Goal Wicket

Ranking Chelsea’s 20 French players in the PL era

 

  1. Gael Kakuta

Unfortunately, Kakuta finds himself at the bottom of this list due to a transfer scandal that resulted in a temporary ban for his club. In 2007, he was signed from Lens as a talented young player, but two years later, his move to Chelsea caused a major legal dispute. The club was fined and Kakuta was banned for four months for violating his contract with Lens. Despite winning an appeal, the damage was already done, and Kakuta struggled to regain his form and confidence after the ban. He spent several seasons on loan before leaving for Sevilla in 2015, a free agent. Although he is now a senior international for the Democratic Republic of Congo, during his time at Chelsea, he was registered as French and played for their underage teams.

  1. Tiemoue Bakayoko

Tiemoue Bakayoko was one of the most highly-anticipated transfers to Chelsea, as he arrived from Monaco with a then-record transfer fee of £40 million. Despite this high cost, he failed to live up to the expectations and was loaned out after just one poor season. Despite this, he remains on the Chelsea roster and is currently on his second loan stint with AC Milan.

  1. Laurent Charvet

Charvet’s brief loan stint with the team in 1998 resulted in just 11 appearances, making his placement on this list at 16th place. Despite this, Charvet managed to leave a lasting impact by scoring two memorable goals, including the game-winning shot against Spurs and an impressive goal against Leeds.

  1. Lassana Diarra

Diarra’s football career is truly a testament to his versatility as a player. He has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid, and PSG. However, he has also had stints with less well-known teams such as Portsmouth, Anzhi Makhachkala, Lokomotiv Moscow, and Al Jazira in Abu Dhabi. The sequence in which he played for these teams is even more unusual, as he wrapped up his journeyman career with a final stop at PSG in 2019.

  1. Emmanuel Petit

Petit is renowned for his successful stint at Arsenal, however, his low placement at 14th on this list may not accurately reflect his talent. His move to Chelsea was a result of unfortunate circumstances and poor timing for both Petit and the club. The French midfielder joined Chelsea for the last three years of his career, following a disappointing transfer to Barcelona. Despite his impressive skills, Petit was frequently hindered by injuries, especially in his last season, which ultimately led to his retirement in 2004.

  1. Loic Remy

In 2014, Remy made a move to Chelsea under the management of Jose Mourinho. The club was looking for a striker who could provide a change of pace, and Remy fit the bill. Over the years, Remy has proved to be one of the few players who have never had any issues with Mourinho, which he attributes to the coach’s exceptional man-management skills. During the 2015-16 season, Remy was limited to just one goal. In 2016, he went on loan to Crystal Palace before eventually being released by Chelsea the next year. Despite being 35 years old, Remy continues to play professional football for Adana Demirspor in Turkey.

  1. Bernard Lamboude

During his three-year stay at Chelsea, Lamboude may not have been a regular starter but he certainly left his mark. In the 1997-98 season, he helped the team secure wins in the Cup Winner’s Cup and League Cup, as well as the 1998 Super Cup and 2000 Charity Shield. Despite his success at Chelsea, Lamboude was not content with just being a part of the winning team and decided to move to Portsmouth. At Portsmouth, winning was not a priority, and he continued to be a squad player.

  1. Malang Sarr

Malang Sarr is among a limited number of players at Chelsea who are on this list. He is not highly ranked due to his recent debut in the current season. Despite displaying potential at times, it is uncertain if he will have a lasting impact at the Stamford Bridge club.

  1. Wesley Fofana

Last summer, Fofana joined Todd Boehly’s team, but he hasn’t yet lived up to expectations with his performance in a Chelsea jersey. Despite this, he has previously proven himself as a top young defender in English football and there’s still ample opportunity for him to shine and make his mark in the future.

  1. Benoit Badiashile

Badiashile has quickly made an impact at Chelsea since his arrival in January 2023. Despite being a relatively unknown player prior to his £34 million move from Monaco, the young defender has impressed with his early Premier League performances. In his opening two matches, Badiashile played a key role in helping Chelsea secure two clean sheets, which has earned him the approval of the Stamford Bridge faithful. Only time will tell, but the early signs are promising for this talented young defender.

  1. Didier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps is a rare breed of footballer who has achieved the ultimate success as both a player and a manager. As one of only three individuals to have won the World Cup in both capacities, Deschamps has established himself as a true legend in the sport.

During the 1999-2000 season, Deschamps joined the Chelsea team and had an outstanding season. Known as the “water-carrier”, Deschamps came, carried out his duties, and left with an FA Cup victory. This was a continuation of his success in Italy and France, where he had previously won numerous titles.

