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Rating five of Chelsea’s most high profile January signings

Chelsea have been tipped to be amongst the most active Premier League clubs in the January market following the lifting of the club’s transfer-ban, though its been a quiet window thus far with Frank Lampard having failed to make any additions to his squad.

The Blues have shown throughout their history that they are willing to spend in the winter window should the right players become available, though Lampard’s caution may be advised given their mixed record.

 

We’ve decided to look back at some mid-season arrivals to Stamford Bridge, with each suffering rather contrasting fortunes.

Here are our ratings of five of Chelsea’s most high profile January signings…

Branislav Ivanovic

Branislav Ivanovic comes from a long line of imposing Serbian defenders, Chelsea securing the signing of the burly full-back from Lokomotiv Moscow in the 2008 January transfer window.

He would initially endure a slow start to life at the club and failed to feature in his first six months at the club, but having got up to speed with the English game would soon begin to thrive.

Ivanovic would spend almost a decade in London, making 377 appearances in all competitions and winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League amongst his nine major honours, whilst he would also score a dramatic stoppage-time winner to secure the Europa League in 2013.

Twice named in the PFA Team of the Year, the versatile defender, who would originally arrive at Stamford Bridge as a centre-back, would come to be regarded as one of the finest right-backs of the Premier League era.

Rating: 9/10

David Luiz

The eccentric defender would move to English football for the first time in January 2011, moving to Chelsea in a big money deal from Portuguese side Benfica.

Luiz would go on two spend two separate spells at Stamford Bridge, winning a wealth of major honours including a Premier League title, two FA Cups, the Champions League and two Europa League titles.

The big-haired Brazilian would make almost 250 appearances for the west London side over his two spells, with a two-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain sandwiched inbetween.

Whilst prone to the odd lapse in defensive concentration, Luiz is a fine ball-playing defender on his day and was a key part of the club’s successes in recent years, though he has since crossed the capital – joining Arsenal in an £8m deal last summer.

Rating: 7/10

Fernando Torres

The same window as Luiz’s arrival would see Chelsea smash the British transfer-record, securing a £50m deal to bring Fernando Torres to the club from Liverpool.

The Spanish international had forged a reputation as one of Europe’s deadliest forwards during a three-and-a-half year spell at Anfield, scoring 65 goals in just 102 appearances during a prolific spell on Merseyside.

Chelsea had thought they were signing a guaranteed source of goals with Torres arrival, though rarely has English football’s top division seen a bigger fall from grace.

Torres would struggle to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, taking 903 minutes to open his account for the club and looking a shadow of the player who had terrorised defences in Liverpool red.

Despite securing team success in the form of the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League, Torres would fail to establish himself as a key figure for the club and scored just 45 goals in 172 appearances, a poor return from a record-breaking investment.

Rating: 3/10

Gary Cahill

The following year, Chelsea would bolster their defensive ranks with the unheralded signing of Gary Cahill from Bolton, the centre-back joining for a fee in the region of £7m.

That £7m would prove to be one of the club’s best pieces of business during a period of lavish spending under Roman Abramovich, Cahill becoming a fixture for club and country following the move.

Just months after his arrival Cahill would form part of the defence that would win the club’s first ever Champions League, partnering David Luiz at the heart of the backline in the absence of the suspended captain John Terry.

Over the next seven-and-a-half years Cahill would become a dependable servant in Chelsea blue, making almost 300 appearances and winning eight major honours. Named as captain following Terry’s departure, he would eventually leave the club to join Crystal Palace in 2019.

Rating: 8/10

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Mohamed Salah

The Egyptian winger had made a huge impression in Swiss football at Basel, and following some strong showings in the Europa League and Champions League against English opposition was subject of Premier League interest.

It would be Chelsea who would win the race to sign Salah in January 2014, striking an £11m deal to bring the talented youngster to Stamford Bridge.

Despite his potential, Salah would struggle to make a first-team impression and made just 13 league appearances, spending time on loan with both Fiorentina and Roma before joining the latter on a permanent basis.

His departure would prove to be one the club would regret, however, Salah flourishing after returning to the Premier League with rivals Liverpool, winning back-to-back Golden Boots and scooping a Player of the Year double in his first season on Merseyside.

Rating: 2/10

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