Mixed success from Mourinho's five previous Chelsea free transfers

As Mark Schwarzer arrives for nothing we look at the previous freebies picked up by Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea have snapped up former Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on a free transfer. The 40-year-old Australian will be playing back-up to number one stopper Petr Cech while Thibaut Coirtois continues his time out on loan at Atletico Madrid.

The club allowed Ross Turnbull and Henrique Hilario to leave in the summer and went after John Ruddy as the original target; but the free transfer of Bosman stopper Schwarzer in the end proved a good piece of business.

But it got me wondering; who else as Mourinho brought in before for nothing at Chelsea; and how successful were they?

Claudio Pizarro

Signed by the Portuguese manager in July of 2007 he was seen as a cost effective cover for the striking options after his contract at Bayern Munich came to an end.

However with extra competition soon arriving from Nicolas Anelka and Mourinho replaced by Avram Grant everyone forgot about his goal on his league debut against Birmingham City.

That was 50% if the goals that the Peruvian scored in the Premier League and he played just 678 Premier League minutes before being let join former team Werder Bremen in the summer.

Fabio Borini

Signed as a 16-year-old from Bologna there were high hopes over the development of this talented player.

But Borini was never given the chance to make the grade at Stamford Bridge and is now at Liverpool via Roma and an Italian international.

Michael Ballack

Perhaps the most successful of all of the free transfers for Mourinho at Chelsea the German international however his time with the club was also disrupted by injury.

Perhaps had his best time at the club under Carlo Ancelotti but is still well regarded at the club.

Steve Sidwell

This is where the signings become quite strange. Sidwell had been excellent at Reading the season before but at no point did he seem good enough to play at the level required to be a Chelsea player.

In the end it didn’t work out for him and after just a handful of starts he was flogged to Aston Villa the following summer.

Tal Ben Haim

Mourinho’s worst Bosman signing?


Brought in after an impressive season with Bolton Wanderers his time at the club fell apart when Avram Grant took over and he too left the following summer.

Will Schwarzer be more important than the majority of Mourinho’s past free transfers?

image: © jbagley

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