Jose Mourinho is a football manager who is held in the same regard as, if not higher than, some of the best in the game. He’s had an illustrious career in which not worrying about who he offended was highly beneficial.
His methods were outlandish, and his football philosophy was not always graceful and entertaining. But Jose Mourinho knew one thing, and he was pretty good at it: he knew how to win. He ushered in the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea and helped them win major trophies.
Some believe Jose Mourinho has a bad attitude and is arrogant. Why wouldn’t you be complacent if you’ve managed Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid and won all of their domestic leagues?
Naturally, as Jose Mourinho went to these clubs and built a team with a winning pedigree, he recruited talent from within and outside of Europe to propel his team forward. But, after all, he was only human, and he made mistakes. Some of the players he signed fell far short of the expectations of the club he was in charge of.
Jose Mourinho made some terrible acquisitions. They were unable to compete with the first-team regulars and were either loaned out or sold at the first opportunity. Surprisingly, some players were not even signed by Jose Mourinho but are still credited as his signings.
For example, Papy Djilobodji, who joined Chelsea from Nantes for £4 million, was not included on this list. The Chelsea manager admitted to reporters that he did not approve of Djilobodji’s signing. Even if we grant him that concession, he’s still made many bad signings. Here are Jose Mourinho’s five worst signings in his managerial career:
We’ve all seen him in the Real Madrid squad in multiple versions of FIFA and wondered if he plays for them. Well, he appears to have done so, thanks to Jose Mourinho. Los Blancos paid €30 million in 2011 for a player who was always going to be Marcelo’s backup.
The Portuguese left-back never demonstrated that he had a high ceiling, but he was still regarded well at Real Madrid’s level. Fabio Coentrao did not appear to be developing over time, and he remained at the same level. On the contrary, he was regressing and lacked inspiration on the field.
Coentrao’s deal went from bad to worse on so many levels, as he only made 89 appearances for the club. Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea in 2013, but Real Madrid kept the Portuguese left-back on their payroll until they decided to terminate his contract in 2018.
It’s disheartening to see glimpses of a great player in the making and then see those glimpses diminish from time to time. They appear out of nowhere and then vanish. When Chelsea signed Shaun Wright-Phillips in 2005, he was a promising young player.
Jose Mourinho’s winger is better off going down and being remembered as a misfired shot by the Portuguese. Wright Phillips was fast, and he was fast in a big way. But Jose Mourinho should have realized that in order for the winger to fit into Chelsea’s system and philosophy, he would have to play against his natural game.
The ex-Manchester City player clearly struggled to replicate his performances on a consistent basis. Even at the time of his signing, his goal return was not exceptional enough to justify such a large fee.
He had seven and eleven goals in 34 and 33 Premier League games in his previous two seasons. He signed for Chelsea based on those credentials and ended up being a failure. Phillips only found the back of the net 10 times for Jose Mourinho’s team in 125 appearances.
As we continue down our list, Chelsea fans must believe Jose Mourinho brought a slew of underwhelming players to the club. Yes, he did, and Baba Rahman is now on our list. The Portuguese midfielder was in his second stint with the Blues, having signed a four-year contract in August 2015.
If Jose Mourinho had known he would have a disastrous first season and leave Chelsea in December of that year, he would never have spent £23 million on Baba Rahman. As an injury-prone player, the Ghana international struggled to gain traction with the first team.
He felt a little behind Premier League standards as well but lacked the fitness to keep running at match pace. At 26, he should be entering his prime and playing regular first-team football for a European club. At the very least, that is his desire, but he is currently playing for Chelsea’s under 23s. Oh, Jose Mourinho, look what you did: you left him alone while you went to Manchester United.
In his first season, he made 15 appearances and was able to throw tackles from the left-back position to protect the defensive line. Managers came and went, loan spells came and went, but Baba Rahman remained a figure lost in obscurity. Surprisingly, he is still under contract with Chelsea and has played 10 games on loan at Reading this season.
Mateja Kezman thoroughly enjoyed his time at Chelsea. He was reported to have said: “But the move to Chelsea fulfilled all of my dreams. That was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me.” Oh, how the Chelsea fans wish they could say the same thing, but they can’t!
Maybe Jose Mourinho was faultless with this one, but the steep decline was so severe that it had to rank among his worst signings. Didier Drogba and Kezman were both strikers for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, which is the only thing they have in common.
Seven goals in 41 appearances for £5 million in 2004 does not appear to be too bad. Except it was the goal return of a striker who scored 105 times in 122 appearances for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. He only stayed in Jose Mourinho’s camp for one season because the Portuguese realized Kezman lacked the ability to deal with Premier League defenses.
Asier Del Horno
We believe Jose Mourinho’s reluctance to invest in one-season wonders began here. Athletic Bilbao’s Asier Del Horno was a talented left-back who appeared in nearly 140 games for the club. He was known for being a forward threat and was very useful in the final third.
Jose Mourinho attempted to bring in Ashley Cole from Arsenal, but that was delayed by a year, so Del Horno was used as a stopgap measure. When Chelsea spent around £10 million on the Spaniard, it was thought that he could be a good long-term option, but he wasn’t.
He had a successful season in which he scored three goals and assisted on four others in La Liga. Although he was a good forward, his defensive ability was always questionable, and he frequently made rash tackles in panic.
In his first season, he made 25 appearances for Chelsea and even won the Premier League. However, with the arrival of Ashley Cole, Jose Mourinho was not going to stick with such a risky figure in defense. Del Horno is best known for hacking a 17-year-old Lionel Messi and receiving a red card during his Chelsea days. Jose Mourinho, good riddance!