Ranked! Chelsea’s 8 worst strikers of the Premier League era
4. Adrian Mutu
Under other circumstances, Mutu would be deemed proof that prolific Serie A strikers lost some of their scoring touch at Stamford Bridge. And indeed, six goals in 27 top-flight games feels underwhelming.
Yet the reality that Chelsea sacked him, after he tested positive for cocaine, gives him a unique distinction. And while courts have ordered Mutu to repay Chelsea his £15.8 million transfer fee, he keeps appealing the decision. They may not have the money yet.
3. Radamel Falcao
Falcao was a dreadful signing for Manchester United – and yet he still scored four times as many goals for them as he did for Chelsea. Even his solitary strike counted for nothing: it came in a defeat to Crystal Palace.
The Colombian became an emblem of the “Mourinho season”; of wretched signings and underachievement. Chelsea lost six of the 12 games Falcao appeared in and, when his injury problems recurred, he was left out of their Champions League squad for the second half of the campaign.
2. Chris Sutton
There was a time when £10 million was a lot of money. That time was 1999, when Gianluca Vialli signed Sutton to replace an ageing, iconic striker: himself. Sutton took Vialli’s No.9 shirt.
But he made Chelsea less potent. They scored a mere 53 league goals, 44 fewer than Manchester United. Sutton’s lone league strike came in a 5-0 rout of United; otherwise, he only found the net against Hull City and Skonto Riga, and left for a £4 million loss after a season of three goals.
1. Andriy Shevchenko
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Chelsea had won back-to-back league titles with Drogba spearheading a 4-3-3 formation. Then Roman Abramovich signed Shevchenko, Mourinho ended up dropping his wingers in an attempt to accommodate the owner’s favourite, and Chelsea’s formidable formula was disrupted.
It hardly helped that they didn’t get the feared, fantastic Shevchenko – scorer of 28, 26 and 28 goals in his last three seasons for Milan – but an altogether inferior figure. Their £30 million outlay brought just 23 goals in 77 Chelsea games.