It’s that time of the year again and the January transfer window is in full swing, with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho busy making some additions to his squad in an attempt to wrestle back the Premier League crown.
The mid-season window is notorious for its last minute, inflated purchases, but the Blues have had some success since FIFA made transfer windows compulsory during the 2002-03 season.
Here at Get West London, we have been asking readers via Twitter for their suggestions of Chelsea’s top five best and worst winter buys. Below we feature your favourite January recruits, with the bottom five set to follow tomorrow.
1. Gary Cahill from Bolton Wanderers 2011-12
Gary Cahill was the most voted for Chelsea player on our top-five list. The Yorkshireman arrived at Stamford Bridge from Bolton Wanderers for a fee of around £7million in January 2012 and picked up a Champions League winners medal just five months later in a fairytale start to his Blues career.
Branislav Ivanovic and talismanic skipper John Terry were both suspended for the final in Munich as Chelsea defied the odds to beat Bayern in their own back yard. Cahill had been struggling with an injury in the lead up to the showdown, only returning to training days before the match, but played through the pain barrier to make himself a hero.
Cahill remains an important part of Jose Mourinho’s plans.
2. Nicolas Anelka from Bolton Wanderers 2007-08
Nicolas Anelka’s talent has never been in question. From his early days at Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, it was clear the Frenchman was destined for great things. He has certainly convinced enough clubs of his talents and the transfer fees have racked up over the years.
Like Cahill, he joined from Bolton, although his fee was higher at an estimated £15 million. His first half-season also ended with a Champions League final. However, the striker’s penalty was saved by Manchester United’s Edwin van der Sar and the Red Devils lifted the trophy. But he bounced back the following campaign to clinch the Golden Boot with 19 strikes.
Anelka agreed a deal with Shanghai Shenhua in December 2011 after falling out with then Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
3. Branislav Ivanovic from Lokomotiv Moscow 2007-08
Branislav Ivanovic made an unspectacular start to life at Stamford Bridge, but few Blues fans would argue with his inclusion in list. Chelsea signed the tough defender from Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2008 for just under £10million.
The Blues had their man, beating Manchester United to his signature, but he didn’t feature under Avram Grant and had to wait until the following season to break into new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari’s plans. Since then he has gone from strength-to-strength.
Capable of playing at right-back or in the centre of defence, Ivanovic remains a useful addition to the current Chelsea team.
4. David Luiz from Benfica 2010-11
David Luiz is as popular with Chelsea fans for his likeable persona as he is for his skills on the pitch. Nicknamed ‘Sideshow Bob’ due to his striking resemblance to the Simpsons character of the same name, Luiz is an exciting defender who likes to play out from the back.
He joined Chelsea on transfer deadline day in 2011 as Carlo Ancelotti brought him to the club while shipping out Nemanja Matic to Benfica as part of the deal. Matic is set to return to the Blues in a big-money move this month and could be competing for a midfield berth with Luiz, with the Brazilian also capable of playing in the centre of the Park.
Luiz is a regular in the Brazil squad and should feature at this summer’s World Cup.
5. Fernando Torres from Liverpool 2010-11
Fernando Torres remains Chelsea’s most expensive ever player having moved to west London from Liverpool on a dramatic transfer deadline day in January 2011. Torres is a player who has divided opinion among Blues supporters, indeed he also incredibly features in tomorrow’s list of Chelsea’s worst five January buys, however his trophy haul speaks for itself.
Having won the World Cup and European Championship with the Spanish national team, Torres sealed Chelsea’s spot in the Champions League final with a goal against Barcelona in 2012. The Blues went on to win the competition and a year later the Spaniard conquered Europe again as he helped his side pick up the Europa League.
Torres has scored eight times in 22 games for Chelsea this season.