Welcome to the Chelsea Chronicle’s countdown of Chelsea’s 50 best players in their history. The list was carefully chosen by our group of writers so come back here each Thursday to find out who made the cut and who the made the highest places.
50. Cesc Fabregas
Chelsea bought the former Arsenal man for £30m from Barcelona in the summer of 2014 and the Spaniard has gone onto the play instrumental parts in the Chelsea side that won the title, first under Jose Mourinho, then under Antonio Conte. The playmaker bagged a whopping 18 assists in his first year in blue – equalling Frank Lampard’s Chelsea Premier League record and just 2 off Thierry Henry’s Premier League record. Like almost every other Chelsea player, Fabregas suffered from a dip in form in the 2015/16 season but he bounced back with another impressive season as he won his second title in 3 years under Antonio Conte. The man with the magic hat isn’t the only player on this list to have played for Arsenal as well.
49. John Dempsey
While the 1970s weren’t the best years in the club’s history, the success he had beforehand cements him in the Chelsea half of fame. An FA Cup victory, the first in the club’s history, over Leeds in 1970 was followed by their first ever continental trophy, the Cup Winners’ Cup. Dempsey scored a superb volley to open the scoring for his side against the European powerhouse that was, and still is, Real Madrid. The centre-back was a rock in Chelsea’s defence for many years after joining from Fulham for just £70,000 in 1969 and the instant success the club enjoyed is testament to his influence at his new club.
Not the most technically gifted of players but a huge asset to the Chelsea side during his 6 and a half year stay. The Brazilian racked up almost 250 appearances for the Blues and played a huge part in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in 2012. The fact that he was named players’ player of the year that very season shows how highly his teammates valued him. His performances in the semi-final tie against Barcelona will go down in Chelsea history – an assist for Didier Drogba in the first leg was followed by a sensational chip at the Nou Camp that earned the Blues an incredibly important away goal. Ramires added the FA Cup, scoring in the final in 2012, the Europa League and Premier League winners medals to his collection by the time he left for China in 2016.
47. Arjen Robben
The Flying Dutchman came to Stamford Bridge as a 20-year-old from PSV after Chelsea outbid Manchester United for his services. Robben’s first season was hampered by injury but he did manage 18 appearances as Chelsea won the title for the first time in 50 years under Jose Mourinho. Wayne Rooney beat him to the PFA Young Player of the Year award but he did finish higher than Rooney in the following season as Chelsea retained their title ahead of Manchester United. Knee injuries blighted his Chelsea career further and, in the summer of 2007, he moved to Real Madrid for £24m, having bagged a total of 19 goals during his time in West London.
46. Tore Andre Flo
A fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge, Flo joined Chelsea from Brann in 1997 and ended up making 163 appearances for the Blues. In his first season Flo scored 15 goals – including a memorable hat trick at White Hart Lane. The goals kept on flowing for Tore Andre as he bagged 10 goals as Chelsea qualified for the Champions League for the first time and that took them to Barcelona. Flo scored a brace at Stamford Bridge against the Spanish side and grabbed another at the Nou Camp but it did not stop Chelsea crashing out of the competition. Almost half of his appearances for Chelsea were as a substitute and the Norwegian ended up with half a century of Chelsea goals.