Ranking every Antonio Conte Chelsea signing

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Ranking every Antonio Conte Chelsea signing

With news coming out of Tottenham that former Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte will be taking over from recently sacked Nuno Espirito Santos, I have decided to look at his last spell in England and rank each signing he made.

Joining Chelsea in the summer of 2016, Conte changed the club’s fortunes around after the abysmal 2015-16 campaign, which saw manager Jose Mourinho lose his job and saw the previous year’s Premier League champions finish 10th.

Finding huge success with a back three, Conte led Chelsea to a Premier League title and two back-to-back appearances in FA Cup finals, winning one, his final game being the FA Cup after a win over Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. He was sacked soon after.

So here are all of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea signings, ranked from worst to best.

Ranking every Antonio Conte Chelsea signing

14) Danny Drinkwater

After Chelsea signed N’golo Kante from Leicester City in the summer of 2016 after his breakout year, they returned a year later with the ridiculous £35 million signing of Danny Drinkwater.

Drinkwater’s Chelsea career was summed up with one word as a ”shambles” by the player himself in a recent interview.

He has only made 23 appearances for the London club since his signing in 2017, scoring one goal and playing 90 minutes only 3 times in that timeframe.

He has since gone on loan at Burnley, Aston Villa, Kasimpasa and now Reading. Garnering more attention for his off the field issues such as fighting outside nightclub’s, headbutting a team-mate while on loan at Aston Villa and starting a fight with a 16-year-old in an Under-23s match.

His contract expires next year and to say Chelsea will pass on his services is an understatement.

13) Tiemoué Bakayoko

After his strong performances in the 2016-17 season with Monaco that saw them reach the Champions League semi-finals, Bakayoko made the switch to West London for £40 million.

In his four seasons with the blues, he has made a mere 29 Premier League appearances in four seasons.

Like Drinkwater, he has since gone out on numerous loan spells, AC Milan, Monaco and Napoli have all taken him off Chelsea’s hands.

A player with huge potential, Bakayoko has turned out to be a massive disappointment.

12) Álvaro Morata

With Chelsea’s failed attempt to re-sign striker Romelu Lukaku in the 2017-18 summer transfer window. They turned to Real Madrid star Álvaro Morata in a deal worth £60 million.

After starting brightly, contributing to 12 goals in 12 games, he hit a ceiling, managing 5 goal contributions in 26 Premier League appearances.

Taking up the cursed number 9 for Chelsea, Morata suffered greatly with low confidence and with a handful of sitters to his name, he left for Atletico Madrid in 2019, with Chelsea managing to secure around the same amount they paid for him.

11) Eduardo

If you can’t remember who this guy was I wouldn’t blame you, but after three seasons at Chelsea, he did not make a single first-team appearance but managed to pick up a Premier League winner’s medal.

What a guy.

10) Ross Barkley

After failing to sign him during transfer deadline day in the summer of 2017, Barkley joined the club in January of 2018, for a low £15 million from Everton.

Struggling to find the form under Conte, the player gained some form under Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard before going out on loan to Aston Villa last term.

He has managed to impress current Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel enough to make him a part of the 22-man squad and has played his part so far this season when called upon.

9) Davide Zappacosta

After failing to sign his first choice full-back in Alex Sandro, Chelsea went for the cheaper option in David Zappacosta for £28 million from Torino.

Never a starter, Zappacosta was a bit-part player during his four seasons at Stamford Bridge but managed to pick up an FA Cup and Europa League medal in the process.

Simply put, if the players previously named never joined, he would be closer to the bottom.

8) Willy Cabellero

A cult figure among Chelsea fans, backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero did what he needed to do when he joined Chelsea for free from Manchester City in July of 2017.

The veteran penalty-stopper managed to displace out of form Kepa Arrizabalaga under Frank Lampard’s stewardship but has since left the club with an FA Cup, Europa League and most noticeably a Champions League medal.

7) Emerson Palmieri

Joining in the January transfer window, Emerson played back-up to Marcos Alonso for a reported fee of £20 million.

Playing sporadically during his time at Chelsea, he never quite managed to nail a starting place under Conte and Sarri.

With the arrival of Frank Lampard, he fell further down the pecking order with the arrival of first-choice left-back Ben Chilwell.

Emerson joined Ligue 1 side, Lyon, on a one-year loan in last summer’s transfer window and looks unlikely he will join back up with Chelsea next season.

6) Michy Batshuayi

Known more for being part of Chelsea’s infamous loan system, Batshuyai has done the best he could have given his circumstances.

Scoring 25 goals and 6 assists in 77 appearances in all competitions may not sound that impressive, he played second fiddle to Diego Costa and co throughout his Chelsea career.

The highlight of his Chelsea career is his winning goal to clinch the 2016-17 Premier League title at West Brom.

He is remarkably still on Chelsea’s books, but to be fair to the Belgian, he will be remembered compared to Chelsea’s past strikers.

5) Olivier Giroud

The target man Conte so desperately wanted in the 2018 January transfer window arrived after an £18 million deal from Arsenal.

Contributing to 53 goals in 119 appearances in his four seasons at the West London side, Giroud was a fan favourite and rightfully so.

The Frenchman showed professionalism and experience in his time at the blues.

He will go down as a cult figure at the club.

4) David Luiz

Returning to the club he was most associated with, David Luiz made the switch from PSG to Chelsea for £34 million in 2016.

After being placed in the middle of Conte’s back-three, Luiz soared to one of the top defenders in the country.

His first season back saw him win the Premier League title and secure a place in the PFA Team of the Year for 2016-17.

He went on to add an FA Cup and Europa League before leaving for Arsenal in 2019 after having disagreements with Frank Lampard, where he endured horribly for the most part.

3) Antonio Rudiger

What a turnaround for the German international. After some dodgy performances under Frank Lampard, the 28-year-old has proven his worth under Thomas Tuchel.

Becoming a no-nonsense defender who likes to play on the edge, Rudiger is one of the top defenders in England and in the world at the moment.

Being a major part of the Champions League-winning side of last season, Chelsea fans will hope the club sorts out his contract situation with many top European clubs circling for his signature.

2) Marcos Alonso

Alonso was signed by Chelsea along with David Luiz on transfer deadline day in 2016 for £23 million.

His signing was a key part of Conte’s success, with the Spaniard slotting in nicely to the left-wing back role.

Never the man for speed of strength, Alonso’s technique, free-kicks and overall reliableness to perform has still made him a key squad player to have around.

He always manages to survive with each transfer window and to that, you can only applaud his Michael Myers-like resilience

1. N’golo Kante

The little Frenchman has redefined the defensive midfield position that Claude Makelele made famous and for good reason.

Kante has been the beating heart of all of Chelsea’s success since his arrival in 2016, winning a Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League and Super Cup for the Blues.

He has gone on to win numerous individual awards since his arrival in England and will go down as one of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has ever seen.

A wonderful footballer and an even better human being, N’golo Kante deserves all the love he gets.

Ranking every Antonio Conte Chelsea signing

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