Ghana ace Michael Essien among the 89 players Mourinho signed for Chelsea

After Chelsea youngster Izzy Brown made his first-team debut for Jose Mourinho against West Brom on Monday night, he became the 89th player to have donned the blue shirt under the Portuguese boss with Ghana’s Michael Essien among the list.

It’s an impressive list, with star names such as Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack gracing the Stamford Bridge turf during Mourinho’s two spells as Chelsea manager.

Such stellar names have helped bring a decade of success to west London – the Blues have now won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups while under the guidance of Mourinho.

The 18-year-old Brown will no doubt be hoping he can emulate the glittering careers of Mourinho’s most trusted lieutenants, but what about those players who were handed a glimmer of first-team football only to slip quietly away from Stamford Bridge?

In 2004 – Mourinho’s first campaign at Chelsea – he was quick to make the big-money signings he felt a squad that had finished second the previous season needed.

Drogba came in for £24million, while Portuguese duo Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira followed Mourinho to England from Porto.

Those players, alongside Petr Cech, John Terry and Lampard, went on to form one of the strongest spines English football has ever seen.

However, the Portuguese boss will be the first to say that a championship-winning squad needs the kind of players that can fill in when needed and be prepared to sit on the bench for large spells during a season.

The 2004-05 squad included those kind of players. Russian midfielder Alexey Smertin is a perfect example of how the list of 89 varies.

Signed in 2003 for under £4m, Smertin made just 34 appearances for Chelsea despite a two-and-a-half-year spell at the club.

In that time, the former Bordeaux man collected Premier League, League Cup and Community Shield medals as Mourinho’s blue machine clicked into gear.

Smertin wasn’t the only one riding of the coattails of Terry and Co. Little known trio Filipe Oliveira, Steven Watt and Nuno Morais were also part of the title celebrations in 2005.

Scottish defender Watt was playing his way through Chelsea’s youth system in 2004 when he caught Mourinho’s eye. Now plying his trade with Maidstone United after spells at Grimbsy Town and Swansea City, Watt made just one appearance for the Blues.

Then 19, he lined up alongside Drogba, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Joe Cole and Glen Johnson for an FA Cup third-round tie against Scunthorpe, which Mourinho’s side won 3-1.

Crewe Alexandra midfielder Anthony Grant, nicknamed ‘Judge Dread’ during his time with Chelsea for a distinctive hairstyle, was touted as one of the club’s most promising youngsters.

The Lambeth-born star made his first-team debut in 2005 during the 3-1 Premier League win against Manchester United when Mourinho had already wrapped up his first title in English football.

Fast forward to the beginning of the 2005-06 season and Mourinho began his defence of the domestic title with a familiar look to his squad.

Ghana international Michael Essien came in from Lyon for £24m and Manchester City youngster Shaun Wright-Phillips sealed a £21m move to London.

Mourinho’s second season in charge resulted in another Premier League title success with the likes of Maniche, Robert Huth and English midfielder Jimmy Smith playing small parts.

Smith began his Chelsea career aged just nine and looked to be heading in the right direction towards the first team, but like many others before him, the now Crawley Town midfielder made just one appearance.

The Stamford Bridge faithful have also been treated to their fair share of cult heroes during the Mourinho era. Hernan Crespo, who scored 25 goals and won a Premier League title with the club, falls nicely into that category despite a broken five-year spell at Chelsea which was interrupted by a loan to AC Milan in 2005.

More recently, Samuel Eto’o quickly endeared himself to Chelsea fans for his cool finishing and passionate celebrations. Last season, the veteran striker managed 12 goals for Mourinho’s side during his one and only season at the club.

David Luiz and Juan Mata were popular characters, but Mourinho’s new style of selling high in a bid to compete with Financial Fair Play means fans have had to wave goodbye to both players.

Chelsea’s current crop, which includes the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Brown and Lewis Baker can take heart from the fact that Mourinho seems genuinely concerned about bringing youth through the ranks.

Speaking recently of Loftus-Cheek’s chances, Mourinho said: ‘Ruben is going to be a Chelsea player, that’s no doubt. We have other kids I also believe can perfectly do it. Good work (is being done) at academy level.’

