When you think of a Chelsea left-back from the Abramovich era, chances are that Ashley Cole comes to mind.
A player that might be slightly further down that list would be Asier del Horno.
Playing at Athletic Bilbao, the Spaniard was a highly coveted full-back and was reportedly drawing interest from a number of other European clubs. He signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2005, joining Jose Mourinho’s title winning side.
Del Horno’s career started off in a promising way. The left-back scored in a 2-0 victory away to Tottenham at White Hart Lane in August 2005. It looked like Chelsea had found a long-term left back option.
In a Champions League knock-out fixture against Barcelona, Del Horno received a straight red card for a challenge on Lionel Messi. Chelsea would be defeated 2-1 in the tie and lose 3-2 on aggregate.
The Spanish international ended the 2005/06 season with 25 league appearances and one goal. This was enough to be given a Premier League winners medal as Chelsea won consecutive titles under Mourinho.
During the following summer, Chelsea were actively pursuing a new left-back in Arsenal’s Ashley Cole. To make way for the signing of the Englishman, del Horno was sold back to Spain for £5 million.
He signed for Valencia and spent the next five seasons at the Mestalla. Struggling with injuries, he only made 15 league appearances during his time at the club.
Whilst at Valencia, del Horno was sent out on loan a number of times. First to former side Athletic Bilbao, before loans to Valladolid and Levante followed. The Spaniard would join Levante permanently in 2011, before hanging up his boots only 12 months later.
There we have it, a truly forgettable Chelsea player. Del Horno only spent one season at Stamford Bridge, before returning to Spain for an equally forgettable end to his career.
Don’t be upset, Asier. Some of us might remember your goal against Tottenham.