Chelsea never saw how good they would become
Chelsea are hailed to have one of the best youth academies in the world. John Terry, the former England skipper and centre-back was a product of Chelsea academy. Michael Emenalo, Chelsea’s former technical director was credited for his brilliant scouting skills. He made bargain signings like Cesar Azpilicueta, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard to name a few.
However, there has been a culture of delivering instant glory at the Stamford bridge. Chelsea have consistently changed managers and never been in anything like “Arsenal & Wenger” idea of romance.
This has cost the Londoners in a unique way. The youth has never been given a chance to prove its worth. Chelsea have had some exceptional talent over the years but have barely given anyone a breakthrough. They have constantly been selling some promising youngsters whose performances later, have left the Blues baffled with their own decision.
Here, we take a look at five players who should have never been sold by Chelsea.
#5 Ryan Bertrand
Ryan Bertrand, the Southampton full-back is considered to be one of the best in the positions. The Englishman was a product of Chelsea’s youth academy. He was constantly being loaned since his arrival in London. In 2010, the left-back finally made a first team appearance as a substitute and provided an assist for Malouda.
The English defender was handed a professional contract by Chelsea and was a part of their Champions League winning squad in 2012. However, there was a substantial lack of game time for Bertrand at the Bridge. He made only 28 appearances for the Blues in his six year tenure with the club.
In 2015, Chelsea sold the player to Southampton for a fee believed to be £10 million. The full-back was named in the PFA Team of the Year at the end of the season.
Since his departure, Chelsea have spent more than £60 million on the left-back position.
#4 Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben, the Dutch flying machine arrived at Chelsea from PSV in 2004. In his first season, he was already competing with Wayne Rooney for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
The Dutch winger played on the left flank for Chelsea. Robben proved to be of great importance to Jose Mourinho as Chelsea secured two back to back English titles for the first time in their history.
In his spell with Blues, Robben scored 19 goals and ruled the flanks for his team. His form got the attention of Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Chelsea decided to sell the winger to the Spanish giants.
What Robben has achieved since then with Madrid and Bayern Munich needs no introduction. The trademark “Robben runs” where he beats the marker and cuts inside to curl the ball with his lethal left foot is a sight to be bestowed with.
#3 Romelu Lukaku
The current Manchester United No.9 was another player who left Chelsea in search of game time. The Belgian striker was signed by the Blues at the age of 17 in 2011. Lukaku spent much of his first year in London playing for reserves.
Chelsea loaned the striker in 2012 to West Brom, where he bagged 17 goals in 38 appearances. At the start of 2013 season, Lukaku returned to London but was eventually loaned to Everton. Lukaku netted 16 times in the league, more than the combined efforts of three Chelsea strikers in the entire season.
In 2014, he was named by The Guardian as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe. Chelsea, however, sold the Belgian to Everton in 2015 on permanent basis. Lukaku led Everton’s attack and regularly featured in the Premier League Top Scorers list for the next three seasons.
In 2017, Chelsea were ready to pay a club record fee to bring the striker back to Stamford Bridge. However, Manchester United secured his signature and made him their second most expensive player after Paul Pogba.
#2 Mohammed Salah
Mohammed Salah was signed by Chelsea in 2014 from FC Basel. He became the first Egyptian to play for Chelsea but only managed 13 league appearances in two seasons for the London club.
He was eventually loaned to Fiorentina, where he stayed for just six months, netting nine times in the process. Salah was subsequently loaned to AS Roma in August 2015 with an option of a permanent transfer at the end of loan period.
Roma signed Salah on permanent basis in 2016 and in his two years at the club, the Egyptian winger made 83 appearances and scored 34 goals.
In the summer of 2017, Liverpool pursued the player and secured him for a club record fee. Since his return to England, Salah has scored 21 league goals for Liverpool and has been a revelation this season.
He also scored the opening goal against Chelsea in the 1-1 home draw. Salah is tearing the defences apart with his pace and precision, while Chelsea are struggling for a proper attacking source this season.
#1 Kevin De Bruyne
By now you would probably be imagining a Chelsea team with all the aforesaid players. Well, you can add Kevin De Bruyne to the line-up. The Belgian midfielder was signed by Chelsea in 2012 on the deadline day in January.
In the subsequent summer, as you would probably be guessing, he was loaned out to Werder Bremen. No sooner the player arrived in Germany, Borussia Dortmund expressed their interest in the Belgian. However, with Mourinho’s arrival in 2013, any talks regarding a move for the player were scrapped.
Six months later, Chelsea decided to sell the player to Wolfsburg. The Belgian played in the Bundesliga for the next three years and scored 18 goals and providing 26 assists in the process.
Manchester City broke the bank for De Bruyne and he is now considered to be among the best players in the world at the moment. The midfielder netted a sensational 25-yard screamer against Chelsea, sealing the points for his team at Stamford Bridge this season.