When it became clear John Stones wouldn’t be escaping the clutches of Everton no matter how much money their palms were greased with, Chelsea didn’t act with the poise of transfer market maestros Jose Mourinho claims them to be, but with the panic of rank amateurs.
After having a bid as big as £30m rejected for the England youngster, the Blues drafted in the budget-friendly Papy Djilobodji for a reported £6.7m, but they didn’t stop there.
Furious at having failed to spot Stones before he signed for the Merseyside outfit, the west Londoners dipped into the Championship for another fledgling superstar, paying Reading £4m for Michael Hector in the hope of never finding themselves at the mercy of the Everton moneymen again.
The latter was sent back to Berkshire for the remainder of the campaign, but Djilobodji will move straight from Nantes to west London, where he’ll compete with Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and John Terry for a starting spot.
Plenty have been lured to Stamford Bridge on deadline days past, with those to cost the biggest bucks often proving the worst purchases.
Juan Cuadrado’s £23.3m acquisition came in the final moments of the 2015 winter window, eclipsing less than half of the £50m forked out for Fernando Torres in January 2011.
But for these two flops, there are more last-second success stories, especially when the Premier League champions have signed defenders in the closing moments of the allotted transfer periods.
David Luiz snuck in via the back door while the Torres hysteria was taking place in 2011, costing the club £21.7m from Benfica.
After helping Chelsea to win a Premier League, a couple of FA Cups and the Champions League, the big-haired Brazilian was shipped off to Paris Saint-Germain for £50m, more than double the amount he cost the club three-and-a-half years later.
His replacement was towering Frenchman Zouma, the last player they bought from Ligue 1 prior to Djilobodji.
The 20-year-old cost a sure-to-be bargain £12m and was a key player for Chelsea in their conquering of the Premier League last term, earning his first international cap courtesy of some impressive post-Christmas performances.