Radamel Falcao: How Mourinho’s Chelsea strikers fare in season one

Confirmation that Radamel Falcao is joining Premier League champions and [2.64] favourites Chelsea is thought to be imminent.

Excluding youth purchases, he would become the tenth forward signing of Jose Mourinho’s time at Stamford Bridge, inspiring us to look back at the previous nine in an attempt to assess how good the Portuguese tactician is at instantly maximising the goal-getters that he brings in…

Mateja Kezman (£5.3 million)

Mourinho’s first Chelsea striking recruit was doomed by a dismal start, scoring in none of his first 11 Premier League appearances before a 90th-minute penalty in a 4-0 rout of Newcastle in December. There was one highlight as he netted the decisive goal as the Blues beat Liverpool 3-2 in the League Cup final for Roman Abramovich’s first trophy. They also made their money back in selling to Atletico Madrid the next summer.

2004/05 Premier League Starts: 6 (18 sub)
2004/05 Premier League Goals: 4

Didier Drogba (£24 million)

It is easy to forget now that Drogba wasn’t critically acclaimed at the start of his initial Chelsea run, with his tumble-proneness attracting as much attention as his match-winning and Eidur Gudjohnsen out-starting him. His goal ratio was respectable though and he hung around for a further seven years, earning every major honour and twice securing the Premier League Golden Boot.

2004/05 Premier League Starts: 18 (8 sub)
2004/05 Premier League Goals: 10

Salomon Kalou (£9 million)

The Ivorian’s unremarkable post-Chelsea career at Lille and Hertha Berlin serves to obscure the fact that, while he never quite fulfilled his potential in west London, he was a deceptively important squad member, featuring over 250 times in his six seasons and departing as a Champions League winner. Even at a youthful 21, Mourinho started him in half of the club’s 2006/07 league games.

2006/07 Premier League Starts: 19 (14 sub)
2006/07 Premier League Goals: 7

Andriy Shevchenko (£30 million)

The second most expensive Chelsea forward signing overseen by Mourinho was by far the most disappointing, as a lifelong goal machine who averaged 18 per campaign across six years in fiendish Serie A struggled to four in his opening 30 Premier League outings. Five in eight starts and nine sub cameos in 2007/08 was a slight improvement, but not enough to stop the Blues from giving up on him soon after.

2006/07 Premier League Starts: 22 (8 sub)
2006/07 Premier League Goals: 4

Claudio Pizarro (Free)

The final attacking acquisition of Mourinho’s first stint took just 17 minutes to break his Premier League duck, yet had to deal with something that nobody else on this list encountered: the manager leaving in September. Chances were borderline non-existent under Avram Grant, especially after the winter arrival of Nicolas Anelka, and he declined to outstay his welcome, going on to find success in his 30s back at Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich.

2007/08 Premier League Starts: 4 (17 sub)
2007/08 Premier League Goals: 2

Samuel Eto’o (Free)

The Cameroonian legend’s time at Chelsea will likely be most remembered for Mourinho getting caught out on camera mocking his age. However, he delivered as much as was realistically possible from his limited opportunities, only being outscored by Eden Hazard. Two-thirds of his nine league goals were big-match contributions against Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal and a hat-trick past Manchester United.

2013/14 Premier League Starts: 16 (5 sub)
2013/14 Premier League Goals: 9

Diego Costa (£32 million)

The costliest Mourinho striker signing vindicated the outlay by not merely bettering but doubling the previous record for most league goals in a debut Chelsea season under the Special One’s guidance from 10 to 20. And he could have got away with the Golden Boot too if it wasn’t for that pesky hamstring. There was one significant box that he failed to tick though, firing blanks in all 11 of his cup appearances.

2014/15 Premier League Starts: 24 (2 sub)
2014/15 Premier League Goals: 20

Didier Drogba (Free)

Drogba’s final game at Stamford Bridge saw him carried off mid-match by his adoring teammates to rapturous applause from fans and hearty handshakes, hugs and high fives from Sunderland players in one of the most magnificently farcical Premier League scenes of this decade. It is fair to conclude that those celebrations owed more to his initial tenure that his one-year bench-warming return, yet he did score a few important goals, most notably away to Man United and Leicester.

2014/15 Premier League Starts: 8 (20 sub)
2014/15 Premier League Goals: 4

Loic Remy (£10.5 million)

The French speedster was third choice behind the more bullish duo of Costa and Drogba in 2014/15, severely hampering his pitch-time, but his performances when selected were difficult to fault. Remy converted Chelsea’s goal against Manchester City in January when the Citizens remained a threat, then grabbed crucial winners against Hull and Stoke as form dipped in the spring.

2014/15 Premier League Starts: 6 (13 sub)
2014/15 Premier League Goals: 7

The Average Chelsea Striker Recruit under Mourinho

First Season Premier League Starts: 14 (12 sub)
First Season Premier League Goals: 7