Who makes the top 5 list of Chelsea’s greatest centre forwards?

It was no secret that a lack of scoring power was one of the main reasons that Chelsea had such a dreadful time in the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. The Blues averaged exactly a goal per game with Kai Havertz top-scoring with seven. Three different managers didn’t help either and things were just a mess from start to finish.

Despite splashing millions around in the transfer market trying to put together a title-challenging squad, there was a massive oversight in not purchasing a goalscorer, something that the club needed. But that season is in the past. 

The Blues moved early in the summer of 2023 to sign Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig in the hope of solving their goalscoring problems. While waiting to see if Nkunku works out, punters now have to turn their attention to next season at bookmakers who are ready to offer them many options including betting without deposits. Can he, over time, establish himself on the list of the greatest-ever Chelsea strikers?

Who’s not on the List?

It often feels like strikers are completely cursed as soon as they walk into Stamford Bridge. There have been high-profile misses like Fernando Torres, Mateja Kežman, Demba Ba, Andriy Shevchenko and Remy Loic. But there have been huge success stories too. Some strikers have firmly booked their ‘legend’ status at Chelsea.

For the record, Gianfranco Zola would have easily been on the list, but his position was more of a second striker. The same goes for Peter Osgood, a player of panache more than centre-forward power. With that in mind, here are our top five players that have led the Chelsea forward line.

Didier Drogba

There are probably not many that would have expected Didier Drogba not to be top of the list. The Ivorian was blue through and through, but his arrival at the Bridge looked to be one of those cursed ones. Drogba was clumsy and appeared to be well short of quality on his arrival.

But Drogba stuck to the task and the Blues built an empire on the pitch around him. He won it all with Chelsea, including the UEFA Champions League. If ever there has been a man for the big moment, it was Drogba. He had the magic touch in three FA Cup Finals and netted that dramatic late Champions League equaliser against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final, before scoring the title-winning penalty in the shoot-out. “Legend” probably doesn’t do him justice.

Diego Costa

Could Diego Costa be called Chelsea’s greatest Premier League-era centre-forward? Arguably yes, the Spaniard can or at least he’s right up there with Drogba, and arguably a better all-round player. Costa was a controversial player who liked to play it rough and wind up opponents. But one thing he wasn’t, was someone who would shy away from responsibility and hard work. 

More often than not Costa would battle for the ball to create his own chances. There wasn’t the greatest reliance on playmakers around him to bolster his output. He was happy to do it himself. Costa arrived with a reputation as a tough man. He left the Bridge with that reputation firmly intact, but ‘The Guv’nor’ also went with two Premier League titles under his belt.

Kerry Dixon

Kerry Dixon has to be on the list and to this day sits third on Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer chart. Dixon, who somehow never got the recognition at the international level that he deserved, only earned eight caps for England, during which he scored four goals. 

Still, Dixon is one of the most well-loved figures from Chelsea’s history and was prolific for the club. Dixon tallied 193 goals for Chelsea in all competitions in a decade. He was loyal as well, joining Chelsea when they were in the old Second Division and staying with them when they were relegated back there in 1988. His goals got them back up immediately.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Chelsea were lucky in that they got Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink right at the peak of his career. He was a well-journeyed player and the Dutchman, a former Premier League player with Leeds, was snapped up by Chelsea from Atlético Madrid in 2000. Hasselbaink slipped right into the picture at the Bridge.

He arrived with a bang, scoring more than twenty goals in his first two seasons with the Blues. Hasselbaink proved to be the perfect fit with another Chelsea great Eidur Gudjohnsen, who together made the greatest forward duo in Chelsea history. Gudjohnsen would produce magic with his creative ability and Hasselbaink would be there to finish. 

Bobby Tambling

In a career that started in 1959 with the Blues, Bobby Tambling tallied 202 goals for the club across all competitions in just 370 appearances. He is one of the Chelsea greats but often gets overlooked by other greatest like Peter Osgood and Gianluca Vialli. Within the club circles though, Tambling is a legend and more than worthy of a spot in any Chelsea All-Time XI.


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