With the summer transfer window fast approaching, football clubs worldwide are gearing up to buy and sell new talents in their quest for success. Chelsea, known for their ambitious transfer activity, has made some significant signings throughout their history. In this article, we rank top 15 Chelsea’s record signings in history and highlight their contributions and the impact on club’s success.
Ranking 15 Chelsea Most Expensive Signings of All Time
Over the years, The Blues have made several record-breaking transfers to strengthen their squad and compete at the highest level. Here is a list of the top 15 Chelsea record signings, ranked based on their impact, success, and contribution to the club’s history.
#15. Eden Hazard – £32m (Lille, 2012)
- Contract Expiry: 2019
Belgian winger Eden Hazard completed a transfer to Chelsea from Lille in June 2012 for a fee of £32 million. Hazard was already regarded as one of the most promising young talents in European football and quickly justified the high expectations placed upon him. His flair, dribbling skills, and eye for goal made him a fan favorite at Stamford Bridge, and he played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s success during his time at the club.
#14. N’Golo Kanté – £32m (Leicester City, 2016)
- Contract expiry: 2023
French midfielder N’Golo Kanté joined Chelsea from Leicester City in July 2016 for a fee of £32 million. Kanté quickly became an integral part of Chelsea’s midfield, showcasing his exceptional work rate, tenacity, and ability to win the ball back. He played a crucial role in Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning campaign in 2016-2017 and has since established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.
Also read: Is N’Golo Kanté leaving Chelsea?
#13. Timo Werner – £47.5m (RB Leipzig, 2020)
- Contract expiry: 2022
German striker Timo Werner made the move to Chelsea from RB Leipzig in July 2020 for a fee of £47.5 million. Werner had earned a reputation as one of Europe’s most prolific goal-scorers with his explosive pace and clinical finishing.
Despite facing challenges adapting to the Premier League, Werner showed glimpses of his talent and provided important contributions to the team.
#12. Jorginho – £50m (Napoli, 2018)
- Contract expiry: 2024
Italian midfielder Jorginho arrived at Chelsea in July 2018 from Napoli, joining the club for a fee of £50 million. Jorginho played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s midfield, dictating the tempo of play and showcasing his exceptional passing range. He played a crucial role in Chelsea’s success in the UEFA Champions League and helped solidify their midfield presence.
#11. Fernando Torres – £50m (Liverpool, 2011)
- Contract expiry: Retired
Spanish striker Fernando Torres made a high-profile move to Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011, setting the club back £50 million. Torres was regarded as one of the best forwards in the world at the time, known for his blistering pace and clinical finishing. However, his time at Chelsea was marred by a lack of consistency and struggles in front of goal.
#10. Ben Chilwell – £50m (Leicester City, 2020)
- Contract expiry: 2027
English left-back Ben Chilwell made the switch to Chelsea from Leicester City in August 2020 for a fee of £50 million. Chilwell had emerged as one of the Premier League’s most promising full-backs with his attacking prowess and defensive solidity. His arrival bolstered Chelsea’s defensive options and provided a much-needed balance to the team.
#9. Christian Pulisic – £57m (Dortmund, 2019)
- Contract expiry: 2024
Christian Pulisic, despite his significant transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea, has faced challenges in living up to the lofty expectations placed upon him. The qualities that made him stand out – his speed, quick thinking on the ball, and dribbling skills – have not consistently translated into on-pitch success.
Regrettably, Pulisic’s performances have been inconsistent, leaving fans and pundits yearning for more. However, despite persistent transfer rumors swirling around him, Pulisic remains committed to the club. Chelsea still believes in his potential and hopes that he will find his stride and make a significant impact in the seasons to come.
#8. Alvaro Morata – £60m (Real Madrid, 2017)
- Contract expiry: 2024
Alvaro Morata, a Spanish striker, arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2017 from Real Madrid for a club-record fee of £60 million. Although not a consistent regular at Real Madrid, Morata’s loan spell at Juventus and promising performances for Los Blancos showcased his potential as a talismanic figure with expert instincts in the box. Despite initial desires for Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea opted for Morata to lead their front line.
Morata made an impressive start, nearly inspiring a comeback off the bench on his Premier League debut against Burnley. In his first season, he scored 15 goals and provided six assists in 30 starts across all competitions. However, his second year saw a decline in his finishing, resulting in a loan move to Atletico Madrid for £16 million. Eventually, Atletico signed him permanently for just over £30 million, as agreed.