  1. Kurt Zouma

Kurt Zouma experienced a highly successful stint with Chelsea, where he was a crucial member of the starting lineup and collected an abundance of accolades, including the coveted Champions League trophy. However, in 2021, Zouma decided to join forces with West Ham United, where he played an integral role in guiding his new team to the semi-finals of the Europa League competition. This transfer proved to be the perfect fit for both the player and the club.

  1. Nicolas Anelka

Le Sulk did it everywhere, but he arguably reached his nonchalant peak at Chelsea. Nicolas Anelka had a successful stint with Chelsea, playing for the club from 2008-2012. During his time at Chelsea, Anelka appeared in a total of 125 matches and scored 59 goals. He won numerous accolades with the club, including the Premier League title in 2010, the FA Cup in 2010 and 2012, and the Community Shield in 2009. Anelka was known for his clinical finishing and played an important role in Chelsea’s success during his time with the club.

  1. Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud made a change of colors in 2018, leaving Arsenal for Chelsea. Since joining the club, Giroud has become a valuable asset with a string of achievements including the Europa League, FA Cup and the Champions League.

Giroud has made a name for himself as one of the coolest players in football, and is loved by the fans at Stamford Bridge for his ability to score crucial goals at the right moment. In December 2020, Giroud made history as the oldest player in Premier League history to score in six consecutive starts at the age of 34, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished by a Chelsea player since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank in 2001.

  1. Florent Malouda

It’s simple to think that Florent Malouda’s longevity at Chelsea is solely attributed to the length of his time at the club. However, it’s important to acknowledge that he was actually a valuable player for them during his tenure from 2007 to 2013. He was a key contributor in winning three FA Cups, a Champions League trophy, and a Premier League title.

Although his last two seasons with Chelsea may have been more of a financial benefit for him, as he saw limited playing time and eventually left on unfavourable terms. After leaving the Blues, he continued his career playing for teams in France, India, and Luxembourg. Unfortunately, during his time in India, he suffered the embarrassment of a poor penalty attempt.

  1. William Gallas

William Gallas sparked controversy when he hinted at scoring an own goal in order to secure a transfer to Arsenal. Despite this outburst, his poor performance with the Gunners ensures that his reputation as a dominant defender at Chelsea remains intact. During his tenure with the Blues, Gallas played a crucial role in their defensive line and played a crucial role in the team’s success, including winning two consecutive Premier League titles and a League Cup. His contributions to the club make his legacy at Chelsea a lasting one.

  1. Frank Leboeuf

Frank Lebouef was a key player in Chelsea’s defense during the early 2000s and played a crucial role in securing multiple titles including two FA Cups, a League Cup, and the 1998 Cup Winners’ Cup. Despite his successful career in football, Lebouef was not content with just sticking to the sport. Before retiring, he started to explore the world of acting and has since been making waves in the entertainment industry.

One of Lebouef’s notable performances can be seen in the biographical movie about Stephen Hawking where he played the role of delivering the scientist’s diagnosis with intense seriousness. This performance earned the film an Oscar nomination and we can’t help but credit Lebouef for contributing to its success.

  1. Claude Makelele

The Makelele role is a term synonymous with excellence in defensive midfield play. During his time with Chelsea between 2003 and 2008, Claude Makelele redefined the role and helped lead the club to unprecedented success. Not only did he anchor the midfield, but his contributions were crucial in turning Chelsea into back-to-back English champions. Even in his twilight years, Makelele continued to perform at an elite level, playing a key role in Chelsea’s run to the Champions League final at the age of 35. Though they were unable to win it all, Makelele’s legacy and impact on the game will forever be remembered.

  1. Marcel Desailly

Marcel Desailly played for Chelsea from 1998 to 2004. During his time at the club, he made a total of 176 appearances and scored 6 goals. He was a key player for Chelsea, helping them win the FA Cup in 2000 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1998. Desailly was known for his strong defensive play and aerial prowess, earning him a reputation as one of the best center-backs of his generation. Despite leaving Chelsea in 2004, he remains a fan favorite and a memorable figure in the club’s history.

He is one of the greatest defenders to have ever played, and his six years at Chelsea deservedly sees him second on this list.

  1. N’Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante was undoubtedly a crucial figure in Chelsea’s 2016-17 Premier League title win during his first season with the club. However, there is no doubt that he was the standout player in their 2021 Champions League victory. Kante was named man of the match against Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and most importantly in the final against Manchester City. He delivered a magnificent performance as a defensive midfielder and showcased his mastery in the position.

One of the nicest men in football, he deserves this spot as Chelsea’s French players.

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