Chelsea’s expensive summer of recruitment has taken the headlines with the west London side spending lavishly in a bid to challenge next season, Frank Lampard building a formidable looking side as his rebuild continues.
Amongst the most notable arrivals at Stamford Bridge include the signings of Germany internationals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, the duo amongst the nation’s most exciting emerging talents and ready to thrive in the Premier League after some stellar performances in the Bundesliga.
The acquisitions of the pair from RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen respectively are not the first time that Chelsea have headed to Germany’s top flight in search of leading talent, and we’ve decided to look back at the players to have made similar switches to the capital.
Here are our ratings of the 10 players Chelsea have signed from the Bundesliga:
Chelsea’s first signing from the Bundesliga came with the acquisition of teenage midfielder Sebastien Kneissl in 2000, the youngster arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt and being tipped as one for the future.
Kneissl spent loan spells with both Dundee and Belgian side Westerlo but failed to fulfil his early potential, spending five seasons as a Chelsea player but failing to make a single first-team appearance.
The former Germany youth international enjoyed a nomadic existence after leaving Stamford Bridge, hanging up his boots in 2013 after a brief spell with German lower league side SV Heimstetten.
Jose Mourinho had guided Chelsea to back-to-back league titles during his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge before landing a marquee signing in the form of Michael Ballack, securing the signing of the Germany captain on a free transfer after the star refused to extend his contract at Bayern Munich.
Ballack arrived with a reputation as one of the finest midfielders in world football and added to a wealth of options including the likes of Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele and Michael Essien in west London.
He spent four seasons in English football and won a clean sweep of domestic honours during his time with Chelsea, including forming part of the side which won a Premier League and FA Cup double under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.
Ballack made 166 appearances and scored 25 goals in addition to providing quality and leadership to the Chelsea side, later returning to the Bundesliga for a two season spell at former side Bayer Leverkusen.
Khalid Boulahrouz’s short spell at Chelsea is largely remembered for his surprise wearing of the club’s number nine, the defender amongst an erratic lineage of players to have adorned the shirt.
ON THIS TRANSFER DAY: Khalid Boulahrouz joined Chelsea for a reported £8.5m.
He was a CB who wore No.9. pic.twitter.com/tVmshwZK8k
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 21, 2016
The Dutch defender arrived from Hamburg but struggled to make any form of an impression, making just 13 league appearances after failing to displace the likes of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho in central defence.
He was shipped out on loan to Sevilla after just a single season, before securing a permanent exit with a Bundesliga return to Stuttgart the following summer.
Only five players in the history of the Bundesliga have ever scored more goals than Claudio Pizarro, the Peruvian poacher having been a constant menace to defences in Germany’s top flight throughout a long and successful career.
Pizarro spent the entirety of his career in European football in the Bundesliga, aside from one short and unsuccessful season at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea thought they had secured a bargain buy with the free transfer acquisition of the forward from Bayern Munich, but he scored just two league goals during an unhappy spell before heading to Werder Bremen.
Marko Marin was once hailed as the ‘German Messi’ following his emergence as a talented teenager, the attacking midfielder’s dribbling ability and acceleration causing excitement amongst Bundesliga fans.
His career, however, has failed to pan out as hoped with a move to Stamford Bridge in 2012 failing to work out for the Serbian-born Germany international, Marin struggling for first-team opportunities and being shipped out on a succession of loan deals.
Marin enjoyed four separate loan spells whilst a Chelsea player before permanent moves to Olympiacos and later Red Star Belgrade, the 31-year-old currently playing his football with Saudi side Al-Ahli.
Andre Schurrle arrived at Chelsea having impressed in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, with the wide forward initially settling in quickly at Stamford Bridge with a series of promising performances.
Schurrle scored nine goals during his debut campaign before helping Germany to World Cup success the following summer, though he fell out-of-favour during his second season amid competition for places from the likes of Eden Hazard and Willian.
The forward returned to the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg following an 18-month spell in the Premier League, later returning for a season-long loan spell at west London rivals Fulham.
The Ghana international arrived as part of an underwhelming summer of recruitment in 2015, Jose Mourinho moving to strengthen his title-winning side with the capture of the left-back from Augsburg.
Rahman struggled for any regular opportunities during a disastrous season for the reigning champions, Mourinho sacked in the winter months as Chelsea slumped to a 10th-placed finish, lower than the likes of Southampton, West Ham and Stoke City.
The left-back was deemed surplus to requirements by new manager Antonio Conte and returned to the Bundesliga with Schalke, the 26-year-old remarkably still a Chelsea player despite spending the past four seasons on loan at Schalke, Reims and Mallorca.
Chelsea announced the signing of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund during the 2019 winter window, with the US international remaining with the Bundesliga side on loan before joining up with his new teammates last summer.
Pulisic’s debut season has seen flashes of brilliance mixed with injury problems, but the winger has shown he possesses undeniable talent and looks set to play a huge part in Lampard’s rebuild at Stamford Bridge.
The 21-year-old was unplayable at times towards the end of last season and finished the campaign having scored nine goals and provided four assists in the Premier League, a respectable tally that looks likely to improve as the youngster continues to flourish in English football.
Chelsea’s new-look forward line for next season will be spearheaded by Timo Werner, the Germany international securing a move to the Premier League following a prolific spell at RB Leipzig.
Werner leaves Leipzig having scored 95 goals in just 159 appearances for the club, including a career-best 34 goals in all competitions last season to earn a money-spinning move to England.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 31, 2020
Blessed with electric pace and an exceptional finisher, the 24-year-old will hope to continue his exploits next season as Chelsea bid to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the title.
Arguably the most exciting of Chelsea’s summer additions, Kai Havertz was a name courted by almost all the superpowers of European football before completing a club-record move to Stamford Bridge.
Havertz has been described as the future of German football following his emergence in the Bundesliga, the midfielder bursting onto the scene to establish himself as one of the world football’s brightest young talents.
The 21-year-old is a tall and flexible midfield player capable of fulfilling a variety of roles, possessing a keen eye for a pass and an unteachable knack of arriving into the box to convert goalscoring opportunities.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 5, 2020
Havertz has scored 46 goals and provided 31 assists for Leverkusen since making his debut as a teenager, growing in stature and captaining the side on occasion.
Lampard has now utilised Chelsea’s advantageous financial position to snare the star from under the noses of the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, and the Blues boss will hope Havertz can flourish as the club’s next goalscoring midfield great.