Chelsea have spent a lot of money in recent years, but what is the greatest transfer in club history? We count down the top 30 moves by Chelsea in the transfer market.
Chelsea FC have become a powerhouse in the transfer market in recent years, routinely spending hundreds of millions of pounds on the world’s top players. While this increase in spending coincided with the influx of cash from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, the Blues were heavily involved even before his take over.
We here at The Pride of London have decided to rank the 30 greatest transfers in club history. Some of the factors taken into account were the value received for the fee, how long the player stayed at the club and of course his impact on the pitch. Join us as we take a look back at some of the best deals made to bring stars to Stamford Bridge.
Editor’s Note: a thank you to Khaled Abdallah who played a significant part in putting this post together.
30. Gianluca Vialli – Fee: Free
Gianluca Vialli was one of the “continental” stars that joined Chelsea FC during the Ruud Gullit era of the mid to late-1990’s. Vialli was an established international who spent much of his career terrorizing Serie B defenses with Cremonese and Serie A defenses with Sampdoria and Juventus. He won several trophies with the latter two including two Serie A titles but his crowning achievement was captaining Juve to a UEFA Champions League triumph in 1996.
This was the last trophy before he arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 1996 during Gullit’s spell as manager. Vialli was yet another big name player who would end his career at Chelsea and help to raise the profile of the club around Europe. He clashed repeatedly with Gullit so his impact on the pitch was not immense but it was felt whenever he was included in the squad.
The Italian striker was one of the best forwards of his generation and as player-manager of the club after Gullit was sacked, Vialli won the League Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. He was the first Italian manager in the Premier League and went on to win the FA Cup and the Charity Shield in 2000. Vialli was yet another example of a player who helped usher in this golden age at Stamford Bridge from on the pitch and the touchline.