On 12 January 2008, Nicolas Anelka debuted for Chelsea, his eighth club in 14 years.
His appearance that day against Tottenham was a surprise, even to manager Avram Grant. The forward had signed for Chelsea just the day before and he had not even participated in a training session. But an injury to Claudio Pizarro forced Grant to bring Anelka on in the 58th minute with the Blues up 1-0. Although he didn't score, he quickly made an impact, hitting the bar once and forcing a difficult save from the Spurs keeper as Chelsea won 2-0.
Chelsea had paid £15 million to Bolton for the French forward. Combined with the fees paid for previous transfers, Anelka's various clubs had paid a total of £84.8 million for him, an amount that made him the world's most expensive footballer at the time. In addition to Bolton (2006-08), Anelka had played for PSG (1994-97, 2000-02), Arsenal (1997-99), Real Madrid (1999-2000), Liverpool (2002), Manchester City (2002-04), and Fenerbahçe (2004-06).
Anelka scored only 2 goals for Chelsea in that first season, but bagged a league-best 19 in his second season. He scored 59 across all competitions before leaving the club in 2012.