Brown will be hoping he can become a household name under Mourinho rather than another one-appearance wonder.


Petr Cech – (2004-present) 517 total appearances

Glen Johnson – (2003-07) 71
Celestine Babayaro (1997-05) 177
Claude Makelele – (2003-08) 215
Alexey Smertin – (2003-06) 34
Ricardo Carvalho – (2004-10) 210
Adrian Mutu – (2003-05) 38
Frank Lampard – (2001-14) 649
Mateja Kezman – (2004-05) 40
Joe Cole – (2003-10) 282
Damien Duff – (2003-06) 125
William Gallas (2001-06) 225
Geremi – (2003-07) 108
Didier Drogba – (2004-12) 342
Arjen Robben – (2004-07) 106
Wayne Bridge – (2003-09) 142
Scott Parker – (2004-05) 28
Paulo Ferreira – Paulo Ferreira (2004-13) 217

Eidur Gudjohnsen – (2000-06) 262
Carlo Cudicini – (1999-09) 216
Mikael Forssell – (1998-05) 53
John Terry – (1997-present) 663
Jiri Jarosik -(2005-06) 20
Robert Huth – (2002-06) 62
Tiago Mendes – (2004-05) 52
Filipe Oliveira – (2002-06) 8
Steven Watt – (2004-06) 1
Nuno Morais – (2004-07) 9
Lenny Pidgeley – (2003-06) 2
Anthony Grant – (2004-08) 1
Asier del Horno – (2005-06) 35
Michael Essien – (2005-14) 257
Maniche – (2006-06) 11
Hernan Crespo – (2003-06) 73
Carlton Cole – (2001-06) 31
Lassana Diarra – (2005-07) 31
Shaun Wright-Phillips – (2005-08) 125
Jimmy Smith – (2005-09) 1
Andriy Shevchenko – (2006-09) 77
Khalid Boulahrouz – (2006-08) 23
Michael Ballack – (2006-10) 168
Salomon Kalou – (2006-12) 254
Hilario – (2006-14) 39
Ben Sahar – (2006-09) 5
Michael Woods – (2007-11) 2
Scott Sinclair – (2007-10) 14
Sam Hutchinson – (2006-14) 6
Tal Ben Haim – (2007-08) 21
Florent Malouda – (2007-13) 230
John Obi Mikel – (2006-present) 337
Steve Sidwell – (2007-08) 25
Ashley Cole – (2006-14) 339
Claudio Pizarro (2007-09) 31
Alex – (2004-2012) 86
Juliano Belletti – (2007-10) 95
Branislav Ivanovic – (2008-present) 311
Eden Hazard – (2012-present) 158
Oscar – (2012-present) 151
Ramires – (2010-present) 226
Gary Cahill – (2012-present) 155
Cesar Azpilicueta – (2012-present) 131
Andre Schurrle – (2013-15) 64
Willian – (2013-present) 90
Fernando Torres – (2011-15) 172
Samuel Eto’o – (2013-14) 35
David Luiz – (2011-14) 143
Demba Ba – (2013-14) 51
Nemanja Matic – (2014-present) 66
Juan Mata – (2011-14) 135
Mark Schwarzer – (2013-15) 12
Mohamed Salah (2014-present) 23
Kevin de Bruyne (2012-14) 13
Marco van Ginkel – (2013-present) 4
Tomas Kalas (2010-present) 4
Romelu Lukaku – (2011-14) 15
Ryan Bertrand – (2006-15) 57
Nathan Ake – (2012-present) 11
Lewis Baker – (2013-present) 1
John Swift – (2014-present) 1
Cesc Fabregas – (2014-present) 46
Kurt Zouma – (2014-present) 44
Thibaut Courtois – (2011-present) 38
Loic Remy – (2014-present) 43
Diego Costa – (2014-present) 44
Juan Cuadrado – (2015-present) 12
Andreas Christensen – (2012-present) 2
Dominic Solanke – (2014-present) 1
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (2014-present) 2
Izzy Brown (2015-present) 1

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