Since the mid-2000s, Chelsea have been a major force in the English and European game. A major factor in the Blues’ rise has been the ability to spend the fortune of former owner and billionaire Roman Abramovich. The Russian Oligarch has now sold his majority shareholding in the south west London club.
However, they kept spending big in the summer of 2022 under the club’s new hierarchy. With that in mind, here are Chelsea’s top ten most expensive signings:
Romelu Lukaku (Bought from Inter for £101.7m)
The Belgian striker returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2022, joining the Blues in a club-record move from Italian giants Inter. Lukaku had been a promising youngster at Chelsea in his late teens but moved elsewhere in search of first-team football.
His time at Inter was goal-laden. However, his big-money return to Chelsea was not exactly a happy one, as he didn’t fit into the playing style of then-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel. The result was just eight goals in 26 appearances for the Blues.
His second stay at the club may not last long, as in the summer of 2022, Lukaku returned to Inter on a season-long deal. The forward’s long-term future is unknown.
Wesley Fofana (Bought from Leicester for £72.6m)
The highly-rated French centre-back joined from Leicester in the summer transfer window. Fofana’s fee reflected Fofana’s quality and potential to improve in the future. The youngster established himself as one of the best young centre-backs in the European game in the Midlands, despite suffering a serious long-term injury during his time with the Foxes.
Signing Fofana was a big gamble considering the fee. However, only time will tell if the defender will fulfil his potential with the Blues and become a world-class defender.
Kai Havertz (Bought from Bayer Leverkusen for £72m)
The Germany international joined the Blues in the summer of 2020, alongside national teammate Timo Werner. When at Bayer Leverkusen, Havertz had built a reputation as a player who could be world-class in the future.
The forward has enjoyed a mixed career with the Blues. However, in his debut season with the club, Havertz scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final.
Havertz is technically gifted and versatile, as he can play as a ten or a central striker. He has also been pushed out to the flanks of the attack on occasion. Even if he is not a roaring success at Chelsea, his signing may have been worth it just for that famous winning goal.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Bought from Athletic Club for £72m)
The Spanish goalkeeper joined the Blues from Athletic Club in 2018 as a replacement for the outgoing Thibaut Courtois, who joined Real Madrid. The fee of £72m was a record fee for a player in his position, and the signing was another gamble.
Kepa enjoyed a decent debut campaign, helping his team win the Europa League, including saving two penalty kicks in a shootout in the competition’s semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt. However, Kepa struggled for form in the following seasons and became Blues’ number two shortly after the arrival of Senegalese international Edouard Mendy from Rennes in September 2020.
Alvaro Morata (Bought from Real Madrid for £59.40m)
The forward arrived in 2017 from Spanish giants Real Madrid. Like many players on this list, he failed to live up to his reputation or price tag at Chelsea. Morata had just two years with the Blues, scoring 24 goals in 72 appearances.
The Spanish international joined Atletico Madrid on loan in 2019 before joining the men from Madrid in a permanent transfer the following summer for a fee of £31.5m.
Marc Cucurella (Bought from Brighton for £58.77m)
The versatile former-Getafe player arrived in the summer of 2022 from Brighton after an impressive couple of seasons with the Seagulls. The defender started his career in the Barcelona youth ranks before making a name at Getafe and eventually Brighton.
Cucurella was reunited with his former boss from Brighton, Graham Potter, in September 2022. The defender could be a highly useful asset for the Blues in years to come.
Christian Pulisic (Bought from Dortmund for (£57.6m)
The USA international burst onto the scene at Dortmund, as so many young players do. He showed enough promise for BVB to persuade Chelsea to pay a fee of £57.6m to sign him in 2018, although he remained at Dortmund until the summer of 2019.
Since joining, the pacey winger has been inconsistent in a Chelsea shirt. He has shown flashes of promise, but it is fair to say that he has not yet fully justified his hefty transfer fee.
Fernando Torres (Bought from Liverpool for (£52.6m)
Torres joined Chelsea from Liverpool in the January transfer window of 2011. It was a massive move from the Blues, as the deal to sign the Spaniard was a British transfer record at the time.
The former Atletico Madrid star had been highly prolific on Merseyside and headed to south west London with a big reputation. Unfortunately, for both the player and Chelsea, Torres’ time at the club was not a resounding success. However, Torres did help his team win the Champions League in 2012, even scoring in the second leg of the semi-final in the Nou Camp against Barcelona.
The forward scored 45 goals in 172 appearances for the Blues, which was way below his goal ratio at Liverpool. In 2014, Torres left Chelsea to join Italian giants AC Milan on loan. He completed a permanent move to the Rossoneri the following January, with Chelsea receiving a transfer fee of just £900,000.
Jorginho (Bought from Napoli for £51.3m)
The Brazilian-born Italian international arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2018 from Napoli. The midfielder was a favourite of then-Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri from their time together in Naples.
Jorginho played a crucial role in Sarri’s style of play, as he was a deep-lying playmaker who occupied a defensive midfield position. During his time at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder has won the Europa League in 2019 and the Champions League in 2021.
Raheem Sterling (Bought from Manchester City for (£50.58m)
The England winger joined Chelsea in the summer of 2022 after a trophy-laden seven-year spell with Manchester City. Sterling had been prolific in front of goal during his career in Manchester, and the switch was reportedly motivated by a need for a fresh challenge.
The diminutive forward is in his prime and could prove to be a stellar signing for the Blues as they seek to compete at the top of the Premier League once more.