Five great Chelsea transfers from the Roman Abramovich era

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Since the arrival of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions on players. Some have done well for the club, and others have not.

Here, we look at the five great transfers from the Roman Abramovich era.

5. Michael Ballack

After his contract at Bayern Munich expired, Ballack was quickly snapped up by Chelsea in the summer of 2006. Despite an injury-plagued time at Chelsea, Michael Ballack is still held in high regard by the Chelsea faithful, captaining Chelsea on many occasions.

At Chelsea, he won a number of trophies; including the League Cup, 3 FA Cups, and a Premier League title. After leaving Chelsea on a free in 2010, Ballack returned to Bayer Leverkusen, and since has retired.

4. Branislav Ivanovic

Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic was signed by Chelsea in January 2008 from Lokomotiv Moscow, by then-manager Avram Grant. As a Chelsea player, Ivanovic has played mostly as a right-back, despite originally being a centre-back.

At the club, he has won a number of trophies, most notably the 2012 Champions League. In 2013, he scored a last minute winner in the Europa League final against Portuguese side Benfica. Ivanovic is still at the club today.

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3. Ashley Cole

Since joining from London rivals Arsenal in 2006, Ashley Cole has cemented himself into the hearts of Chelsea fans everywhere as not just the best left back they've ever had, but as one of the all-time Chelsea greats too.

He joined for a fee of £5million plus William Gallas, which proved as a very controversial move due to the 'tapping up' scandal. Across his Chelsea career, Cole won many trophies; most notably, the Champions League in 2011/12 and the Premier League in 2009/10. In the summer of 2014, Ashley Cole was released by Chelsea, and signed for Italian club Roma on a free transfer.

2. Petr Cech

Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech has been at the club since 2004 and has been the number 1 choice in goal, until the return of Thibaut Courtois. A £7 million move from Rennes in 2004 has seen Cech become a Chelsea legend.

At Stamford Bridge, Cech has won a number of trophies; 3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 1 Champions League, and many more. The re-arrival of Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois has seen Cech confined to the bench, with his appearances being limited to cup games and less-important fixtures.

1. Didier Drogba

Undoubtedly the best player has been brought to Chelsea during the Roman Abramovich era. Joining from Marseille in 2004, for a fee of £24million, Drogba will go down as a Chelsea legend.

Enjoying over eight glorious seasons at Chelsea, Drogba will be fondly remembered for the 2012 Champions League final. With Chelsea 1-0 down and seemingly out of the tie, Drogba scored the equaliser for Chelsea.

The match went to penalties. With one penalty left, and Chelsea needing to score to win the game and the Champions League, there was only one man you would want in that situation; Didier Drogba.

He stepped up and scored the winning penalty, with what was his last touch of a football as a Chelsea player. After leaving the club in 2012, Drogba returned to Chelsea on a free transfer after his release from Galatasaray.

What do you think? What player do you think is the best that has been signed during the Roman Abramovich era? Comment below.

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Petr Cech
Branislav Ivanovic
Didier Drogba
Michael Ballack
Ashley Cole

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