The 6 Germans to Play for Chelsea Before Timo Werner Makes it 7 - Ranked

Antonio Ruediger
Germany and Chelsea star Antonio Rüdiger | TF-Images/Getty Images

There has been an eruption of excitement at Stamford Bridge after it was revealed that Chelsea had come out of nowhere to secure the signing of Timo Werner from under the nose of Liverpool.

Werner is one of the most sought-after strikers around in a limited market, and only Robert Lewandowski has scored more goals in the Bundesliga than him this season - so Chelsea, it's a real coup.

Germany have great pedigree in world football, boasting four World Cups and three European Championships at international level, as well as six Champions Leagues at club level. German players are often praised for their work ethic and determination to win, and Werner will doubtless add a lot to a Chelsea front line which already includes Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and the incoming Hakim Ziyech.

The Blues don't have a long list of German's to have previously played for them however, with Werner set to become only the seventh to ever pull on the Chelsea shirt. The previous six are a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from club legends to total flops.

Let's take a look...

Sebastian Kneißl

Chelsea waited until the year 2000 to sign their first German player - although Sebastian Kneißl can't claim to be the first to play for the club.

Signed in July 2000 from Eintracht Frankfurt's youth set up, Kneißl came with a big reputation, which was further enhanced by his occasional wonderkid performances on Championship Manager 2000/01.

He spent five years in west London - in the same reserve side as Carlton Cole - never once making it onto the pitch for the senior team. After poor loan spells at Dundee and Westerlo, he was released to SV Wacker Burghausen in his native Germany. Good start.

Marko Marin

Marko Marin
Marko Marin was supposed to be the next big thing, but Chelsea must've confused him with Ozil | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

There was a time when Marko Marin was one of the most exciting young players in the world - even dubbed 'the German Messi'. Then he signed for Chelsea.

The £8m fee was seen as a bargain at the time, but it soon became apparent why Werder Bremen accepted such a low offer.

Marin never got going, looked out of his depth, and spent three of the four years he was contracted to Chelsea out on loan at an ever-decreasing quality of club - Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Trabzonspor - before Olympiakos finally ended his nightmare. Currently not fulfilling his potential in Saudi Arabia after leaving Serbia's Red Star in January, Marin only avoids being bottom here by virtue of Kneißl never playing.

Robert Huth

Robert Huth of Chelsea celebrates scoring Chelsea's second goal
Robert Huth was a bit of a cult figure at Chelsea | Ben Radford/Getty Images

Signing in 2001, it was Huth who became the first German to actually play for Chelsea, though his time at Stamford Bridge is often forgotten about. Nonetheless, Huth managed 63 games for Chelsea during a transitional period in the clubs history, as he was there during the Abramovich takeover.

A very capable centre-back, Huth managed enough appearances between 2004 and 2006 to collect two Premier League winners' medals, despite Chelsea having that legendary partnership of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho. He is, however, much better remembered for being a key member of Leicester's historic title-winning team of 2015/16, coming after a solid career at Middlesbrough and Stoke.

Andre Schürrle

Andre Schuerrle
The reason Salah and De Bruyne were seen as surplus to requirements... and who can blame Chelsea? Schürrle was excellent | Clive Mason/Getty Images

Schürrle was an often overlooked figure at Stamford Bridge, but he never let Chelsea down when he was on the pitch.

Schürrle signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013 for €22m, during a rebuilding summer which also saw Willian arrive. Deployed out wide over Mohammed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne, he became a fan favourite during his maiden season at the Bridge.

After a great 2014 World Cup, in which he assisted the tournament-winning goal, his game time reduced as Chelsea won the league, and he was sold to Wolfsburg for €32m at the end of the January transfer window.

Antonio Rüdiger

Antonio Rudiger
One of the Premier League's finest defenders, Antonio Rudiger | Visionhaus/Getty Images

One of Chelsea's current stars, Antonio Rüdiger is one of the finest centre-backs in the Premier League.

Rudi has made 105 appearances for Chelsea since his €35m transfer from Roma in 2017 and shown his defensive capabilities, as well as his attacking prowess when he bagged a brace against Leicester in February.

Chelsea always look like a far better team with Rüdiger at the back, and he inspires confidence in everyone around him. Chelsea fans will no doubt hope that he and Werner can become a famous duo at the club for years to come.

Michael Ballack

Ballack was instrumental to Chelsea's midfield
Ballack was instrumental to Chelsea's midfield | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

One of the greatest free transfers in the history of the sport, Michael Ballack took Chelsea up a level when he joined from Bayern Munich in 2006. Among the finest players of his generation, Ballack was the complete midfielder who improved the play of everyone around him, including a certain Frank Lampard.

Ballack was tasked with helping an ageing Claude Makélélé's transition out of the team, and without the German, there's no telling what could have happened to that midfield.

The German deserved more than one Premier League title to show for his 167 games for Chelsea, thankfully he had three Bundesliga medals on his mantelpiece already.