Ryan Bertrand playing for Chelsea.

6 former Chelsea players we can’t believe are currently free agents

Chelsea has been home to plenty of football superstars throughout the years, but believe it or not, several of their former players are currently without a club.

Whether it’s down to bad luck, a reoccurring injury or waiting for the right opportunity, several high-profile footballers currently find themselves on the free agents market heading into January.

We’ve taken a closer look at some of Chelsea’s former players and have found six of them who are currently free agents.

Ryan Bertrand

The Chelsea youth product made a total of 57 appearances for the club between 2006 and 2015 but now finds himself without a club after being released by Leicester City in the summer.

Bertrand became the first-ever player to make a European debut in a Champions League final after he was drafted into Chelsea’s starting XI against Bayern Munich in 2012. To be fair to Bertrand, he managed to hold his own in the final, despite playing out of position on the left wing.

The full-back is perhaps most known for his time with Southampton where he spent the majority of his career. Leicester City fans never really got to see the best of him and he is now on the lookout for his next opportunity.

Bertrand did return to Chelsea in the summer to train with the youngsters in order to maintain his fitness, but he is yet to be offered a contract. Alongside his football career, the 34-year-old has also been active in the business world.

“Sports is my passion, that’ll never leave, but finance is another one,” he told Sky Sports in 2021. “As you’re building the blocks towards post-career, you’ve got to re-learn, re-train, help yourself become an expert in something different.”

Daniel Sturridge

While Sturridge has taken up a punditry role at Sky Sports of late, he hasn’t yet officially announced his retirement. The former England international made a total of 96 appearances for Chelsea and scored 24 goals.

He most recently played for Australian outfit Perth Glory, but has been without a club since his release in 2022. It’s no secret that Sturridge has struggled with injuries in his later years and it remains to be seen if he will get back into the game.

Liam Bridcutt

The holding midfielder was highly rated in Chelsea’s youth set-up, but he made a name for himself away from Stamford Bridge. Bridcutt made his senior breakthrough with Brighton under former Chelsea star Gus Poyet and the midfielder had quite the reputation back in the day.

“If I was coach of Real I would take him because he deserves to go to the highest level,” Poyet told reporters when asked about Bridcutt during his Brighton days. “As a holding midfielder, there is no better player in the division. So he is quite expensive.”

He has also enjoyed spells with Sunderland, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Lincoln but now finds himself without a club. The 34-year-old most recently played for Blackpool but has been without a club since his release in the summer.

Juan Castillo

Chelsea picked up Castillo from the Ajax academy in 2016 and the left-back spent a total of seven years at the club, but never made a senior appearance.

The 23-year-old was sent out on six separate loan spells and was released upon his contract expiring in the summer. Castillo still has the best years of his career ahead of him and fingers crossed he finds a new club for himself soon.

Josimar Quintero

The Ecuadorian midfielder was one of the 10 signings Jose Mourinho made upon his return to Chelsea in 2013. However, Quintero never managed a senior appearance and he’s been without a club since leaving MLS third-division mide Real Monarchs in 2021.

Willian of Fulham in action in the Premier League

READ: Where are they now? The 10 signings Jose Mourinho made on his return to Chelsea in 2013

Rhys Taylor

The Welsh goalkeeper was often Chelsea’s fourth-choice option during his time at the club as he found himself firmly behind the likes of Petr Cech, Carlo Cudicini and Hilario in the pecking order.

Every now and again he got the opportunity to sit on the beach, but Taylor left Stamford Bridge in 2012, having never made a senior appearance for the club during his seven-year stay with the club.

Taylor had his most memorable spell with Macclesfield Town and spent the majority of his career in the lower leagues of English football. Now 33 years old, the goalkeeper currently finds himself on the free agents market.

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