In the wake of Eden Hazard’s departure in 2019 and a season-long transfer ban, a fourth place finish could be classes as a success for Frank Lampard’s first year as Chelsea manager.
With just one year’s management experience under his belt before being appointed Blues boss, Lampard guided a squad that only had Christian Pulisic as a new addition, the American international joining before the transfer ban.
Despite missing out on silverware in August’s FA Cup final, the Blues’ response in the transfer market has been emphatic, spending more than £200million.
The result is a strong start to the 2020/21 season, with many of the new recruits taking to life in west London quicker than many expected.
Here are Chelsea’s recent transfers in full.
Edouard Mendy (£21million,Stade Rennais)
Few Chelsea fans would have expected to be shelling out more money on a goalkeeper, having signed the most expensive one in the history of the sport just over two years ago.
However, it has not worked out for £72million shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga, and the Spaniard now finds himself on the bench in place of 28-year-old Edouard Mendy.
Mendy’s solid start to life in west London means he is likely to remain Lampard’s first choice keeper for the foreseeable future.
Costing just £21m, Mendy is significant cheaper than his predecessor, and follows in the footsteps of legend Petr Cech, who also swapped Stade Rennais for Stamford Bridge.
Malang Sarr (Free transfer,Nice)
21-year-old Malang Sarr is a signing with one eye of the future, as the young Frenchmen has already been sent on loan to Porto to gain more minutes than he would currently at Stamford Bridge.
One of many promising young French defenders to emerge in recent seasons, Sarr’s five-year contract is an indication of how highly rated he is by Chelsea.
In 2018, the International Centre for Sports Studies named Sarr as the world’s fifth-most promising footballer aged under 20.
Kai Havertz (£72million, Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
One of the most sought-after talents in European football, the securing of Kai Havertz ‘s signature sent a significant statement as to how much of a threat Chelsea aim to be this season.
If last year was all about maintaining Champions League football, the focus this campaign shifts firmly to a title charge with Havertz likely to play a big part.
The 21-year-old is one of Chelsea’s most expensive signings at £72 million, but has so far struggled to replicate his Bayer Leverkusen form.
If he can reproduce the performances that made him a Bundesliga star, his fee will seem worth every penny.
An elegant playmaker with an eye for a pass to match his deft touch, he boasts the kind of creative qualities Chelsea lacked in the 2019/20 campaign.
Thiago Silva (Free transfer,PSG)
Many questioned whether Thiago Silva – aged 36, would be able to cope with the pace of the Prem.
Signed on a year-long contract with an option to extend, Silva was recruited as much for what he offers off the pitch as well as on it. Three years at AC Milan before a further eight at PSG, Silva’s experience and leadership will be a vital addition to a relatively youthful Chelsea dressing room.
Costing nothing in transfer fee, Silva could prove to be one of the shrewdest deals of the summer transfer window.
Ben Chilwell (£45million,Leicester City)
At just 23, Chilwell was signed with the idea of him repeating his Spanish predecessors’ feat and making the left-back role his own for years to come, with his talent unquestionable.
The England international notched four goals in five years at Leicester City, making 99 appearances for the Foxes before eventually succumbing to allure of West London.
Timo Werner (£47million, RB Leipzig)
A fellow Bundesliga superstar, Timo Werner ’s best traits would suggest he is going to prove the perfect partner for Havertz.
34 goals in all competitions last campaign was sufficient evidence for Chelsea to part ways with just shy of £50m for the German international.
He will be seeking to recreate the kind of form in front of goal that made him so devastating in his home country, though he’s still finding his feet in west London.
Hakim Ziyech (£36million,Ajax)
Aged 27 with no experience outside of Holland, many questioned whether Hakim Ziyech would struggle to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
He has already gone some way to silencing the doubters, with undoubtedly more to come from the Moroccan international.
Ziyech spent four years at the Johan Cruyff Arena, making 112 appearances and scoring some vital goals, including at the Santiago Bernabéu where Ajax spectacularly dumped Real Madrid out of the Champions League in a memorable 4-1 away win.
Who do you think has been Chelsea’s best transfer in recent years? Let us know in the comments below.
