Home » Tournament in Focus » - English Premier League » Chelsea Transfer Flops (Part Four)

Chelsea Transfer Flops (Part Four)

Concluding the series looking at some of the times that high profile transfers to Chelsea failed to work out for club or player.

For Part One click here; Part Two click here; and Part Three click here.

Slobodan Rajković 2007

Mention the name Slobodan Rajković to many Chelsea fans and chances are that the majority will not even recognise the name.

That is despite the club spending £3.8 million in 2007 for what was supposed to be on3e of the best young defenders in European football.

However, somebody at Stamford Bridge failed to do their due diligence on Rajković properly, and did not realsie he would not be given  a work permit.

Instead, after a year of not laying, he was sent out on loan to the Eredivise and Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, and that was followed by a two year spell with another Dutch side FC Twente.

He was finally granted a work permit after three years, only for him to immediately sent back on loan again to Twente. Fed up with his lot, he eventually negotiated a release from his contract and left for Hamburg, never having made a competitive appearance in a  Chelsea shirt.

Despite playing 19 times for his country, Rajković has never hit the heights his early career suggested he might, and is now back in Serbian football.

Mateja Kežman 2004

Rajković is by no means the only Serb to have flopped at Stamford Bridge. In 2004 Chelsea decided to spend £5 million on striker Mateja Kežman who had been a runaway success in Dutch football, scoring 105 goals in 122 appearances for PSV Eindhoven.

However, like many before and after him, he failed to manage the transition to the Premier League, and his 25 league appearances only managed four goals. After just one year,, the Blues decided to cut their losses and he was sold to Atlético Madrid, and he later played for PSG as well, without ever again scaling the heights he had managed in the Netherlands.

Despite that, he later looked back on hs time with Chelsea as the highlight of his career, not a sentiment shared by those fans who saw him in action.

Pierluigi Casiraghi 1998

All the preceding names in this series failed at Chelsea for a variety of reasons – they failed to adapt to life in England, they were not a stylistic match for the team, or they were simply not good enough.

The case of Pierluigi Casiraghi is different.

When Chelsea paid Lazio £5.8 million to sign him in the summer of 1998, it seemed they had pulled off the transfer coup of that window.

The 29 year old striker was seemingly at the height of his powers, and had already won 44 caps with Italy, and collected a runners-up medal at the 1994 World Cup.

However, just ten games into his Chelsea career, and with one goal to his name, his career was brought to a sudden end.

In a league game against Liverpool, he collided with goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury.

Despite 10 operations in a bid to save his career, Casiraghi was eventually told that he could not play again and, at the age of 31, was forced to retire.  

Leave a Reply