Five strikers for Alexandre Pato not to follow at Chelsea

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With his move rapidly approaching its completion, Alexandre Pato looks set to become the latest big-name striker to sign for Chelsea.

Throughout the Roman Abramovich era, Stamford Bridge has welcomed some of the most revered strikers in the world; however, in one of football's biggest quirks, nearly all of them - aside from Didier Drogba - have flopped.

So as a welcome to London, here are the five biggest flops for Pato not to follow.


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5. Adrian Mutu

Arriving amidst the mayhem of Abramovich's first summer in 2003, Mutu was signed by Claudio Ranieiri for £15.8 million from Parma. As a physical striker who had scored 18 Serie A goals the season before, many Chelsea fans had high hopes for the Romanian, with some even earmarking him as the man to replace Gianfranco Zola.

Things certainly didn't turn out that way. Despite starting well with four goals in three games, Mutu's performances trailed off rapidly during his first season. Disaster then struck in September 2004 when the striker failed a drug test for cocaine.

Subsequently, Mutu has hopped from one club to another - he has played for 13 in all - leaving a trail of destruction at most of his destinations: in October last year, Mutu was handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence for breaking a waiter's nose.

4. Mateja Kezman

The ultimate proof that scoring goals in Dutch football is no guarantee of success in English football. Though Kezman only cost Chelsea £5.4 million in the summer of 2004, he deserves a place on this list because of the remarkable drop in his goalscoring rate.

During four seasons at PSV Eindhoven, the Serbian striker plundered an incredible 105 goals in 122 games, leading Jose Mourinho to recruit his services. 

However, during just one season at Stamford Bridge it quickly materialised that instead of being the next Ruud van Nistelrooy, Kezman was never going to make the grade.

Though his goal in the 2005 League Cup final - one of just four he scored for Chelsea - helped the Blues claim the first silverware of the Abramovich era, Kezman was quickly shipped off to Atletico Madrid. 

3. Radamel Falcao

Despite arriving on a free, Falcao warrants a place on this list, for the predictability of his flop. Once one of Europe's most feared strikers during his days with Porto and Atletico Madrid, Falcao's move to the Premier League has been a momentous failure.

Manchester United were the first to gamble on the Columbian, after a serious knee injury, with Louis van Gaal brining him to Old Trafford on a loan deal that saw the striker net £265,000-a-week.

During his one season at United, Falcao certainly did not live up to that salary, scoring just four goals throughout 29, largely underwhelming appearances.

Quite why Chelsea then decided to take Falcao on a loan themselves at the start of this season is beyond comprehension. Perhaps in an ego boost, Mourinho felt he could be the manager to get the most out of the 29-year-old.

Whatever the reason, the move has so far been disastrous: Mourinho's been sacked, Falcao has barely played due to injuries and it is entirely feasible that in January he has already played his last game for Chelsea.

Interim manager Guus Hiddink recently described Falcao's latest injury as "very serious" and few Chelsea fans will be concerned if he fails to return by the end of the season.

2. Andriy Shevchenko

At his peak, the most revered striker on this list. In his pomp Shevchenko was Europe's deadliest striker, winning the 2003 Champions League with AC Milan and the Ballon d'Or the following year.

However, by 2006, there were signs that the then 29-year-old would not prove to be worth the £30 million Chelsea paid Milan. Happy with Drogba as his striker and wary of Shevchenko's decline, Mourinho was reportedly not keen on signing the Ukrainian striker, with Abramovich the central figure in forcing the deal.

Just as Abramovich's decision to let Petr Cech join Arsenal, against Mourinho's wishes, was the first sign of discontent behind the scenes this season, Shevchenko's arrival proved to be a disruptive force.

The Ukrainian scored just nine goals in 48 league appearances, whilst Mourinho left by "mutual consent" in September 2007 after the breakdown of his relationship with Abramovich. 

Shevchenko was duly loaned back to Milan in 2008 before signing for former club Dynamo Kiev a year later. 

1. Fernando Torres

Has to top this list due to the record transfer fee. At his peak, Torres was a revelation on Merseyside. During his first three seasons at Anfield, the Spaniard scored 56 Premier League goals in his first 79 appearances.

With his speed, strength - both on the deck and in the air - and deadly finishing, Torres was the Premier League's best striker around 2009.

A poor World Cup in 2010 followed by an inconsistent start to the following season highlighted that the 31-year-old may have been on the wane.

That was not enough to deter Abramovich though, who finally signed Torres in January 2011, after several attempts, with a £50 million bid

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was instantly tasked with finding a place for Torres; however, the Spaniard simply could not settle at Stamford Bridge.

Though, in his three full seasons, Torres helped Chelsea win the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League, his influence was minimal and 20 league goals in 90 games was a terrible return. 

Subsequently, Torres signed for Milan and spent last season at his boyhood club Atletico, whilst racking up an impressive 110 caps for Spain. 

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