Chelsea have one of the most productive academies in English football, but we wondered what’s happened to those players that didn’t quite make the grade at Stamford Bridge.
For every John Terry, Mason Mount or Reece James, there’s a string of footballers that can’t break into one of the most expensive squads in world football.
So we’ve done some digging to investigate what’s become of the nine youth teamers that Chelsea let go of last summer.
The younger brother of former wonderkid Josh, McEachran joined Chelsea at the age of nine and made his way through the ranks before being sent out on loan to the Netherlands for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns.
He didn’t do enough in those spells to convince his parent club to give him a shot though and was released after spending a season with the youth team.
He wasn’t snapped up by another side immediately but joined Swindon in February and has been a first-team regular since then, performing well in League Two.
Ballo impressed after joining the Chelsea academy from Viktoria Koln in 2018, being the under-18 side’s top scorer in his first season with them. His progression slowed down after that though and he was released last summer following a disappointing loan spell with Rapid Wien.
The 21-year-old returned to Austria, joining Wolfsberger on a free transfer, and has two goals in 13 matches for their senior side this season.
Ziger was released by Chelsea following loan spells at Sutton United and Rudar Velenje. The goalkeeper now plies his trade in his home country of Croatia for Gorica but has yet to make his first-team debut.
Nunn spent four years in the Chelsea youth system, only making a handful of appearances for the development team, before signing for Derby in July.
The Rams immediately sent him out on loan to non-league side Mickleover and he currently has three goals in six games for them.
Andersson joined Chelsea as one of the hottest prospects in Scandinavia but, despite putting in some good performances at youth level, left after just two years.
The Swedish winger now plays for Stoke and is still waiting to make his senior debut.
Poached from Barcelona, Mbuyamba never played a first-team game for Chelsea before being released last summer.
The 21-year-old defender returned to his native Netherlands and signed for newly-promoted Volendam on a three-year deal. He is yet to make his first-team debut for the club.
A multi-sport talent during his youth, Kpakpe’s time at Stamford Bridge was ruined by injuries and he left the club last November.
He signed a six-month deal with Rangers at the start of January and made his debut for the club’s B team in a 6-1 thrashing of Dalbeattie Star in the Lowland League.
Cousin of Spurs winger Ryan Sessegnon and Fulham right-back Steven Sessegnon, Kpakpe certainly has family inspiration to draw upon as he looks to make a career in the game.
Alex Kpakpe has moved from Chelsea and signed a contract with Rangers, until the summer of 2023.
— Unique Sports Group (@UniqueSG) January 10, 2023
The only player on this list to remain unattached, Tobin left Chelsea last July after five years at Stamford Bridge.
Still just 19, the young centre-back will be hoping to find the perfect destination to kickstart his career.
Badley-Morgan was snapped up by Stoke City last summer, following his release by Chelsea.
The left-sided centre-back also had a trial with Leicester before moving to the Potteries, indicating that he was a player in demand.
He’s made four appearances in the Premier League 2 this year and there’s every chance Badley-Morgan will develop into a fine player.