Every type of business involves some form of buying and selling. You buy what you need to meet your required target, and discard when no longer deemed important. Football is a business, and it also involves some buying and selling of its own.
In the modern Premier League era, Chelsea have been a dominant force. We have won more league titles than any other London club, and we have been the most competitive in the same period.
Getting to this point has not been an easy ride, as we have had to face the rigours of any successful brand, and we have had to make necessary sacrifices to get where we are today. Players have been sold, just as some of the best have played at Stamford Bridge.
Some of the players we have allowed leave the club may not have been deserving of that kind of treatment considering how talented and promising they were, but in the end, it’s business; not every decisions will be in your favour in the long run.
This post will be taking a close look at some of those players that have passed through Chelsea, we probably shouldn’t have let go.
Arjen Robben is no doubt one of the greatest footballers we have seen in the planet in a while. The amazing winger joined Real Madrid in 2007, but before then, he was a Chelsea player. Robben joined Chelsea in 2004, from Dutch side, PSV Eindhoven. He grew to become a starter at the club, but persistent injury problems wouldn’t let him flourish. It got to a point Chelsea could no longer keep him, and he was let go to real Madrid in 2007 from where he joined Bayern in 2009. Robben has since become a football great, and although it looks like we were wrong to sell him that early in his career, the club’s perspective at the time also had reasonable justification.
Romelu Lukaku joined Chelsea in 2011 at the age of 17. Prior to his arrival, he played for Belgian side, Anderlecht. In 73 appearances, he gave them 33 goals, and that was the catalyst for his move to Chelsea. He joined us in 2011, and because he was still a youngster with little experience in playing on the big stage, he wasn’t rushed into the senior team. He was gradually fit into the team, but it proved a little too much a weight for him to carry. After 10 games, Lukaku couldn’t score a goal, so he went on two loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Everton respectively. He was eventually sold to Everton, where he went on to score 53 times in 110 appearances. Our attempt to bring him back wasn’t successful, as he was snatched from right under our noses by rivals Manchester United. So far, this season, he has scored 15 times for them in the Premier League and 26 in all competitions. He’s only 24, so he sure looks like a missed one.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE
Kevin De Bruyne joined Chelsea from Belgian side, Genk in 2012 at the age of 20. He wasn’t the finished product, but he had prospects. His age meant he was not going to start automatically, so he was instead sent on loan to Werder Bremen in the same year. He played there for a season, scoring 10 goals in 33 appearances. When he returned, he made a few appearances for us, but still wasn’t deemed good enough, so he was sold off. From Stamford Bridge, he was sent to VFL Wolfsburg in 2013. He played for them 51 times, and scored 13 times. Manchester City went for him, and he has since grown into one of the finest players in the league. This is one player I personally hate Chelsea sold. Every time I imagine a Hazard- De Bruyne combination, I feel Mourinho really hurt a lot of potential at the Bridge.
Mohamed Salah joined Chelsea because of his heroics against us while he played for Basel in the Champions League seasons ago. After he joined, for some reason, he failed to make the first team. I am still not sure why, but he was soon shipped off on loan to Italy. There he played for both Fiorentina and Roma respectively. He performed well, and scored an average of 15 times a season for Roma. Liverpool went for him last summer, and he’s been worth every penny spent on him. He’s currently the leading scorer in the league, and one of the best in Europe, all in one season. With all we’ve gone through in front of goal this season, Salah is one player we shouldn’t have lost at all.
It’s obviously too late to cry over spilled milk, but hopefully, going forward, the club knows to make better transfer decisions than they did in the past.