Ranking seven of Chelsea's strangest transfers in the Roman Abramovich era

Sidwell could be Chelsea's strangest signing

Roman Abramovich's arrival at Chelsea in 2003 helped change the landscape of football transfers. 

Before he touched down at Stamford Bridge, the Premier League had never seen anyone splash the cash like him. 

In his first season, the Russian billionaire spent over £110 million on 13 players and has continued to improve the squad with big-money signings ever since. 

But for every Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba, there have been some truly bizarre transfers. 

Let's take a look at some of the strangest signings Chelsea have made in the Abramovich era.  

8) Papy Djilobodji - Signed from Nantes in 2015 for £2.7m

Let's be honest Blues fans, do you remember anything from the four years Djilobodji was under contract at the club between 2015 and 2019?

Probably not, considering he made just one appearance in the League Cup. The Senegal defender didn't get a sniff at Stamford Bridge and was sent to Guingamp last year. Just awful. 

Djilobodji played just once for Chelsea

7) Alexandre Pato - Signed from Corinthians in 2016 on loan

Pato is another of Chelsea's very forgettable recent deals. But he did actually score a goal in the blue shirt. 

The Brazilian played just twice in the Premier League but netted against Aston Villa on his debut, which came two months after he signed with the club. 

One more appearance against Swansea followed before he watched the rest of the 2015/16 campaign from the subs bench. 

Pato did score for Chelsea

6) Juan Sebastian Veron - Signed from Manchester United in 2003 for £15m

Veron was one of Abramovich's first signings and his big-money move (£15m was expensive at the time) was a statement of the club's intent. 

Quite why they chose the Argentine though, is still unclear. His form at Man United was patchy at best and he failed to make an impact at Chelsea too. 

Veron did score on his debut but made just 14 appearances after that, failing to net again. He was sent on loan to Inter Milan for two seasons after that. 

Veron scored just once for the Blues

5) Maniche - Signed from Dynamo Moscow in 2006 on loan

Perhaps only signed because he worked with Jose Mourinho at Porto, Maniche joined a Blues midfield that already boasted Frank Lampard, Essien, Claude Makelele and Lassana Diarra.

To say he was out of his depth is an understatement. The Portuguese failed to break into the starting XI and made just 11 appearances. 

His most memorable moment in a Chelsea shirt was getting sent off 17 minutes into his Premier League debut. 

One of Chelsea's strangest signings

4) Asier del Horno - Signed from Athletic Bilbao in 2005 for £8m

Points for any Chelsea fan that can remember Del Horno's one season in England. Actually, it wasn't a complete disaster. 

He played 34 times in all competitions and won the Premier League, also scoring once from left-back. 

Del Horno wasn't a disaster, but he wasn't a memorable signing either. Therefore, he fits perfectly into a list of Abramovich's strangest. 

Del Horno won the Premier League with Chelsea

3) Ricardo Quaresma - Signed from Inter Milan in 2009 on loan

Quaresma is another one of those 'did he really turn out for Chelsea?' players. But it happened and the Portuguese winger spent a rather underwhelming six months at Stamford Bridge. 

He made four Premier League appearances before jumping ship to Besiktas. 

Remember Quaresma? Probably not

2) Steve Sidwell - Signed from Reading in 2007 on free transfer

Why, just why? Perhaps the worst part about this is that Chelsea actually gave him the number 9 shirt. 

He lasted just one season but did make 25 appearances in all competitions, scoring once during a League Cup fixture against Hull. At the end of the campaign, Sidwell joined Aston Villa. 

Sidwell could be Chelsea's worst number 9

1) Khalid Boulahrouz - Signed from Hamburger in 2006 for £8.5m 

Think Sidwell is Chelsea's strangest number 9 of the modern era? Think again. Boulahrouz, a defender, joined from the Bundesliga in 2006 and was handed that number. 

A defender, wearing the number 9? It's just so bizarre, and perhaps the strangest transfer Abramovich has made so far. 

The Dutchman spent one season at Stamford Bridge, making 20 appearances before going on loan and fading into the most distant of memories, never to be seen in England again. 

Boulahrouz wore number 9 despite being a defender

There we have it, seven of Chelsea's strangest transfers under Abramovich. 

But there have been plenty more - the likes of Radamal Falcao and Franco Di Santo also spring to mind. 

It just goes to show, while Abramovich has done some amazing business during his time at Chelsea, he's also signed some stinkers too.  

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