The incredible former Chelsea player XI from Mo Salah and Kevin De Bruyne to Arjen Robben
Chelsea have managed to attract some of the biggest stars in world football to Stamford Bridge since Roman Abramovich rocked in 2003, but they have also let a number of top talents slip through their fingers.
Abramovich’s arrival in west London preceded 18 trophy-rich years for the Blues, who have won five Premier League titles, as many FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions Leagues under his ownership. .
The Russian has signed iconic names over the years to achieve these triumphs, such as Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, N’Golo Kante and Ashley Cole.
However, Chelsea also have an incredible XI of players that they maybe let go a bit too early, which we’ve rounded up below…
The Belgian goalkeeper spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid after first signing at Chelsea in 2011 and returned in 2014 with a La Liga winner’s medal.
Courtois helped the Blues achieve Premier League glory in two of his first three seasons at Bridge, before leaving in 2018 to join Real Madrid – where he won another La Liga title in 2019/20.
A product of the club’s academy, Ake has only made 17 appearances in five professional years at Chelsea and has spent the majority of his time on loan.
The Dutchman left in 2017 and signed for Bournemouth, where he impressed enough to win a £ 41million transfer to Manchester City last year.
While his time at City has so far been plagued with injuries, at 26 he still has his best years ahead of him.
Who do you think is Chelsea’s biggest transfer regret? Let us know in the comments section below.
Tomori gained many admirers when he burst onto the scene under Frank Lampard in the 2019/20 campaign, but for reasons that remain a bit of a mystery he fell out of favor the following season.
The 23-year-old sealed a move to AC Milan in January and is already showing his skills at San Siro, with England boss Gareth Southgate calling him back to his squad this month.
The French center-back spent seven years at Chelsea after joining Saint-Etienne in 2014, playing an important role in their 2014/15 Premier League victory.
After a series of loans, he became a key member of the Lampard squad from 2019 until early this year, but he lost his place on the squad when Thomas Tuchel arrived in January.
Zouma moved to West Ham this summer and, at 26, could prove Tuchel and the Blues are wrong for letting him go.
A one-season wonder at Stamford Bridge, Luis made a £ 16million transfer from Atletico Madrid in 2014 and helped Jose Mourinho’s side to the Premier League title that season.
The Brazilian left-back only returned to Atletico a year after his stint at Chelsea, reaching the Champions League final again in 2016 and winning the Europa League in 2018.
Kevin De Bruyne
The masterful Belgian midfielder is undoubtedly one of Chelsea’s biggest transfer regrets, having been landed by Mourinho after just one season at the club in 2013/14.
He signed for Wolfsburg and showed enough potential for Manchester City to pay him a record £ 55million in 2015, which raised eyebrows at the time.
But the fee has turned out to be a steal over the past six years, with De Bruyne becoming one of the best midfielders in world football under Pep Guardiola. A real disaster for the Blues.
While they won’t regret his departure as much as De Bruyne’s, Chelsea may have benefited from keeping Romeu longer than his two-year stint at Bridge from 2011 to 2013.
The Spanish midfielder performed so well in his debut campaign that ex-Barcelona club were tempted to activate his buyout clause, but Mourinho deemed him to be in excess of requirements upon his return in 2013.
After loans at Valencia and Stuttgart, Romeu joined Southampton in 2015 and has been a regular player for the Premier League midfield team.
Another major regret, Salah gave the impression that the Blues bosses look stupid for having sanctioned his departure in 2016.
After a decent campaign in Rome, Liverpool shelled out £ 37million to bring him to Anfield, where he carved his name into football folklore.
The Egyptian, who claims to be the best player in the world right now, has scored a scary 134 goals in 212 games for the Reds, winning the Premier League and Champions League. Another nightmare for Chelsea.
The Spain playmaker was voted Chelsea’s Player of the Year in each of his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge and won the Champions League in 2012, but Mourinho’s return a year later marked the start of the end for him in SW6.
After struggling for playing time under the Portuguese, Mata moved to Manchester United in 2014, where he remains today.
Although his time at Old Trafford was not a big success, there is still a feeling of what could have been for Mata at Chelsea.
Robben got his hands on two Premier League titles with Chelsea and was at the top of his game before injuries essentially marred his third and final season at the club.
Mourinho therefore allowed the Dutchman to go to Real Madrid in 2007, but it was at next club Bayern Munich that he would experience his greatest success, winning eight Bundesliga titles and the Champions League while cementing his status as a one of the best strikers on the planet.
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It is certainly too early to say that Chelsea regret selling the 24-year-old, but his early form at Rome suggests they could do so much later.
Abraham scored 30 goals in 79 appearances for the Blues, only to fall considerably out of favor under Tuchel earlier this year and then be transferred to Italy.
He has already recorded four goals and three assists for Roma, meaning he was called up to the England squad by Southgate this month.