Ross Barkley (Loan, Aston Villa)
Barkley joined Chelsea in January 2018, and despite showing it in glimpses, has often struggled to recreate the kind of form that explains why Chelsea parted ways with £15m for him.
Still on the Blues books, Barkley was a surprise loan signing for Aston Villa in the summer transfer window that was announced with little prior speculation.
Since his move to the West Midlands he has started to enjoy moments that highlight the former Evertonian’s talent, as Villa look to re-establish themselves as a Premier League side.
Victor Moses (Loan, Spartak Moscow)
Having joined Chelsea in 2012, Moses has often found it difficult becoming a regular presence on the team sheet.
With five loan spells under his belt already since his move to west London, Moses is currently embarked on his sixth to Russian outfit Spartak Moscow after stints at Fernerbache and Inter Milan last season.
Davide Zappacosta (Loan, Genoa)
It would be fair to say Zappacosta’s Chelsea tenure hasn’t quite lived up to what both he and the fans might have hoped.
After just 26 appearances in three years, Zappacosta now finds himself on a season-long loan at Genoa in Serie A.
Michy Batshuayi (Loan, Crystal Palace)
It is often forgotten that Batshuayi once scored Chelsea’s title-clinching goal away at West Brom. Despite clear talent the Belgian striker is another to have failed to cut it consistently at the Bridge.
He is set to spend the remainder of the 2020/21 season on loan at Crystal Palace, his second spell at Selhurst Park, but has yet to find the goal so far this season.
Ethan Ampadu (Loan, Sheffield United)
Unlike some of the other names on the loanee list, there is real hope and expectation Ampadu returns and makes a name for himself in west London.
The Wales international gained valuable experience of the Bundesliga last season while on loan at RB Leipzig, and now is aiming to get Premier League minutes with Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, although the Blades currently sit bottom of the table.
Tiemoué Bakayoko (Loan, Napoli)
One of Chelsea’s more expensive mistakes, Bakayoko was the second-most costly recruit at the time of his arrival at £40m.
Three years and 29 appearances later, he finds himself on loan at Napoli, after previous loan spells at Milan and former club Monaco.
Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid, £32 million)
Despite officially being on the books of Chelsea for three years, Morata only actually spent a season and a half at Stamford Bridge.
Joining Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan mid-way through the 2018-19 season, the deal was made permanent in July 2019, before Morata was officially confirmed as an Atletico player a year later.
He is now on loan at Juventus, another one of his former sides, where he spent two years back in 2014.
Willian (Arsenal, Free transfer)
Willian is the latest former Chelsea star to swap west London for north, joining up with fellow ex-Chelsea player David Luiz, who also now plies his trade with the Gunners after they offered him the three-year deal he was after.
Willian spent seven years at Chelsea, scoring 37 times in 234 appearances, but has yet to find the net in north London.
Over the course of his stay at Stamford Bridge the Brazilian international won the Premier League twice, one FA Cup, one Europa League and one League Cup to match.
Mario Pasalic (Atalanta, £15 million)
Arguably Chelsea’s most impressive deal of the entire window, Frank Lampard’s side managed to cop a £15million pound fee for a midfielder who made zero appearances in six years the club.
After four separate loan stints at Elche, Monaco, Milan and Spartak Moscow, Pasalic eventually settled at Serie A outfit Atalanta, impressing during his two years on loan at the Serie A side, who forked out £15m to sign him on a permanent deal over the summer.
Pedro (Roma, Free transfer)
One of the few footballers on the continent that can boast they have won it all, Pedro’s honours list makes for spectacular reading.
As well as his large array of illustrious international trophies, the Spaniard also managed to win the Premier League, the FA Cup and The Europa League in his five years at Chelsea.
Aged 33, he was eventually deemed surplus to Frank Lampard’s requirements and joined Roma on a free transfer this summer, penning a three-year deal.
Nathan (Atletico Mineiro, £2.5 million)
Much like Pasalic, it is remarkable Chelsea managed to secure any fee at all for the 24-year-old Brazilian.
Five years at the club with zero first team appearances, Nathan failed to make the grade in west London, being sent out on loan to Amiens, Amiens II, Belenenses and Atletico Mineiro.
After two years on loan at Brazilian club, he joined on a permanent basis, signing a four-year contract.