Chelsea are often criticised for not giving opportunities to their young players – but how many of the academy graduates they have sold in recent years do they regret moving on?
Many Chelsea youngsters attract interest thanks to their pedigree, but how do they fare when they eventually leave Stamford Bridge?
We’ve taken a look at every academy graduate they’ve allowed to depart since the 2013-14 season, as listed by Transfermarkt.
The brothers joined Chelsea’s academy from Anderlecht in 2012 alongside Charly – who is currently on loan at Vitesse – but failed to make a senior appearance for the Blues.
Lamisha returned to Belgium two years later but failed to make an impact at Mechelen and now plays his football in DR Congo.
Tika, meanwhile, suffered a horrific injury in training, dislocating his knee and tearing his ACL, MCL and PCL. After leaving Chelsea in 2016 he most recently joined Palamos in Spain.
“We’ve always come as a package deal,” Tika said in 2015. “When I was 15 years old, we were all playing for the Anderlecht youth system and for the Belgian national youth teams.
“Eventually, Chelsea came to my parents in 2012, wanting to sign all three of us. When a club like Chelsea knocks on your door, you just have to say yes.”
Affane rejected interest from a number of Premier League sides when agreeing to join Chelsea as a 16-year-old in 2010.
The midfielder had been on the books of Swedish third-tier outfit Lärje-Angereds IF and helped Chelsea win the FA Youth Cup in 2012 but failed to break into the senior set-up – a phrase you will be hearing plenty more of as this article continues.
After spells in Germany with Energie Cottbus, Wolfsburg and Arminia Bielefeld, Affane returned to Sweden in 2016 and currently plies his trade with IFK Göteborg.
Chelsea's Swedish mf Amin Affane, on loan at Roda, has been told he won't play for Roda first team until 'he sorts out his problems' #CFC
— Marcus Christenson (@m_christenson) February 24, 2013
One of the bigger success stories on this list, Bruma joined Chelsea at the age of 15 after the Blues paid Feyenoord £100,000 for the defender.
Bruma actually made nine senior appearances in all competitions for the Londoners but joined PSV on a permanent deal in 2013 after loan spells at Leicester City and Hamburg.
Now 27, Bruma won two titles with PSV before moving to Wolfsburg in 2016, although he has fallen out of favour with the German outfit this season, sparking rumours of a potential move to Celtic.
Lalkovic was on Chelsea’s books for seven years – no senior appearances, obviously – before joining Czech side FK Mladá Boleslav.
The winger returned to England with spells at Barnsley, Walsall and Portsmouth but has moved back to his native country with Sigma Olomouc.
His time in England is perhaps best remembered for being derailed by injury problems caused by wearing boots which were too small for his feet.
‘The injury is down to how I like to wear tight boots,” he told The Portsmouth News in 2017. “They say I am eight-and-a-half – but I wear size seven boots!”
Hutchinson appeared four times for Chelsea either side of briefly retiring from the game due to a recurring knee injury.
After a couple of loan spells in the Championship and an obligatory stint at Vitesse, Hutchinson joined Sheffield Wednesday on a permanent deal, where he established himself as a regular in both the first team and referees’ notebooks.
Another player who sounds suspiciously made up. We don’t need to tell you Pírez never appeared for Chelsea, but we do need to tell you he spent the 2018 season at the wonderfully-named Tulsa Roughnecks.
He’s done alright, hasn’t he? Sunderland and Crystal Palace and the Netherlands and that.
He’s done alright, hasn’t he? The Champions League final and Southampton and England and that.
The Next Jack Wilshere has followed in his footsteps quite well by failing to fulfil his potential due to fitness issues.
“Chelsea is probably one of the hardest if not the hardest club in the world for a young player,” McEachran, now at Brentford, told The Times last year.
He added: “In the past I was shipped out on loan left, right and centre, but now I feel more settled, which I think has shown in my performances on the pitch.
“It’s very unsettling, particularly as a teenager when you have no family or friends around you.”
Really wasn’t worth all the hoo-ha, was it? Went to Sevilla, then on to the Chinese Super League before returning to Spain with Rayo Vallecano.
Chelsea signed Perica as a 16-year-old from Croatian outfit Zadar in a €2.5million deal, but you will be surprised to hear he never appeared for the club.
The forward has since gone on to establish himself in Serie A with Udinese, although he is spending 2018-19 on loan at Frosinone.
We’re calling a move to Watford at some point in the future.
Bamford developed a reputation as one of the brightest young players in England during a loan spell at Middlesbrough in which he was named the Championship Player of the Year.
Subsequent temporary moves saw the striker struggle to nail down a regular first-team place, but a permanent transfer back to Boro saw him rediscover his mojo.
A big-money move to Leeds in the summer is yet to ignite, however, as Bamford has struggled with injury issues.
If we’re going to stick to our rules, he should be included. But you know all about him anyway.
With a name like someone you’ve signed on every edition of Football Manager, Cuevas was loaned out to the Netherlands, Chile and Belgium during his four years at Chelsea.
He returned to his native Chile to join Huachipato permanently, but even they’ve resorted to loaning him out to FC Twente and Austria Wien.
Still, he has an actual cap for Chile.
Remember when he went to Napoli and played under current Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri? Bit mad, that.
A serious injury has ruined Chalobah’s permanent move to Watford so far, but the midfielder has still made his England debut in that time because Gareth Southgate lurrrrvvees him.
Is he actually any good? Newcastle fans don’t seem convinced.
Newcastle are the ultimate well drilled, hard working, bargain basement football team typified by Christian Atsu who put a great shift in, got himself into some great positions but produced nothing (I know it’s not just him) #NUFC
— Marc Duffy (@MarcSDuffy) January 2, 2019
Another relative success story, Traoré has established himself at Lyon since leaving Chelsea, scoring 27 goals in all competitions since the start of last season and gaining Champions League experience.
Chelsea have a buyback clause inserted into the deal, as well as a healthy sell-on clause.
“I think it [the move] is exactly what I needed,” Aké told Standard Sport in September when discussing his decision to leave Chelsea permanently and join Bournemouth.
“At Chelsea it was a bit difficult for me, I started to get older so I needed more stability and more games so last year was exactly what I needed.
“Playing games, learning, making mistakes and learning from them and I learned so much from it.”
It’s gone so well Tottenham and Manchester United have been linked with moves for the defender.
Without a club since being released by Chelsea in the summer, which doesn’t sound good.
Held the dubious honour of being Chelsea’s longest-serving player without ever actually playing for the Blues.
In the summer the goalkeeper joined Danish Superliga side AC Horsens, where he has been allowed to play for the first team.
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It’s fair to say things are going well for Man Utd
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The classic ‘come and get me’ plea.
Arsenal aren’t all bad, you know?
We’re forcing you to answer these in order.
Some of these didn’t quite go to plan.
Failing in England isn’t always the end.
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