Being one of the top clubs in Europe, Chelsea have produced a plethora of high-quality players over the course but at the same time, they are notorious for selling some fine talents like Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah, who have made a big impact elsewhere. Here are the best eleven of the players the Blues have sold in the last decade.
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea let go of Thibaut Courtois in 2018 after they broke the banks for Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Courtois joined La Liga giants Real Madrid and continues to be one of the best shot-stoppers in Europe over the last two seasons. The Blues could have a tinge of regret for selling the Belgian as Arrizabalaga slumped in no time. However, the Londoners have a top-class keeper in Edouard Mendy, who they signed from Rennes last year.
Right-back: Tariq Lamptey
Tariq Lamptey, despite impressing at the youth ranks, sealed a transfer to Brighton last year, with Reece James being ahead of him in the pecking order. However, Lamptey has caught the attention of many with his impressive performances for Graham Potter’s side. The 21-year-old has also been mooted to become a Three Lions international soon.
Centre-back: Fikayo Tomori
Fikayo Tomori lost his place in the starting 11 due to the presence of centre-backs like Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger. But the English defender has been consistent at his new club AC Milan, which has helped him return to the national team.
Centre-back: Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma moved to West Ham in the recent summer window after spending around seven years at Stamford Bridge. Although the French star is a top-quality centre-back, he fell down the pecking order of Thomas Tuchel.
Left-back: Nathan Ake
Nathan Ake moved to Bournemouth in 2017 and showcased his talent there for around two seasons, which eventually caught the interest of Manchester City. The Premier League champions bought him for 41m pounds in the summer of 2019 but he has struggled to live up to his expectations. Ake, who is more of a centre-back, is currently down the pecking order of Guardiola behind John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias.
Midfielder: Mario Pasalic
The Croatian midfielder mainly spent his tenure at Stamford Bridge on loan spells at various clubs before moving to Atalanta permanently. Italian mastermind Gian Piero Gasperini has managed to get the best out of Pasalic over the last two seasons.
Midfielder: Cesc Fabregas
The legendary Spanish midfielder brought more success to the Blues as he did with fellow rivals Arsenal. The former Barca midfielder sought an exit from Stamford Bridge to Monaco in 2019.
Midfielder: Kevin de Bruyne
If Chelsea had foreseen that Kevin de Bruyne would become one of the best players in the world, they would not have sold him in the first place. After arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2019, the Belgian playmaker struggled for game time and was loaned to Genk and Werder Bremen. It was at Wolfsburg he managed to find his momentum back and caught the interest of European giants. Man City sealed his transfer for a whopping 55m pounds in 2015 and the rest is history.
Forward: Mohamed Salah
Like De Bruyne, Salah belongs to the list of talented players who had unforgettable spells at Chelsea before becoming a huge success elsewhere. During his time at AS Roma and Fiorentina, the Egyptian wasn’t as popular as he is right now. Liverpool acquired Salah in 2017 and what he has managed to bring since now for the Reds is amazing. The 30-year-old has racked up more than 100 goals for the Reds, and his stature as the best forward in the world is growing by every year.
Forward: Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea managed to re-sign Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for a club-record fee in the summer transfer window. Perhaps, he was more of a fringe player in his first spell at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian striker went on to play for Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan, enjoying more success with the latter one. A career full of ups and downs has shaped him into one of the best strikers in Europe at present.
Forward: Eden Hazard
While Barca had the privilege to witness Lionel Messi over the last two decades, Chelsea fans can brag about Eden Hazard. The Belgian talisman, who was widely considered one of the best players during his time at Stamford Bridge, moved to Real Madrid in 2019. Unfortunately, he has slumped at Bernabeu due to a string of injuries.