spending the entirety of his professional career in England. He then turned out for the likes of Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Leicester before calling time on his career in 2018.
Despite being best remembered for helping Leicester win the league, Huth is also a three-time league winner. He also played a bit-part role in Chelsea’s title winning campaigns of 2004-05 and 2005-0, earning enough appearances to earn a winners medal – and cementing his place on the list of Chelsea’s best German players.
4. André Schürrle
The German arrived at the Blues in 2013. His first season at the club was successful as he made 30 league appearances, helping it to finish third in the English top-flight and qualify for the Champions League. The following season, he played a bit-part role as the club ended up winning its fourth Premier League title under Jose Mourinho.
The highlight of Schurrle’s career was in 2014 as he helped Germany win its fourth recent and most recent World Cup title. He left Chelsea in 2015 after struggling for form and game-time. He was never quite the same player afterwards. He had unsuccessful spells with the likes of Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund, Fulham and most recently Spartak Moscow.
He went on to retire from professional football in July 2020, aged 29.
3. Kai Havertz
Havertz joined the club from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020 after having established himself as a Bundesliga wonderkid with his former club. He has taken time to adapt to life in England but has since established himself as a solid performer for both club and country.
As a result of his composure on the park, Paul Merson has referred to Havertz as being one of the Blues best players currently.
“Havertz is one of Chelsea’s best players. People forget he is class. He knits things together. He’s a Rolls-Royce. He glides round the pitch,” said Merson.
2. Michael Ballack
The former German national team captain and perhaps a generational great midfielder of the 2000s, Ballack arrived at Stamford Bridge on a free-transfer from Bayern Munich in 2006 when he was nearing the end of his prime as a player.
Ballack was a player that any manager would have wanted his team due to his passing range and leadership on the field. He also boasted a tremendous long-shot which gave him a knack for scoring goals from any place on the field.
During his four year stay at Stamford Bridge, Ballack helped Chelsea win one Premier League title, three FA Cups and one League Cup.
1. Antonio Rudiger
Rudiger spent five years on the books of the Blues. In that time, he went on to become one of the best defenders in the world before a surprise move to Real Madrid followed.
The German was a first-team regular throughout his stay at Stamford Bridge as he went on to clock in over 200 appearances in all competitions prior to his departure. He played a big role for the club during its 2021 Champions League success which was its second following their 2012 triumph.
In his time with the Blues, Rudiger established himself as a tough tackler who was also able to obtain a commanding presence in the air. He also had impressive passing range.
Though finished with Chelsea, Rudiger remains a mainstay for the German national team. He may well play a leading role for it in its 2026 World Cup qualification cycle as it looks to re-establish itself as a giant of world football following years and years of failure which included group stage exits in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.