5 Players whose careers dipped after joining Chelsea

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Sai Teja

There have been a plethora of superstars who have graced Stamford Bridge since Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea. The Russian oligarch has rarely compromised in the transfer market as he's funded some of the biggest deals in English football to help the Blues achieve immense success on domestic and continental fronts.

That being said, not all of these players have enjoyed the same level of success. Many have come to Chelsea for massive transfer fees after great seasons for their respective clubs but failed to deliver at Chelsea.

Timo Werner, for instance, moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2020 for a fee of £47.6m after a staggering 34-goal season for RB Leipzig. This year, he's managed a mere ten goals in 42 appearances across all competitions and looks a shadow of his former self in front of goal.

While it's too early to brand Werner a big-money flop as he's only just begun his career at Chelsea, there are others whose careers took a massive hit upon moving to Stamford Bridge, be it due to stylistic differences with the side or succumbing to the weight of expectations.

On that note, here is a look at five such players whose careers dipped upon moving to Chelsea.

#5 Kepa Arrizabalaga | Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea, £71.6

Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League

In 2018, just a month after Liverpool made Alisson Becker the most expensive keeper in history (£66.8m), Chelsea sent records tumbling once again when they signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71.6m. The Spaniard was once tipped to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world as he was an adept shot-stopper who was excellent on the ball.

Chelsea's replacement for Thibaut Courtois and had an impressive debut campaign, winning the UEFA Europa League with Maurizio Sarri's men. Since then, however, Kepa's career has been in free fall. The Spaniard endured one of the worst campaigns by a goalkeeper in the Premier League during 2019/20 with several high-profile errors and consistently poor displays.

The world's most expensive keeper ended the campaign as Frank Lampard's second-choice custodian, losing his place to Willy Caballero who was preferred for the FA Cup final and the UEFA Champions League knockouts. Edouard Mendy's purchase has cemented Kepa's status as Chelsea's back-up keeper as they look for suitors for the Spaniard.

#4 Tiemoue Bakayoko | AS Monaco to Chelsea, £40m

AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea - Premier League
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea - Premier League

Tiemoue Bakayoko was, at one point, one of the most coveted deep-players in the transfer market. The Frenchman part of the brilliant AS Monaco side that had a fairytale run until the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, playing alongside Fabinho in midfield. He moved to Chelsea for a massive fee amidst interest from Manchester United, but it backfired terribly.

Bakayoko failed to make his mark at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte. The Frenchman, who was 22 at the time of the transfer, had a disastrous spell at Stamford Bridge. His infamous display away at Watford still remains one of the worst displays by a midfielder in the last few years, and this was despite only being on the pitch for 30 minutes.

The defensive midfielder was tipped to be one of the best destroyers in Europe but, after 43 appearances for the Blues, Bakayoko is currently at his third loan spell away from Chelsea. The 26-year-old still has time to turn things around at Napoli, but given the massive potential and promise he showed at Monaco, the transfer to Stamford Bridge halted his development massively.

Also read: 5 Best deep-lying playmakers in the world this season (2020/21)

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Edited by Sai Teja
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