Will Ross Turnbull prove to be a shrewd signing or another Steve Sidwell?

Chelsea’s recent freebies haven’t had much success at the Bridge

Florent Malouda scoring past Ross Turnbull last season

Chelsea’s decision to bring in Ross Turnbull on a free transfer makes sense: they get to fill the squad place vacated last January by Carlo Cudicini on the cheap and if a year or two down the line they want to upgrade, he’s young enough for them to make a profit on him.

But is the former Middlesbrough keeper going to stay the duration of his four-year contract and prove a shrewd acquisition or will he be swiftly written of as a failure? Chelsea’s recent record at signing out-of-contract players suggest that the latter is more likely.

The last four players that the Blues have picked up for nothing – Steve Sidwell, Tal Ben Haim, Claudio Pizarro and Mineiro – started a combined 21 league games and were all shipped out, either permanently or on loan, at the end of their first season.

In fairness, Mineiro only signed for a year to provide cover while Michael Essien was injured last season but he earned £30,000-a-week throughout that campaign despite only playing 15 minutes of Premier League football.

Is Turnbull going to continue the run of miserable failures or will he buck the trend and bring back memories of summer 2006, when Bosman buys Michael Ballack and heroic understudy Hilario proved to be valuable acquisitions? Let us know what you think with a comment below.

1 response so far
  • Skylarkin // July 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    One thing people forget is that he is a english homegrown player, necessary for the Champions League regulations, and with no youth coming through at Chelsea they need a few more homegrown players to meet the quota, good move for player and club, back up keeper doesnt mean weakening your CL squad and Turnbull gets a good wage, a few league games and raised profile.

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