Five most underrated Chelsea signings of the Abramovich era

Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic - on of the players on our list
Roman Abramovich is a Russian billionaire that bought Chelsea back in the summer of 2003 and through his investment that became one of the most powerful and successful teams in modern football. The Russian's arrival to the sport is often signaled as the moment when billionaires injecting money into the clubs began to become the norm, and the results are there for all to see.

In that regard, Chelsea made a lot of major signings during his reign, some of them being very important for the club's success, but there are a few that deserve a lot more credit and on this list there are five of the most underrated Chelsea signings of the Roman Abramovich era.

5. Ramires (2010-2016)

Ramires perhaps doesn't get a lot of credit when it comes to the wide variety of signings that Abramovich did during his stint as owner of Chelsea, but it has to be said that he added much-needed grit and dedication to a team that was in need of balance.

The Brazilian midfielder signed for the Blues when they were the reigning Premier League champions in 2010 for 22 million Euros, and while is true that he never was a star player for the club, it has to be said that he often was the very definition of what a squad player should be. He was consistent, offered a lot of balance, and added the work rate that a lot of squads need as well.

Of course, his biggest moment with Chelsea was scoring that amazing goal against FC Barcelona in the 2012 UEFA Champions League semifinals, which was pivotal for them to win the competition that same season. And while he didn't stand out much afterward, he was a reliable player and left for Chinese football in January 2016.

4. Florent Malouda (2007-2013)

Florent Malouda was a talented French winger that won pretty much everything in his home country with Lyon and in the summer of 2007, he signed for Chelsea for 13 million pounds. While he wasn't the flashiest signing out there, he managed to play in the club for six years, won every trophy available, and was a consistent performer for the Blues.

The Frenchman was a key component in the team's success in the 2009/10 Premier League and the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League, especially due to his relationship and partnership with striker Didier Drogba, whom he already played with at Guingamp in France many years ago. And while his final season with the club was unceremonious, his career with the club as a whole was quite good.

3. Branislav Ivanovic (2008-2017)

When Chelsea signed Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic in January of 2008 for 9 million pounds from Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow, there was very little expectation about what he could do. However, Ivanovic proved his doubters wrong and became one of the most important players in the squad during the almost nine years he spent in the institution.

The thing that made Ivanovic such a success in Chelsea was the combination of consistency, the capacity to play both as a center-back and a right-back and how he managed to adapt to a wide variety of coaches over the years. Probably his peak was during the 2014/15 season in Jose Mourinho's second tenure at the club, where Chelsea won the league with ease and Ivanovic had a great season as a right-back.

However, you don't spend almost nine years at a club like Chelsea without being a good player and the Serbian was that and a lot more. He proved time and time again that he was a reliable performer, and considering how much the Blues tend to spend on players, 9 million pounds for Ivanovic was an absolute bargain.

Gary Cahill, Chelsea
Gary Cahill

2. Gary Cahill (2011-2019)

The fact that Gary Cahill was signed from Bolton Wanderers for just 7 million pounds in the summer of 2011 and went on to have eight years of consistently great performances at Stamford Bridge is something that is not brought up enough. Cahill may not get a lot of plaudits for his performances as a center-back, but he proved to be a key player for almost a decade at Chelsea.

The English center-back started slow in his first season, but afterward, he became a regular starter in the team, constantly making a great partnership with captain John Terry, and later on he became the leader of the defense himself. He played pivotal roles for both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte in their 2014/15 and 2016/17 league titles, respectively, and won every trophy at club level.

Underrated is the name of the game when it comes to Cahill.

César Azpilicueta, Chelsea
César Azpilicueta

1. César Azpilicueta (2012-2023)

When Spanish defender César Azpilicueta was signed from Marseille in the summer of 2012, very few people were expecting him to play in the club for more than a decade, become club captain, won every single trophy at club level (some more than once), and being an example of professionalism and consistency. However, that's exactly what happened, and at just 7 million pounds, he is probably the most underrated signing in Roman Abramovich's entire stint as Chelsea owner.

Azpilicueta has proven to be capable of playing in every single position in defense, has been very consistent in terms of what he can offer to the team, has played regularly for almost every single manager during his time at the club, and has often been one of their best performers time and time again, which is something that is worth highlighting. A lot of players have come and gone, but Azpilicueta has added a lot of consistency to the club as a whole.

Defending was always a key element during Abramovich's tenure at the club and very few players can represent that the way Azpilicueta did, which is something that makes him a very underrated signing.
Kelvin Tingling knows most things about football and also likes to write about it. Kelvin lives in Buenos Aires and his favorite team is Boca Juniors.