Chelsea and strikers don't always go hand in hand. The club has spent billions under Roman Abramovich, and very few strikers have come along who have done well for the team. The Blues, at this very moment, are struggling for goals, and after spending £100 million on Romelu Lukaku, they still don't have a solution.
With that in mind and the Roman Abramovich era coming to an end, it is useful to look at the few who made a difference at the club. Strikers who won the club the Champions League, strikers who consistently scored goals, and strikers that the team could rely upon. Below are the five best strikers of this era.
#5 A Premier League striker - Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka was a journeyman player. Before signing for Chelsea in 2008, he had already played for Paris Saint Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Manchester City, among others. Anelka made 184 appearances for the club, scoring 59 goals and providing 38 assists. He won the Premier League and two FA Cups also.
Anelka formed a brilliant partnership with Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda in the his team's title-winning season in 2009-10. He scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists in 33 games, often drifting out wide to help others.
Anelka came and fulfilled what the club bought him for, and that was to be a threat in attack. A short but influential time with the Blues.
#4 Chelsea cult hero - Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres signed for Chelsea in a deadline day deal from Liverpool in 2011. It was a controversial transfer and a record fee (£50m) at the time.
Torres was one of the best strikers in Europe at the time. The Spaniard struggled to find form and it took him several months before he finally scored his first goal for the club in April 2011, against West Ham.
Torres made 172 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 45 goals and assisting 35. His greatest moment was the goal he scored against Barcelona at the Camp Nou to take the team to the Champions League final.
That goal made his transfer worth it to the fans. His best season was the 2012-13 season, when he made 64 appearances for the club, scoring 22 goals and providing 11 assists. A cult hero.
#3 A classic target man - Olivier Giroud
Continuing the trend of strikers signing from domestic rivals, Olivier Giroud signed for Chelsea from Arsenal in 2018. He was signed by Antonio Conte to help Alvaro Morata, but Giroud left a lasting legacy at Stamford Bridge. Giroud made 119 appearances for the club, scoring 39 goals and assisting 14.
The French striker scored two goals and provided two assists as the team won the FA Cup in 2018. He scored 11 goals and assisted five in 14 games the following season to help the team win the Europa League.
Giroud scored eight goals in 13 games to secure top four in 2020. In his final season, he scored six goals in eight Champions League appearances as the team won the trophy.
He was a consistent and reliable goal scorer for the club at a time when the team needed one. One wonders what the team would have done if he had stayed at the club this season. He signed as a rival from Arsenal and left as a Chelsea legend.
#2 The mad man - Diego Costa
Diego Costa is the most consistent striker in the Abramovich era. He was bought from Atletico Madrid in 2014 as the marquee signing to help Jose Mourinho win the title.
Costa made 120 appearances for Chelsea over three seasons, scoring 58 goals and providing 24 assists. He won two Premier League titles, and in both seasons, scored 20 goals. No striker has reached 20 goals since.
Costa was lethal, and he was a nuisance. He annoyed the rival defenders and was a classic centre-forward. He was able to get other players sent off by getting under their skin.
His runs behind rival defenses, his hold-up play, and his connections with players around him were all top-notch. When he left in 2017 due to a falling out with Conte, Costa left a hole in the team and that is yet to be filled.
#1 The legend - Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba signed for Chelsea from Marseille in 2004 for a record fee of £24 million. He made 381 appearances for the club, scoring 164 goals and providing 87 assists.
Drogba was never a goal machine, as in he only managed to score 20 or more goals for the club in the league during the 2009-10 season. That season, he scored 29 goals in the league and 37 overall while providing 16 assists.
What makes Didier Drogba the best striker to play for the club was his knack for performing in the biggest games. Drogba had that aura, and as long as he was on the pitch, the team could win the game.
No moment symbolizes him better than his last-minute goal against Bayern Munich to take the team into extra time in 2012. Drogba then went on to score the winning penalty.
The teams' recent struggles in the FA Cup were non-existent when Drogba played. The striker was the king of Wembley and always scored in finals. He won four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, three League Cups, and one Champions League.
Drogba was the ultimate striker, scoring goals from all over the pitch, and perhaps no one will match his brilliance up front for the club.