List of best Chelsea top January signing of all time.
Here we list Chelsea’s best January signings of all-time, four of whom won the Champions League with the Stamford Bridge giants.
Chelsea’s spending since the takeover of the club by Todd Boehly from Roman Abramovich has been infamous. They’ve now shelled out well over £1bn under the American’s control with very little substance so far.
It’s in stark contrast to Abramovich’s era – perhaps not the extravagant spending but more so that the financial outlay over the Russian’s reign delivered trophy after trophy. Chelsea’s transfer record had been smashed seven times under Abramovich but there were moments when the Londoners bucked their own trend and paid modestly for top talent.
And the five players who appear below – all of which signed in January – certainly fall into that category. So let’s dive right into Chelsea’s best January signings of all-time, costing the Blues a combined £70m.
Olivier Giroud – £18m
At the age of 31, Olivier Giroud’s £18m transfer from perhaps raised some eyebrows amongst Chelsea fans.
But while the French striker wasn’t the most prolific at Stamford Bridge in the three years he spent there, Giroud proved to be a brilliant acquisition. He was instrumental in Chelsea’s Europa League triumph in 2019, scoring against and beating former club Arsenal in the final.
That season, he netted 11 goals in 14 Europa League games and it meant he became the first Chelsea player to score at least 10 in a single European campaign.
Giroud also did his part in helping Chelsea reach the last eight of the 2020/21 Champions League. His acrobatic strike against Atletico Madrid was enough to win the game on aggregate and set Chelsea on their way to winning the tournament.
David Luiz – £21m
Remember when Gary Neville said David Luiz reminded him of a “PlayStation” footballer controlled by a 10-year-old? The pundit now regrets the remark and rightly so, because there is a stack of evidence to now prove the comment was uncalled for.
Sure, the Brazilian centre-back was ‘harum scarum’ and not one to shy away from taking a risk or two. But David Luiz was central to Chelsea’s trophy count between 2012 and 2013.
He was signed for just over £21m from Benfica in January 2011 and won the Premier League player of the month award in the March. David Luiz would go on to win the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup in his first spell with Chelsea, before returning in 2016.
Nicolas Anelka – £15m
After a slow start to his Chelsea career, the well-travelled but stylish Nicolas Anelka went on prove his class at Stamford Bridge.
Anelka scored just two goals in his first 24 games for Chelsea, which included the 2008 Champions League Final penalty shootout loss to Manchester United. Anelka’s spot-kick was saved by Edwin van der Sar and proved to be the miss that sealed the trophy for United.
However, Anelka put those setbacks behind him the following season by netting 25 goals in all competitions, which helped him scoop up the Premier League 2008/09 Golden Boot.
The Frenchman would win the Premier League, the Community Shield and two FA Cups with Chelsea before a money-spinning switch to Shanghai Shenua in 2012.
Branislav Ivanovic – £9m
A modern day Chelsea hero, Branislav Ivanovic won it all at the London giants. The Serbian defender was signed from Lokomotiv Moscow for a bargain £9m and from January 2008 onwards, he did not look back.
Well, after his first six months. That’s because Ivanovic didn’t kick a single competitive ball for Chelsea until the 2008/09 campaign. Finally, after much speculation that he’d leave the club, Ivanovic made his breakthrough by scoring twice against Liverpool in a 2009 Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory at Anfield.
He had then won the hearts of the Chelsea fanbase and would go on to win nine major honours at the club, including three Premier League titles and the Champions League. Ivanovic also played a blinder in the 2013 Europa League Final, winning man of the match after scoring the winner for Chelsea against Benfica.
Gary Cahill – £7m
The cheapest deal on the list, but certainly one of the best value for money signings Chelsea have ever made in the January transfer window.
Gary Cahill was plucked from Bolton Wanderers in 2012 for just £7m, largely because his contract at the Reebok Stadium was up at the end of the season. And boy did he make the right decision.
Cahill would go on to start the 2012 Champions League Final due to John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic’s suspensions. The centre-back was struggling with his own availability due to a hamstring injury but powered through the Allianz Arena spectacle and put in a strong performance.
The English international would become a rock at the back for Chelsea alongside his ever-changing centre-back partners. He would win the Premier League twice with the club and in the 2016/17 season, scored eight goals in all competitions.