Eddie Nketiah is the latest former Chelsea star to dominate the back pages for his heroics in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Norwich in the Carabao Cup.
But the youngster is just one of a number of ex-Blues stars who have been deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, only to go on and suggest otherwise at another club.
Of course, it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves. While Nketiah had the game of his life for the Gunners on Tuesday, he is still only 18 and has some way to go before he is a regular at the Emirates.
That said, there are a number of former Blues stars who the club would love to have on their books now, so for a bit of fun, here is a Chelsea sold XI from 2014.
FW: Romelu Lukaku
Signed for/when: £20million in 2011
Sold for/when: £28million in 2014
Since leaving Chelsea for Everton the 24-year-old forward has proven himself a prolific Premier League goalscorer, and just missed out on the Golden Boot to Harry Kane last season.
Manchester United shelled out £75million to sign the Belgian striker at the start of this campaign, and so far he’s bagged seven times for the Red Devils.
The Blues had attempted to sign him back ahead of his move to Old Trafford, but Lukaku snubbed Chelsea to link up with Jose Mourinho instead.
FW: Juan Mata
Signed for/when: £23.5million in 2011
Sold for/when: £37million in 2014
A fans’ favourite while at Stamford Bridge, Mata won the Chelsea Player of the Year award in 2013.
But he fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho, who eventually sold him to title rivals Manchester United.
Today Mata plays under the Portuguese at Old Trafford.
FW: Mohamed Salah
Signed for/when: £11million in 2014
Sold for/when: £13million in 2016
All eyes were on Salah when he moved to Chelsea in 2014, coming with the nickname ‘the Egyptian Messi’, but it never happened for him.
Salah was eventually sent out on loan to Fiorentina and then Roma, before signing with the latter on a permanent deal.
Jurgen Klopp splashed out £34million to bring the forward to Liverpool at the start of this season, and so far he’s netted five times.
MID: Kevin De Bruyne
Signed for/when: £6.7million in 2012
Sold for/when: £18million in 2014
The one name that causes every Chelsea fan to flinch.
The Blues signed the Belgian for a lowly £6.7million back in 2012 but were seemingly unprepared to allow him the time to develop.
He was shipped out to the Bundesliga where he caught the eye before moving back to the Premier League with Manchester City in a deal worth £55million.
Today he’s arguably the best player in the English top flight.
MID: Nemanja Matic
Signed for/when: £21million in 2014
Sold for/when: £40million in 2017
A leggy and awkward midfielder who played a big part in Chelsea’s Premier League title win last season was shipped out to Man United at the start of the season.
Eyebrows were raised over Antonio Conte’s decision, especially when it became clear the positive impact he has had at Old Trafford.
The Blues replaced Matic with French youngster Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Signed for/when: £17million in 2010
Sold for/when: £25million in 2016
The Brazilian enjoyed six successful seasons at Chelsea, winning the Champions League, Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Year during this time.
With his career at Stamford Bridge winding down, he switched to the Chinese Super League, where he today plays under Fabio Capello.
The move was a good one for all parties involved, with Chelsea recouping good money for the tenacious midfielder.
DEF: Filipe Luis
Signed for/when: £16million in 2014
Sold for/when: £16million in 2015
Jose Mourinho splashed out on the left-back during his second spell in charge of Chelsea in 2014, but Luis struggled for game time at Stamford Bridge.
He was mooted as a replacement for Ashley Cole, and even took his number 3 shirt, but couldn’t get in the team over Cesar Azpilicueta.
After one season in London the Brazilian moved back to Atletico Madrid and Chelsea recouped all the cash they’d spent on him.
DEF: Nathan Ake
Signed for/when: £300,000 in 2011
Sold for/when: £20million in 2017
Chelsea poached the youngster from Feyenoord in 2007 for a £300,000 compensation fee and helped him develop at Cobham.
From 2015 to 2017 he spent his time out on loan at Reading, Watford and Bournemouth, where he really started to impress.
So much so that Conte recalled him from his loan spell on the south coast last season, with plans to start him in the first team.
But it wasn’t to be for the Dutchman, and Bournemouth came back with £20million to sign him on a permanent deal.
DEF: John Terry
Signed for/when: Academy graduate in 1998
Sold for/when: Free transfer in 2017
Chelsea certainly got the best out of Terry. Unlike the above forwards who were been signed and sold on flippantly, the Blues have been a little more careful with defenders.
David Luiz is one example of a player in this position who left a little too prematurely, but Chelsea rectified their error by buying him back.
Anyway, back to Terry. The former England captain won it all with the Stamford Bridge club, but saw his game time reduced last season.
He transferred to Aston Villa at the start of this campaign, where he is performing well in the Championship, despite his declining years.
DEF: Branislav Ivanovic
Signed for/when: £9million in 2008
Sold for/when: Free transfer in 2017
Another player who enjoyed his best years at Chelsea, but another player who still has a lot to offer the game.
After a quiet first year Ivanovic burst onto the scene in 2009, bagging two headed goals in a Champions League quarter final against Liverpool.
From there he became a regular Blues right-back, continually performing well in defence and grabbing goals when necessary.
He left the club at the start of the season for Zenit St Petersburg after losing his place in the team to the more industrious Victor Moses.
GK: Petr Cech
Signed for/when: £7million in 2004
Sold for/when: £10million in 2015
And finally, one last player who enjoyed his best years at Chelsea.
Cech was sold to Arsenal for £10million in 2015, as Thibaut Courtois took the baton from the Blues legend.
Eyebrows were raised in the same way they were when Matic moved to Manchester United, but Courtois has proven himself a brilliant replacement.
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