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Mourinho's transfer decisions at Chelsea helped find a club legend

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It’s now almost 16 years since Jose Mourinho announced himself as the “special one” at his introductory Chelsea press conference.

Mourinho went on to lead the club to Premier League glory in his debut campaign, before retaining the title in 2005/06.

The Portuguese added a third winner’s medal to his collection in 2015, having returned to Stamford Bridge for a second spell in charge two years earlier.

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Mourinho’s first success at Chelsea was his most impressive.

The Blues finished 12 points clear of Arsenal at the top of the table and only conceded 15 goals all season.

Mourinho inherited some fantastic players who were key to at least two of his title triumphs, including John Terry, Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele and Petr Cech, who had agreed to join the club in February.

But the former Porto manager was also keen to put his own stamp on the side, and quickly set about shaping the squad in his image.

So how did his first 10 signings fare?

Paulo Ferreira

A steady stalwart at right-back, Ferreira enjoyed a lengthy career at Chelsea. Mourinho’s first signing remained at the club until 2013, although most of his league appearances came before 2008/09.

Ferreira won two Premier League titles in that time, and bagged another medal under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010.

Verdict: Hit

Arjen Robben

Robben struggled with injuries at times and left Chelsea before his peak, but he was still an excellent signing from PSV.

Together with Damien Duff, the Dutchman terrorised opposition full-backs during each of his two title-winning campaigns.

Arjen Robben was a flying winger for Chelsea (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Verdict: Hit

Mateja Kezman

Signed from PSV for £5.3m, Kezman was handed the No.9 shirt at Chelsea. Hopes were high given that he’d notched 105 goals in 122 Eredivisie matches.

However, Kezman failed to live up to expectations and was on his way out after less than a year. The striker scored just seven times in 41 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions.

Verdict: Miss

Didier Drogba

Drogba is a contender for the title of Chelsea’s greatest signing of all time. The Ivorian took a little while to get going in English football, but he’s now considered one of the best strikers the Premier League has seen - and perhaps No.1 on the list of big-game players.

Drogba scored 157 times for Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the Champions League. A bona fide club legend.

Didier Drogba celebrates scoring for Chelsea

Verdict: Hit

Tiago

Chelsea signed two former Porto players in Mourinho’s first summer in charge, but Tiago was acquired from fellow Portuguese giants Benfica.

A £10m acquisition, the midfielder played 34 times in 2004/05 and contributed to Chelsea’s success. He was sold the following year but did enough to be labelled a qualified success.

Verdict: Hit

Chelsea during the break Ricardo Carvalho

An integral part of Mourinho’s Champions League-winning Porto side, Carvalho formed a superb partnership with John Terry at centre-back.

The Portuguese spent six seasons at Stamford Bridge, during which time he won three Premier League titles and two League Cups.

Verdict: Hit

Nuno Morais

Signed from Portuguese side Penafiel after a successful trial at Cobham, Morais made only four Premier League outings in a Chelsea shirt

Sold in 2007, the holding midfielder spent most of his career with Cypriot giants APOEL.

Verdict: Miss

UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Arsenal's Anthony Stokes and Chelsea's Nuno Morais (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC Via Getty Images) Jiri Jarosik

Former CSKA Moscow man Jarosik was arguably more of a Roman Abramovich signing. The midfielder arrived for £3m in January 2005 and made 14 league appearances before the end of the season. 

Jarosik was loaned to Birmingham in the summer and later sold to Celtic.

Verdict: Miss

Asier del Horno

Mourinho’s first signing in the summer of 2005 spent just a solitary season at the club. 

The Spaniard usurped Wayne Bridge in the left-back pecking order in 2005/06 but didn’t do enough to convince Mourinho that he was worth keeping around.

Verdict: Miss

How to get our daily Chelsea newsletter Why should you sign up? In each football.london Chelsea bulletin, we'll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans. We'll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there's a special event happening. How do you sign up? It's easy and only takes seconds. Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article - or any article on the Chelsea section of football.london in fact - labelled 'Get the biggest daily stories by email' and click 'Subscribe'. And that's it, you're all set. If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters - but we don't think you'll want to. For more details, click here. Lassana Diarra

Intended to be the long-term successor to Claude Makelele, Diarra just wasn’t in his countryman’s class.

The Frenchman played only 13 games in the Premier League for Chelsea, although the club did at least make a profit on him when Diarra joined Arsenal in 2007.

Verdict: Miss




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