The Champions of Europe, Chelsea have steadily established themselves as a premier club over the past 15 years or so. Ever since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, their success rate has increased immeasurably. The Blues’ are famous for their big money signings but quite a few have departed without much success too. In this article, we will look at five players Chelsea should not have released.
#5 Romelu Lukaku
Ever since Drogba left, the list of strikers who have fared below their potential at Stamford Bridge is lengthy. Lukaku arrived at Chelsea as a teenager in the summer of 2011 from Anderlecht. Lack of opportunities meant that he was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion in 2012. He scored 15 PL goals for West Brom and scored 17 in his loan spell at Everton.
Despite impressing everyone with his prowess in front of the goal, Lukaku was sold to Everton where he enjoyed more success. As a testament to Lukaku’s achievement, Chelsea has brought back big Rom from the Nerazzurri.
#4 Arjen Robben
Robben joined Chelsea as a star kid who was wanted by many top clubs in Europe. He scored 7 goals in 18 appearances for Chelsea during the 2004-05 season but his goals tally declined in subsequent seasons. Chelsea is not known for their patience and they sold a still young Robben to Madrid in 2007.
He would enjoy decent success at the Spanish capital, before becoming a certified legend at Bayern Munich. Thinking back, Chelsea would have benifitted a lot from his pace and the gifted left foot with which he scored so many stunners.
#3 Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne is without any doubt the best midfielder has been the best midfield in PL over the last 4-5 years. Chelsea once had the incredibly creative Belgian on their ranks but never found a best position for him. He was transferred to Wolfsburg where he broke many long-standing assist records.
KDB joined Manchester City in 2015 and under Guardiola he has become an universally respected midfielder. Chelsea should not have released him, as he has shown that he can unlock well organized defenses on his own. Had he stayed, KDB would have surely become a Chelsea legend.
#2 Mohammed Salah
Looking back, it is quite surprising that Chelsea did not have any plan for Salah and only used him when they had no other options. Failing to utilize that amount of talent is a blunder and he would come back to haunt the Blues’ years later. After his success at Roma, Salah joined Liverpool and had an unforgettable debut season, equaling the PL record of 31 goals.
Salah has also scored several memorable goals against Chelsea during his time at the Liverpool. An attack comprising Lukaku, Salah and KDB could have been the stuff of dreams for Chelsea fans.
#1 Juan Mata
The backlash that followed Mata’s transfer to United in 2014 is memorable because of a lot of reasons. Mata did not enjoy much game time under Mourinho but he was an integral part of Chelsea’s European glory. But the main reason for fans’ furious reaction was that Chelsea sold him to a direct rival Manchester United.
Mata scored 33 goals and had 58 assists in a Chelsea shirt and Chelsea should not have released him, considering his enormous talent. Chelsea’s plans for Oscar to succeed Mata failed miserably are still searching for an elite playmaker.