Football

Chelsea: Top five veteran forwards

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The recent signing of 32-year-old Anzhi striker Samuel Eto'o by Chelsea brings to memory Chelsea's historical record of signing veteran forwards.

The London club had in the past fiddled with veteran strikers, with mixed results. While some ended up as hits at the Bridge, attaining legendary status at the club, some other were flops who weren't able to live up to the expectations of the club. 

We shall take a look at five of the signings, forwards who where 30 years and older when they were brought in by the Blues. 

1. Gianfranco Zola 

The Italian forward came to London from Italian club Parma in 1996 as one of several continental players signed by Ruud Gullit. He was 30 years old when he joined the Blues but still went on to become a revelation. The deal that brought the petite striker to London was no doubt a good deal, as he turned out 312 times, scoring 80 goals for Chelsea, attaining cult hero status at Stamford Bridge.

In early 2003, Zola was voted the best ever Chelsea player by Chelsea fans. He was also voted into the Chelsea FC Centenary Eleven in 2005, occupying one of the two forward roles.

2. Gianluca Vialli 

Vialli was already 32 years old when he joined Chelsea as a centre forward. The 32-year-old rejected a move to Glasgow Rangers to sign for Ruud Gullit in 1996 for £600,000. It was absolutely money well spent. Vialli netted 40 goals in 78 games for the Blues. The Italian then ended up becoming a successful manager at the London club, winning several laurels as manager.

3. George Weah

Weah is arguably Africa's greatest ever player. The 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year and African Footballer of the Year arrived Chelsea in January 2000 in a loan deal expected to run till the end of the 1999-2000 season from AC Milan, aged 33.

Weah's time in England was deemed a success, especially at Chelsea where he instantly endeared himself th their fans by scoring the winner against rivals Tottenham Hotspur on his debut, and scored further league goals against Wembledon and Liverpool.

The Liberian forward also scored twice in Chelsea's victorious 1999-2000 FA Cup campaign, netting against Leicester City and Gillingham. This led him to start in the final, which Chelsea won, 1-0.

His deal was however not made permanent by then Blues boss Gianlucca Vialli and Weah left London in August 2000.

4. Andriy Shevchenko

The Ukrainian forward signed for Chelsea from AC Milan in 2006. AC Milan fans were sad when Shevchenko left Milan for London ahead of his 30th birthday for a transfer fee to the tune of £30million, breaking the record for a player signed by an English club.

But Chelsea fans were soon feeling depressed too as the Ukrainian laboured to net 22 goals in three miserable seasons. His was definitely a deal that went sour because he struggled to but was unable to reproduce his outstanding form at Milan.

5. Pop Robson

Bryan Stanley Robson, better known as Pop Robson, is a former much-travelled footvaller, playing for Newcastle United, West Ham United, Sunderland, Chelsea and Carlisle United.

The centre forward was 36 years old when he signed for Chelsea in 1982. He scored on his debut, but added just two more goals in a total 15 appearances for the Blues as he combined playing with coaching.

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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