Chelsea’s late swoop to scupper rivals Arsenal’s hopes of signing Mykhailo Mudryk set up one of the most eye-catching transfers of the season.
The Ukraine international has become one of the Blues’ most expensive signings after arriving at Stamford Bridge from Shakhtar Donetsk for £62million, a fee that could rise to £88m depending on performances.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the club’s five most expensive buys prior to Mudryk’s arrival have fared.
5. Alvaro Morata, £59.4m
Morata became the latest number nine charged with the task of delivering goals on a consistent basis for Chelsea when he joined from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017. However, as with many of the strikers who went before him, and have done since, consistency eluded the Spain international.
The initial signs seemed promising when he scored six goals in his first six Premier League appearances, including a hat-trick against Stoke, but he subsequently managed just one league goal in the second half of his debut season.
He joined Atletico Madrid on loan in January 2019 before completing a permanent move to the LaLiga club in 2020 to end his Chelsea career with 16 goals in 47 Premier League appearances.
4. Kepa Arrizabalaga, £72m
It is easy to forget, after the chequered spell that Kepa has experienced at Stamford Bridge, that the £72m Chelsea paid Athletic Bilbao for his services in 2018 made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, a record which still stands four-and-a-half years later.
Less consistent in that time have been the 28-year-old’s form and reputation, having gone from being heir apparent to Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois, to understudy briefly to Willy Caballero, via a bizarre moment in the 2019 Carabao Cup final when he seemingly refused to be substituted by then-manager Maurizio Sarri.
Older now and seemingly wiser, he has seized the opportunity presented by injury to Edouard Mendy to become one of Graham Potter’s more reliable charges, with a particularly fine display as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace on Sunday.
3. Kai Havertz, £72m
The German looked like an expensive flop playing under former Blues boss Frank Lampard after arriving in the summer of 2020, but his compatriot Thomas Tuchel got him performing more like the player Chelsea paid Bayer Leverkusen £72m for.
Whatever he does in the future at Stamford Bridge, he will go down in club history as the scorer of the winning goal in the Champions League final against Manchester City in Porto in 2021, but at 23 he needs a few more seasons of consistent quality to be considered an unqualified success.
He has been a willing stand-in at centre-forward whilst Potter struggles to get his ducks in a row during the current injury crisis, and his winner against Palace on Sunday could prove one of the most important the team score this season.
2. Wesley Fofana, £72.4m
The jury is still out on Fofana, who came of age as an accomplished central defender during two years at Leicester. Of those two seasons, the most recent was almost completely lost to injury, as have been his first months at Stamford Bridge.
If the 22-year-old continues to improve at the rate that Foxes supporters enjoyed in his first year after joining from St Etienne, Chelsea will have found a cornerstone around which to build a high-class defence, not unlike the transformation that Virgil van Dijk helped usher in at Liverpool in 2018.
But, for a player so young to have lost so much of his short career to injury, the Blues have gambled on Fofana and the club will hope he eventually makes the grade.
1. Romelu Lukaku, £101.7m
The massive transfer fee not withstanding, going all out to bring Lukaku back to west London was a move that made sense, a decision made plain by the fact Chelsea are yet to find a solution to the problem he was recruited to solve.
Lukaku apparently left his heart behind in Italy and he scored just eight goals in the Premier League before returning to Inter Milan on loan.
Still technically a Chelsea player, he burned bridges with the hierarchy by giving a tell-all interview to an Italian broadcaster in 2021, offering a granular account of his grievances at Stamford Bridge, which appeared to seal his fate.