Chelsea centre-forwards of the Abramovich era rated (and quite often slated)

It's been a mixed bag up front for the Blues during Roman's empire at Stamford Bridge. Louis Massarella runs the rule over Chelsea's recent strikeforce...
1 of 15

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

2000-2004
Games 177 Goals 88

The thunder-footed Dutchman won a Premier League Golden Boot and plenty of admirers, but no trophies before departing on a free transfer just as Jose Mourinho was arriving, at 32 his best days behind him. 8/10.

Carlton Cole

2002-06
Games 31 Goals 8

Inherited by Claudio Ranieri and never really fancied by Mourinho, the Chelsea youth product spent two full seasons out on loan before a handful of unconvincing performances back at the Bridge precipitated his permanent departure. 3/10.

Adrian Mutu

2003-04
Games 38 Goals 10

One of the Abramovich era’s first signings, the classy Romanian’s promising start was ruined by a cocaine habit that resulted in a failed drugs test in September 2004, shortly after Mourinho’s arrival, and ultimately the sack. 4/10.

Hernan Crespo

2003-08
Games 73 Goals 25

Always dangerous when he played, as the stats suggest, but not the targetman the Special One craved, even though he recalled the Argentine poacher from a loan spell to play a part in the Blues’ 2005/06 title triumph. 6/10.

Didier Drogba

2004-12, 2014-present
Games 372 Goals 164

Quite simply, Chelsea’s greatest ever centre-forward. One of Mourinho’s first signings, he was the focal point of the team’s attack for eight years, winning 10 major trophies. Recently re-signed as Diego Costa’s backup. 9/10.

Mateja Kezman

2004-05
Games 40 Goals 7

Ah, the perils of signing a striker who was prolific in Holland. The speedy Serbian simply couldn’t make the step up to the Prem. Signed then sold by Mourinho a season later for the same fee, £5.3 million. Result. 2/10.

Andriy Shevchenko

2006-09
Games 77 Goals 22

Signed by Mourinho at the behest of Abramovich when he was past his peak, the Ukrainian cut a frustrated figure, even after the manager left, not helped by injuries. 3/10.

Claudio Pizarro

2007-08
Games 31 Goals 2

Signed by Mourinho on a free transfer as backup for Drogba, the Peruvian scored on his debut against Birmingham, but only once after that. Deemed surplus to requirements when Avram Grant took over. 2/10.

Nicolas Anelka

2008-12
Games 184 Goals 59

Ostensibly a central striker, but played wide for Chelsea more often than not. Won the Double in 2009/10 but it’s no coincidence that he was at his most prolific the season before, when Drogba was out injured. 7/10.

Franco Di Santo

2008-09
Games 16 Goals 0

Nicknamed ‘Crespito’, presumably on account of their shared nationality rather than prowess in front of goal. The Argentine couldn’t hit the Shed End with a beach ball for the first team. Sold to Wigan. 1/10.

Daniel Sturridge

2009-13
Games 96 Goals 24

His only prolific period during four years at the Bridge was a loan spell at Bolton, where he played centrally, not out wide. Amid rumours of an attitude problem, he provided only a taster of what he’s now doing for Liverpool and England. 5/10.

Fernando Torres

2011–present
Games 172 Goals 46

The Spaniard always seemed weighed down by his £50 million price-tag, even if his scoring record wasn’t that bad and he won three trophies, including the Champions League in 2012. Now on loan at Atletico Madrid after leaving Chelsea for Milan. 4/10.

Romelu Lukaku

2011-13
Games 15 Goals 0

Inexplicably drew a blank with the Blues, despite showing all the attributes needed to be Drogba’s long-term successor during impressive loan spells at West Brom and Everton. Joined the latter permanently after Mourinho questioned his hunger. 2/10.

Demba Ba

2013-14
Games 51 Goals 14

Signed in January 2013 by Rafael Benitez, sold a year later to Besiktas by Jose Mourinho, and never really trusted by either, falling behind the next man on our list in the pecking order, despite some crucial cameos in big games. 5/10.

Samuel Eto’o

2013-14
Games 35 Goals 12

A stop-gap buy by Mourinho, who had worked successfully with the Cameroonian at Inter. Even at 32, Eto’o remained sharp in front of goal, his return of nine goals in 21 Premier League games proving his pedigree. 6/10.