All Time Top Five: Chelsea strikers
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Leading the line for Chelsea is not an easy task, but the responsibility has been embraced by many fantastic strikers in West London.

From Diego Costa to Bobby Tambling, there is an abundance to choose from.

We rank the best number nines to ply their trade at Stamford Bridge.

  • Fernando Torres

Much was expected of Fernando Torres when he signed from Liverpool in what was a club record £50 million deal, but unfortunately the Spaniard was never prolific in blue. 

During his four years at Chelsea, Torres managed just 20 goals, but the striker's contribution to the UEFA Champions League semi-final victory in 2012 was enough to earn him a place in Chelsea folklore. 

With the minutes ebbing away at the Camp Nou and Barcelona getting more desperate in their attempts to get ahead in the tie, Torres came on off the bench and took advantage of the Catalan's high line to score the goal that sealed a place in the final, en route to their first ever European title.

A year later Torres scored the opening goal of the Europa League final victory over Benfica, helping the Blues to a second successive European triumph.

  • Diego Costa

It didn't take Diego Costa long to become a hero in the eyes of the Chelsea faithful after trading La Liga football for the Premier League.

In his first seven league games, the striker's return of nine goals, including a hat-trick against Swansea, was the fast start that Jose Mourinho wanted for his new frontman and he finished the 20 goals as the Blues won the league and the Capital One Cup.

The Spaniard became a force that struck fear into the hearts of defenders all over the country and won the league again under Antonio Conte in 2017. 

Often described as a player you would hate to play against but love to play with, his ferocity and passion earned him a place in the hearts of Chelsea fans during his time in West London and in the years since.

  • Kerry Dixon

During a nine-year stay at Chelsea from 1983 to 1992, Kerry Dixon become one of the club's most popular strikers of all time. 

The club were in the Second Division when Dixon signed from Reading and in his first year, he managed an amazing 34 goals as the club claimed the title.

He was able to continue his form in the top flight, winning the Golden Boot with 36 goals and earning his first England cap.

Unfortunately, Dixon's career was severely hindered by a serious injury that meant he was never the same again and the club were relegated back down to the Second Division in 1988. 

The striker was able to rekindle some of his form and led the Blues to another Second Division title with 25 goals. 

His total of 193 Chelsea goals has been bettered by only two players.

  • Bobby Tambling

Before current Chelsea manager Frank Lampard became the club's all-time top goalscorer in 2013, the honour belonged to Bobby Tambling for over 40 years. 

The forward made his Chelsea debut at 17 in 1959, scoring in a 3-2 victory over West Ham.

Tambling was used primarily as a winger during his first couple of seasons at Chelsea, but when Jimmy Greaves left for AC Milan in 1961, his career as a striker truly began.

He managed 22 goals in his first full campaign and the following year became the youngest captain to lead a team to promote, scoring 37.

From 1961 to 1969, Tabling managed more than 10 league goals every season. During this period he won his only silverware as a Chelsea player, scoring in the League Cup final victory over Leicester City.

Tambling holds the record for most league goals scored in a single game for Chelsea, scoring five in a 6-2 win at Villa Park.

In 11 years at Stamford Bridge he scored 202 goals.

  • Didier Drogba

"Judge him when he leaves the club," Jose Mourinho famously said when his signing of Didier Drogba from Marseille was questioned in 2004.

The Ivorian became an icon for the blues, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and most notably the club's first ever Champions League. 

The man for the big occasion, Drogba's record in cup finals was almost perfect, scoring 10 in 10 and winning 10 trophies.

He won the Golden Boot during Carlo Ancelotti's league success of 2010 with 29 league goals, the most of any Chelsea player in the Premier League era.

The 201/12 season was easily Drogba's most memorable, guiding Chelsea to FA Cup and Champions League success.  

His goal in the cup semi-final against Spurs set the blues on the way to an emphatic victory over their bitter rivals and his goal proved the difference in the final against Liverpool.

During the club's iconic Champions League campaign, the Ivorian scored important goals against Napoli and Barcelona before heading in the equaliser in the final against Bayern Munich and netting the penalty to win the penalty shootout.

Drogba will go down as one of the greatest Chelsea players of all time and the man responsible for the club's greatest achievement.

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