#7. Marc Cucurella – £62m (Brighton, 2022)
- Contract expiry: 2028
In the summer of 2022, Chelsea made a statement by splashing £62 million on Brighton wing-back Marc Cucurella, beating off interest from Manchester City and Barcelona. The deal was far from straightforward, as premature reports claimed its completion, leading Brighton to release a statement denying the speculation. Eventually, a deal was struck for an initial £55 million, with an additional £7 million in add-ons. Chelsea also included talented youngster Levi Colwill, who joined Brighton on loan as part of the agreement. Cucurella’s transfer made him the most expensive wing-back in history, highlighting the club’s ambition to strengthen their defensive options.
#6. Wesley Fofana – £70m (Leicester City, 2022)
- Contract expiry: 2029
After a prolonged pursuit, Chelsea finally secured the signing of Wesley Fofana from Leicester City on the penultimate day of the 2022 summer transfer window. The details of the transfer fee remain undisclosed, but it is known that Fofana’s move made him one of the most expensive center-backs in the history of the game.
The German manager, Thomas Tuchel, had targeted Fofana for his defensive prowess and potential. The young Frenchman signed a seven-year contract with Chelsea, showcasing his strong desire to join the club. Fofana’s transfer was a testament to his determination and the efforts made by Chelsea to bring him on board.
#5. Kai Havertz – £71m (Bayer Leverkusen, 2020)
- Contract expiry: 2025
German attacking midfielder Kai Havertz made a big-money move to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen in September 2020, with a reported transfer fee of £71 million. Havertz had established himself as one of the brightest talents in German football, known for his technical skills, versatility, and goal-scoring ability.
Despite a slow start, he gradually found his feet and played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s success, including their UEFA Champions League triumph in 2021.
#4. Kepa Arrizabalaga – £71.6m (Athletic Bilbao, 2018)
- Contract expiry: 2025
Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga became not only the most expensive goalkeeper in history when he joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao in August 2018 for a fee of £71.6 million. The highly-rated shot-stopper was brought in to replace the outgoing Thibaut Courtois. Kepa’s agility and shot-stopping abilities impressed initially, but his time at Chelsea has been marked by ups and downs.
#3. Mykhaylo Mudryk – £89.1m (From Shakhtar, 2022)
- Contract expiry: 2030
In the January 2023 transfer window, Chelsea made another significant signing by acquiring Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk for a staggering £89.1 million. This made Mudryk the second player in Chelsea’s history to command a transfer fee of €100 million or more.
The Ukrainian winger had been making waves in European football throughout 2022 with his impressive performances. It was widely expected that he would join Arsenal, but Chelsea swooped in and secured his signature on a long-term contract until 2030. Mudryk’s arrival added further firepower to Chelsea’s already formidable attacking lineup.
#2. Romelu Lukaku – £97.5m (Inter Milan, 2021)
- Contract expiry: 2023
Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku rejoined Chelsea in August 2021 from Inter Milan in a club-record transfer worth £97.5 million. Lukaku had previously played for Chelsea earlier in his career but had established himself as one of the world’s finest forwards during his time at Inter. His return to Stamford Bridge was met with great excitement, and he quickly made an impact, leading the line with his strength, pace, and clinical finishing.
#1. Enzo Fernandez – £107m (From Benfica, 2023)
- Contract expiry: 2032 (according to reports)
Enzo Fernandez, the Argentine midfielder, made headlines when he joined Chelsea from Benfica in January 2023, breaking the record for the most expensive British transfer of all time. The £107 million fee surpassed the previous record held by Jack Grealish.
Chelsea wasted no time in securing Enzo’s services, agreeing to pay the release clause in his Benfica contract just six months after his arrival at the Portuguese club. The decision to invest heavily in Enzo was influenced by his outstanding performances during the 2022 season, where his brilliance in midfield played a crucial role in Argentina’s triumph in the World Cup, ending a 36-year drought.
That concludes our rankings of top 15 Chelsea’s record signings of all time. Overall, The Blues’ ambition and financial power have allowed them to make significant signings throughout their history, breaking transfer records in the process. While some signings failed to meet the high expectations, others became iconic figures and key contributors to the team’s success.
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Who is Chelsea’s most expensive goalkeeper signing?
Kepa Arrizabalaga is Chelsea’s most expensive goalkeeper signing. The club paid a world record fee of £71.6 million for his services.
Which signing was considered a disappointment for Chelsea?
Fernando Torres is widely considered a disappointment during his time at Chelsea. Despite his reputation as a prolific striker, Torres struggled to replicate his previous success and failed to make a significant impact on the team.
Who is Chelsea’s most expensive American signing?
Christian Pulisic holds the record as Chelsea’s most expensive American signing. The player the club for a reported fee of £57.6 million.
Who is Chelsea’s most expensive German signing?
Kai Havertz holds the title of Chelsea’s most expensive German signing. The club secured his services by acquiring him from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported fee of around £70 million.