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Which Chelsea manager made the strongest signings the windows before they were sacked?

Antonio Conte's recent troubles at Chelsea have been linked to a dodgy transfer window, but how did his predecessor's get on with their final dealings before the axe fell?

The axe hasn’t even fallen on Antonio Conte’s Chelsea reign but people are already rushing to dissect his downfall.

One of the main reasons being put forward is Chelsea’s dodgy dealings in the transfer market this season.

Swapping an elite Premier League defensive midfielder in Nemanja Matic for Tiemoue Bakayoko looks increasingly poor work with every passing game, or thirty minutes, the Frenchman trundles through.


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Redefining a heavy second touch

Reuters
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Redefining a heavy second touch

Alvaro Morata looked like an inspired signing when he scored eight goals in his first nine games but he’s only scored a further five times in 23 outings.

The trio of Danny Drinkwater, Antonio Rudiger and Davide Zappacosta haven’t been undisputed first-team starters.

Then there’s the January arrivals of Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Emerson Palmieri who haven’t exactly inspired mass outcries of joy around Stamford Bridge.

But how do Conte’s dealings compare to the last windows of his predecessors?

Was the writing on the wall as soon as they signed a load of duds or did they get chopped unfairly?

Let’s have a look.

‘I should have signed Steve Sidwell when I had the chance’

Reuters
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‘I should have signed Steve Sidwell when I had the chance’

Jose Mourinho- sacked on 17 December 2015

Mourinho got the axe seven months after leading Chelsea to the title, but his last window in charge had the air of a man whose heart wasn’t in it.

Pedro arrived from Barcelona but that was more of a move to piss Man United off than a bid to strengthen the squad, given all Chelsea’s creativity stemmed from Hazard.

Then there’s the centre-backs he signed. Papy Djilobodji and Michael Hector, who cost a combined £6.2million from Nantes and Reading respectively, played a grand total of one game for the club.

Asmir Begovic never threatened to be first-choice while Danilo Pantic and Kenedy are still at the club but are part of Chelsea’s A-Z of loanees.

Radamel Falcao joined on loan after scoring four goals for United the previous season and proceeded to score one goal. Shock.

What a weird time this was

EPA
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What a weird time this was

Roberto Di Matteo- sacked on 21 November 2012

In contrast to Mourinho, Di Matteo’s last transfer window had the air of a man trying to improve on his Champions League winning squad from the previous campaign.

Chelsea fought off competition from around Europe for the signatures of Eden Hazard and Oscar.

Cesar Azpilicueta, who arrived for £6.5mil from Marseille, will go down as one of the Premier League’s shrewdest deals, as will Victor Moses’ £9m move from Wigan.

The arrival of Thorgan Hazard was clearly one to appease his brother, leaving Di Matteo’s only unsuccessful signing as Marko Marin.

Still, three months after the window slammed shut Di Matteo was shown the exit. Ouch.

One Chelsea legend and Hazard

Getty Images - Getty
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One Chelsea legend and Hazard

Andre Villas-Boas- sacked 4 March 2012

AVB only lasted nine months at Chelsea, although he got to sample both the summer and winter transfer windows before being replaced by Di Matteo.

His big signing was Juan Mata, whose proved a success at both Chelsea and United, as well as just being an incredible human being.

Romelu Lukaku wasn’t a hit but has since become a £75m United signing, so he did spot the potential.
The same can be said of Oriol Romeu, a solid midfielder at Southampton destine for a cut-price move to Spurs/Liverpool in the future.

We’re not giving him the credit for Kevin De Bruyne’s arrival as Chelsea were reportedly chasing him long before AVB took charge, but he did also raid Genk for Thibaut Courtois.

Gary Cahill has proved a decent bit of business despite his troubles this season but the same can’t be said of Lucas Piazon, Ulises Davila, Kenneth Omeruo or Patrick Bamford.

His last signing was Raul Meireles, who went on to win a Champions League medal at the club, so we’d say that AVB did pretty well overall.

This will surely go well…

Getty - Contributor
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This will surely go well…

Carlo Ancelotti- sacked on 22 May 2011

Ahh Carlo, loved by everyone expect Roman Abramovich.

His last couple of signings won’t be looked on favourably, mainly because one of them was Fernando Torres’ £50m arrival from Liverpool.

David Luiz and Ramires joined from Benfica with Chelsea inexplicably making a profit on the pair before signing Luiz back. Can’t blame Ancelotti for that.

Yossi Benayoun and Tomas Kalas were signed at the opposite ends of their careers but neither made an impact at Stamford Bridge.

But Ancelotti did pull off the signing of Matej Delac who is Chelsea’s current longest-serving player. How many games has he played? Let’s move swiftly on.

Hope you kept the receipt

Paul Edwards - The Sun
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Hope you kept the receipt

Luiz Felipe Scolari- sacked on 9 February 2009

Scolari’s transfer policy during his short spell at Chelsea was clear. ONLY. SIGN. MAVERICKS.

Deco? Tick. Ricardo Quaresma? Tick. Fabio Paim, who was once tipped to be the new Cristiano Ronaldo but loved the lifestyle too much? Tick.

Even Jose Bosingwa was only a defender by default. The fact that Scolari also wanted Robinho shows just how committed the man was to flair.

Unfortunately it didn’t pay off.

What could go wrong?

Jamie McPhilimey
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What could go wrong?

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