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This former Chelsea midfielder has thrived at AC Milan.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek & six other ex-Chelsea players currently thriving away from Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have a litany of former players at other clubs and a handful of them are currently living their best lives since leaving Stamford Bridge.

As Mauricio Pochettino’s inconsistent side continue to linger in mid-table, several of their former players are faring much better since leaving the Blues.

We’ve identified eight former Chelsea stars who are currently loving life since moving to pastures new.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

“At Chelsea I felt like a caged animal, I didn’t play as much as I wanted and when it happened I played in positions where I couldn’t express myself,” Loftus-Cheek told Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport earlier in the season.

“Here, however, I have a free mind, I play as a midfielder as I like and it’s like being a child again, when we played without worries.

“If the whole team has this feeling, great things can be achieved: even winning the championship. We feel like the best.”

The Rossoneri’s Scudetto challenge may have fallen away since then, but the 28-year-old is absolutely loving life at the San Siro. His Europa League brace against Rennes takes him to six goals in 2024 – twice as many as he’s scored in the last five years(!) combined.

Christian Pulisic

Sometimes a change of scenery can be the kick up the derriere to revive the career of a struggling star – and that’s certainly been the case for Pulisic, who hasn’t looked back since signing for AC Milan.

The United States international hit the ground running in Italy with five goals and four assists in his first 15 Serie A appearances of the 2023-24 campaign. Things have slowed down a bit since then for Pulisic, who hasn’t been in quite as impressive as his old Blues team-mate Loftus-Cheek of late, but it’s refreshing to see him starting regularly as opposed to a rotational squad option.

Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger has slotted seamlessly into Real Madrid’s backline since joining the club in 2022 and remains arguably the weirdest footballer around. We can’t get enough of him…

We're delighted to announce that Antonio Rudiger is still very, very strange.

READ: We have further proof that Antonio Rudiger is the weirdest guy in football

Dominic Solanke

Despite enduring a slow start with the Cherries, Solanke is now one of the most in-form strikers in the country. He fired them to promotion in 2021–22 by scoring 29 goals and he’s now up to a career-best 13 Premier League goals so far this season. Only Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah have scored more.

Chelsea could certainly do with a goalscorer like that right now…

Billy Gilmour

Spare a thought for Gilmour, who left Chelsea to work under Graham Potter at Brighton just days before Potter made the move in the opposite direction to Stamford Bridge.

The Scotland international made 17 appearances for Brighton last year, but has kicked on this season and is fast developing into the player everybody suspected he would.

“When I came back for preseason he was proper on me,” Gilmour said about Roberto De Zerbi. “Wanted more, standards high, how quick to pass, less touches, everything, he was totally on me every day. But it was good.

“Obviously you have bad days and good days, but coming in I knew I had to train hard and now he’s appreciating me more, enjoying saying to me: ‘Well done’.

“He’s not on me as much, but I’ve really enjoyed it and to work under our gaffer is amazing.”

Ross Barkley

Barkley became the forgotten man of Stamford Bridge after his alarming fall from contention, and it was no surprise to see his contract terminated in August 2022

The former England international made the surprise move to Nice, although failed to make much of an impression in the south of France.

He’s now patrolling Luton’s midfield and shows regular flashes of his best form for the Premier League upstarts. We wish him well.

Ethan Ampadu

As Ampadu had spent the last four years out on loan, it was about time he found a new permanent home.

Leeds United managed to win the race for his signature and the 23-year-old looks a class above the Championship.

The Welshman has expertly anchored Daniel Farke’s midfield and his performance in the 4-0 thrashing of Ipswich had the Elland Road faithful cooing. He’s recently moved into the centre of defence, demonstrating his versatility while looking just as dependable.

One of the key pillars of Leeds’ impressive promotion push. You get the sense that one way or another he’ll be playing Premier League football again sooner or later.


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