You would be hard pressed to find a Chelsea fan that doesn’t like Eidur Gudjohnsen. Even a spell late in his career at Tottenham doesn’t take the gloss of the wonderful career of a very underrated player. He was the perfect foil in this Chelsea team to the barnstorming Hasselbaink. The ice to his fire. The Sheringham to his Shearer. He also had the coolest celebration ever.

Bought for a paltry £4 million from Bolton Wanderers in 2000, Gudjohnsen went under the radar that summer due to the £15 million splurge on Hasselbaink. The fee we paid for him has to make him one of Chelsea’s, and the Premier League’s best bargains of all time. He managed 13 goals in his debut season despite being used mainly as a substitute. His next was more prolific with he and Hasselbaink sharing north of 50 goals as we progressed well in both cups as well as a decent league position. His next season brought “that” overhead kick against Leeds to secure an important win as we qualified for the Champions League.

The influx of talent in the summer of 2003 proved difficult for Gudjohnsen. Mutu, Crespo, and Hasselbaink were all afforded more minutes than Eidur in this season and he was outspoken of Ranieri’s quite ludicrous tactics in the defeat to Monaco in the Champions League semi final. And rightly so. These factors came together and, with the arrival of Jose Mourinho and Arjen Robben in the summer of 2004, Gudjohnsen’s days looked numbered.

Not so, Eidur recounts a story whereby he was told by Mourinho upon the Portugueses arrival that he would be going nowhere and to report to training. He proved a valuable asset in our title winning season that year, scoring vital goals in both the league and Champions League also. He did this whilst adapting to a new position in central midfield. Mourinho was such a fan of the Iceland international he tweaked his team shape toward the end of the season to play slightly more attacking to finish the league off. The result was quite often a midfield three of Makelele, Lampard, and Gudjohnsen. Goals followed and the league was wrapped up.

The arrival of Michael Essien the following summer coupled with the return of Crespo from Milan proved too much for Gudjohnsen to overcome. Whilst still playing a decent part in the side, first-team football was harder to come by and he made the switch to Barcelona in summer 2006. Of course, the season after he had to score against us in the epic 2-2 at the Nou Camp but unlike others, if anyone was to score against us and still be loved, it would be him.

He flitted around Europe, with stops at Monaco, Tottenham, and even Stoke City before he wound down in some random places, taking in Athens, Brugge, Molde, and China, with a return to Bolton sandwiched in between! A criminally underrated player if ever there was. A great finisher, fantastic composure and technique, capable of scoring great goals and tap ins aswell as setting up his striker partners. The £4 million we paid is an absolute steal and he left Chelsea more trophy laden than he could have imagined upon joining in 2000.

He seems an all round nice guy and quite clearly still has an affinity for Chelsea. He, along with Michael Ballack are two of the most outspoken Chelsea fans on twitter. Proving that modern footballers do care about the clubs that they play for and aren’t just in it for the money. He was a member of the Iceland team in Euro 2016 that captured the heart of everyone except England and even made his debut coming on for his own father back in 1996!

For me, one of our best players of the modern era, with the best celebration!

Next week, we move away from the 2003 team that got us to the Champions League and take a look at the team that started it all. The 1997 vintage.