Top 5 Players Chelsea Let Go Prematurely Featuring Man Utd & Everton Stars
Here we look at the top 5 players that Chelsea have let go prematurely featuring players from Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City.
This week Liverpool are reportedly on the verge of signing Mohamed Salah from Roma for a club record fee. Salah has impressed during his stint in Rome, just as he did when he was on loan in Fiorentina. On loan from who? From Chelsea; who proceeded to sell him on following only five starts. He’s part of a long list of players who rolled straight off the Chelsea transfer conveyor belt without having really been given a chance. Here, we look at the top 5 players that they let go prematurely…
Disclaimer: This list will not include players from the early Abramovich era of ‘let’s by players so no-one else can have them’; meaning that Steve Sidwell, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Scott Parker are all void.
Honourable Mentions: David Luiz and Nemanja Matic can both be filed under ‘Mulligans’, and Daniel Sturridge misses out due to persistent injuries. Players who ply their trade away from the Premier League also miss out (sorry Felipe Luis and Arjen Robben), as do players who moved on when they were past their prime – respect to Peter Cech and Ashley Cole.
In at 5… Frank Lampard
Now I know that I said players past their prime didn’t count, and Frank was definitely past his prime in his mid-30’s when he departed from Chelsea. But a player of his standard should never have been able to leave in such a way. He has spoken in depth about how he regrets not being able to give a proper goodbye to the Stamford Bridge crowd; especially as it led to an emotional but peculiar show of gratitude to a section of Away fans at the Etihad after he’d just scored against them. He deserved another year, or at least a more gracious exit.
In at 4… Juan Mata
Juan Mata fell foul to just not clicking with then-coach Jose Mourinho; ironic given where they’ve both ended up. Mata has shown that he still possesses a great deal of quality during his time at Old Trafford, and in a front 3 that often features Rashford, Lingard or Martial, a more experienced head is always appreciated. Given that Chelsea will play twice a week for at least the first 3 months of the season, Mata would give genuine quality in depth, and a back-up plan if injuries struck.
In at 3… Ryan Bertrand
It’s easy to forget that Ryan Bertrand performed exceptionally in Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League victory in Munich, and essentially did so as a defensive left-winger; a position which Chelsea have reportedly been looking for back-up in recent weeks. Marcos Alonso has been generally faultless, but Bertrand’s youth and experience at the highest level would present Conte with some good competition for places. Bertrand has become a reliable Left-back at Southampton and has the footballing quality to slot in at Wing-Back if needed. It might not be long before he’s playing football with a bigger fish in Europe once again…
The Runner-up is… Romelu Lukaku
I’ve been the first to cast doubt over Lukaku’s quality and ability to perform in big games. But given his raw power, strength and proven goal scoring record, a top team and manager would surely get the best out of him. Reliable service from wide and a team built around him at the highest level would be the greatest test of his ability, and with talk of Diego Costa’s exit, Romelu might well have got his chance if he hadn’t have been let go; A chance that he might get again if the transfer rumours are correct.
The Winner is… Kevin De Bruyne
An easy win this one for Kevin. At only 25, De Bruyne has so much potential and football to play. He’s proven himself to be lethal in his tenure at City, and alongside David Silva and Raheem Sterling he forms one of the scariest attacking trio the league has seen (That Sergio Aguero lad isn’t bad either). If only he had one of the World’s Greatest Managers in his ear… There doesn’t seem to be anything stopping De Bruyne reaching the top of the footballing hierarchy, apart from a lack of success at International level. Chelsea must rue letting the Belgian international go, as he has shown himself to be a difference-maker at the highest level.
It’s worth mentioning of course that Chelsea are reigning Champions, so they’ve done alright I suppose…
Follow George On Twitter @George_W_Keaney
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