Five most expensive defenders signed by Chelsea: Chelsea came under new ownership nearly a month ago and the club, albeit not running like Roman Abramovich’s impecable regime, are on the right track again.
The club has already announced the signing of Raheem Sterling, who got to train with his new team-mates under Thomas Tuchel and Co. recently. However, following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, defensive reinforcements are due.
In 2004, Jose Mourinho instilled the art of defending at Chelsea and proved that great defenses win you major trophies. The following 18 years have been a testament to this as Chelsea have had some of the expensive defenders in the world play for them.
Kalidou Koulibaly has also recently signed for the Blues and could form a sensational partnership alongside Thiago Silva next season. The Senegalese centre-back did not come cheap, although the Blues have rarely shied away from spending the big bucks on defenders.
On that note, let’s take a look at the five most expensive defenders signed by Chelsea.
#5 Juan Cuadrado – €31 million
Juan Cuadrado arrived at Stamford Bridge from Fiorentina in January 2015 as Jose Mourinho brought in reinforcements to strengthen his side halfway through their title-winning campaign.
Although Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa arrived in the summer, Cuadrado had all the markings of a clever signing in the winter transfer window. The Colombian could provide cover on the right-wing for Willian through his pace, youthful enthusiasm and creativity.
In fact, the club shelled out €31 million for him, especially since he was a versatile option.
However, his time at the club was short-lived as he only made 15 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea. Then, he was loaned out to Juventus in the summer of 2015.
The player was eventually sold to the Old Lady two years later and is arguably one of the worst pieces of transfer business done by the club in the last decade.
#4 Antonio Rudiger – €35 million
As mentioned before, Antonio Rudiger sealed an exit from the club at the end of last season after five sensational years in West London.
The German superstar may have left on a free transfer but arrived in 2017 for €35 million from AS Roma. He had impressed at the Italian club and looked like an ideal option for Chelsea, especially since they played a back-three under Antonio Conte.
Although he proved successful under both Conte and Maurizio Sarri, he fell down the pecking order during Frank Lampard’s reign at the club.
Regardless, Tuchel reinstated his fellow countryman in the defense last year as he brought back a three-man defense at the club. Alongside Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta, Rudiger won the 2021 Champions League trophy before lifting the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup last season.
The centre-back made a total of 202 appearances for Chelsea and even scored 12 times during that period. He thereby proved to be a tough man to replace this summer.
#3 David Luiz – €35 million
David Luiz, who signed for Chelsea twice during the last decade, was one of the best defenders to play for the club in the Roman Abramovich era.
The Brazil international had the aggression, class, and skills to outclass some of the best attackers in the world. Although Chelsea did not pay as much to sign him in 2011, they had to spend €35 million to bring him back to Stamford Bridge in 2016 from Paris Saint-Germain. That money, though, was well spent.
During his second stint, Luiz made 109 appearances for the club and contributed to eight goals. In the process, he also won the Premier League, Europa League, and the FA Cup.
It is worth noting that the South American star won the Champions League, Europa League, and the FA Cup during his first stint between 2011-2014.
Hence, a hugely successful defender for the club, Luiz is held in great regard at Stamford Bridge despite joining rivals Arsenal in 2019. The player is currently plying his trade at Flamengo and the 35-year-old could retire in the coming years.
#2 Kalidou Koulibaly – €38 million
Kalidou Koulibaly is the most recent arrival at the home of the world champions and a player Chelsea have reportedly tried to sign a number of times over the years.
Regardless, the former Napoli star has now joined the Blues for a whopping €38 million fee, despite only having a year left on his contract at the Serie A club.
However, the Todd Boehly-led consortium will be happy with the deal as defensive reinforcements are needed and Koulibaly is one of the best centre-backs in world football.
The 31-year-old star may be aging but is showing no signs of the same and looks like a robust man in the backline. In addition, his experience will prove invaluable, especially if Cesar Azpilicueta departs the club this summer.
A reliable and hugely talented defender, Chelsea have bagged a fine centre-back to realign their backline for the upcoming season.
#1 Ben Chilwell – €50.2 million
Frank Lampard’s 2019-20 squad showed a lot of resilience as the young side, coupled with some experienced heads, secured Champions League football. Hence, it was only fitting that Abramovich allowed the English manager to sign his own players in the summer of 2020, after the transfer ban was lifted.
The Blues spent over €200 million that summer, including bringing in Ben Chilwell for €50.2 million from Leicester City. The England star was a proven Premier League talent and at 23, had the potential to become the best full-back in the league.
Two years down the lane and although Chilwell has not fulfilled those expectations, he has proved that he can achieve the same.
The left-back has made 55 appearances for the club and played a pivotal role in winning the 2021 Champions League title. During this process, he has also scored seven goals and provided eight assists.
Chilwell was out for the majority of the second half of last season as he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury. However, he has since recovered and will now be keen to prove value for money to the club under the new ownership.