Chelsea is one of the top Premier League sides that have spent heavily on the transfer market. The London-based club has constantly been active in the market.
Although some of Chelsea’s most expensive signings in recent years haven failed live up to expectations, there have been significant gains in players who have joined the club with the five-figure value.
Beginning from the Abramovich era, the billionaire’s investment brought significant achievements, including two UEFA Champions League titles.
Who are the most expensive arrivals at Chelsea? Which player did the Blues buy for the highest fee in the market?
Lukaku for £101.70m, Álvaro Morata at £59.40m and Marc Cucurella for £58.77m, Chelsea is ranked among the highest spending Premier League clubs in the last decade.
Ranking Chelsea most expensive signings – Top 10 transfer fees paid
1. Romelu Lukaku – (£101.70m, from Inter Milan)
Romelu Lukaku tops the list following his arrival from Inter Milan for 101.70 million pounds. The Belgian returned to the club after his initial move from Anderlecht in 2011.
Lukaku formed the attacking duo with Lautaro Martínez at Inter Milan, which led to the club’s Serie A title triumph to end an 11-year wait. He scored over 65 goals for the club.
The Belgian did possess what Thomas Tuchel needed at Chelsea, that is, to score more goals, but did not perform as expected, and many were left baffled at the outrageous transfer fee Chelsea had paid for his services.
2. Kai Havertz – (£72.00m, from Bayer Leverkusen)
Chelsea had noticed Havertz’s blistering form at Bayer Leverkusen, which prompted them to splash £72.00m, which remains on the high side for the 21-year-old.
Havertz was ruled out in his few matches at Chelsea due to inconsistency and confidence. However, the German returned to the top level and provided the only goal that helped Chelsea to their second UEFA Champions League title during the 2020-21 final against Manchester City.
Havertz has continued to be an essential part of the Thomas Tuchel team ever since.
3. Kepa Arrizabalaga – (£72.00m, from Athletic Club)
Eyed to be the ultimate replacement for the already departed Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for a record £72.00m from Athletic Club, making him one of the most expensive Premier League goalkeepers.
Kepa was largely unchallenged in his first few outings for the London club, but the Spaniard had been faced with a shocking decline that forced the club to scout the market for a reliable goalkeeper.
Under Sarri, Kepa made average saves and was ranked among the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. However, the subsequent decline made him a backup for Édouard Mendy.
4. Álvaro Morata – (£59.40m, from Real Madrid)
Álvaro was not a regular at Real Madrid but had potential that made Chelsea splash £59.40m. The Spaniard scored 15 league goals to help Real Madrid lift the La Liga title for the first time in five years.
And most notably, Morata benefited from the Zinedine Zidane rotation system while playing more like a backup striker for Karim Benzema, scoring three goals to help Real Madrid to a second successive Champions League title.
Scoring fifteen goals in his first season at Chelsea was a plus for the Spaniard under José Mourinho. But his Chelsea dream did not last as expected.
5. Marc Cucurella – (£58.77m, Brighton & Hove Albion)
Chelsea’s spending spree continues with the takeover by Tod Boehly, who sought to keep the team at the competitive level—coupled with the departure of Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen at the back.
Marc Cucurella joined Chelsea for £58.77 from Brighton & Hove Albion. The Spanish defender brought significant changes to Brighton’s defence to earn the shock move to the London-based club.
Cucurella is a complete fullback and vibrant footballer who can give Chelsea what they’ve been missing for a while.
6. Christian Pulisic – (£57.60m, Borussia Dortmund)
High expectations accompanied Christian Pulisic’s jaw-dropping performance in the Bundesliga, with Dortmund following Chelsea’s decision to sign him.
However, the American soccer player has not been able to reach the level he attained at Dortmund in Chelsea.
More has been expected from Christian Pulisic, but Chelsea is yet to see what he has in store for the club. According to rumours, the American could be on his way out of the club amid his struggles to hit the first team list of Thomas Tuchel.
7. Fernando Torres – (£52.65m, Liverpool)
One of the top names at Liverpool between 2007–2011, Fernando Torres was at a height that was comparable to some of the world-class players.
Chelsea coughed out an English record (£52.65m) to secure the services of Torres from Liverpool. He was an essential player for the club and scored many goals that helped the club to the FA Cup and Champions League success.
One of the areas that often highlights Torres was injury problems which prevented him from reaching his full potential at Chelsea.
8. Jorginho – (£51.30m, from Napoli)
Brought to the Premier League by Maurizio Sarri, Jorginho preserved his place in the first team even after the departure of the Italian manager despite unending speculation of an impending exit from Chelsea.
Mixed expectations and consistency saw Jorginho rise to his prime in 2021 when he won the European player of the year. The Italian won the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup while playing a pivotal role in the team.
Currently, Jorginho remains unchallenged in his position as the deep-lying playmaker and is distinguished from other players to be one of the best spot-kick takers in Europe.
9. Raheem Sterling – (£50.58m, from Manchester City)
Raheem Sterling had formed a core part of Pep Guardiola’s team back in Manchester City. Surrounded by Premier League titles, Sterling made the shock departure to join Chelsea.
Chelsea’s problem had been in the attack despite the success of Thomas Tuchel in his first season at the club. And the German manager sees Sterling as one of the players that could boost the team’s fluidity in the attack.
Sterling has a reputed profile in the English Premier League, playing for Liverpool and Manchester City, two of the biggest in the country. His arrival at Stamford bridge is expected to steer up a change and significantly improve the team’s firepower.
10. Timo Werner – (£47.70m, RB Leipzig)
Left RB Leipzig as the club’s record goal scorer of all time, Timo Werner was tipped as the ultimate Chelsea striker. Although he had arrived in London with high expectations, the German was given time to adapt to English football.
However, Werner’s second season saw no improvement, which forced Chelsea to look to other options in the market.