4 – Ashley Cole
The signing of Ashley Cole was a major coup for Chelsea. He was widely regarded as the best left back in the world and was a key player at their title rivals, Arsenal.
It was a controversial signing not just because of the rivalry between the two clubs but also because it was discovered that Cole had been illegally ‘tapped up’. Cole, Mourinho and Chelsea were fined for meeting in a hotel without Arsenal’s knowledge or consent.
However, Cole eventually signed for a bargain price of £5m with William Gallas going the other direction. He has been a consistent performer ever since. He has rarely been injured and has played at least 35 games every season since the switch.
He has won everything there is to win at Chelsea including all the domestic honours. He was on target in the penalty shootout in the Champions League final when the club were crowned European Champions.
To sign a player who was one of the best in the country for a decade for such a low fee was a fantastic piece of business by Mourinho.