The 14 players let go by Chelsea in the summer – & how they’ve fared since
Chelsea invested heavily into their squad this summer as Mauricio Pochettino went about completely overhauling the squad and we’ve taken a closer look at the stars who departed.
The likes of Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku and Cole Palmer were among Chelsea’s most expensive summer arrivals, but we’re switching our attention to the 15 players they let go.
We’ve checked in on how those 15 players have been getting on in their new surroundings and how they’ve fared since leaving Chelsea. Note: we’ve only included players who left Chelsea on a permanent basis.
The German international made an eyebrow-raising move across London this summer as he linked up with Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad. Arteta clearly sees the long-term value in Havertz as the Gunners splashed a reported £65million transfer fee on the 24-year-old.
Havertz often struggled to find much consistency in a Chelsea shirt and he has had some similar troubles in his early days at Arsenal, although there have been some signs of life.
The versatile forward has two goal contributions in his first eight league matches for the Gunners, but Arsenal fans are yet to see the best of Havertz.
Of all of Chelsea’s departures this summer, Mount’s move to Manchester United was arguably the most surprising. The England international admitted it was tough to leave Stamford Bridge, but also recognised that he was after a fresh challenge.
His start to life at Old Trafford hasn’t exactly been spectacular as United themselves have struggled to find much form early on. The 24-year-old has missed six matches through injury so far and is yet to find his best form in a United shirt.
Upon Ilkay Gundogan leaving the treble winners, Pep Guardiola’s side swiftly moved in for Kovacic and snapped the Croatian midfielder up on a four-year deal.
While Kovacic has ginormous boots to fill in the Man City midfield, he has done a solid job so far. The 29-year-old has featured in six of Man City’s eight league matches so far, but he is still waiting on his first goal.
It’s fair to say that Koulibaly’s spell at Chelsea didn’t go to plan and the club will have been happy enough to cut their losses on the Senegalese international this summer when Saudi club Al-Hilal swooped in.
Like many other Premier League stars who joined the Saudi Pro League, Koulibaly was handed a highly lucrative contract which saw him become one of the highest-paid defenders in the world.
While the 32-year-old struggled to find much consistency in the Premier League, he looks to be enjoying life in Saudi Arabia right now. Al-Hilal currently top the table and boast an unbeaten record with Koulibaly in the side.
Sometimes a change of scenery can be the best recipe to revive the career of a struggling star. That’s certainly been the case for Pulisic as he hasn’t looked back since signing for AC Milan.
The United States international has hit the ground running in Italy with four goals in his first eight league matches. It’s a shame the Chelsea fans never really got the chance to see this version of Pulisic.
Christian Pulisic with an absolute screamer on his Serie A debut 🔥🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/ABxtBO8KmR
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) August 21, 2023
Having spent his entire professional career on the books at Stamford Bridge, Loftus-Cheek went in search of a fresh challenge this summer. AC Milan handed the midfielder a four-year contract and he’s already won over the Milan fanbase with a series of impressive performances.
“I’ve played in many roles throughout my career,” Loftus-Cheek told DAZN. “In the last two years (at Chelsea) mostly in a defensive position, and it wasn’t natural for me.
“I’ve always liked having the ball at my feet, having the freedom to create, to be decisive. I couldn’t do that in the last two seasons, that way of playing didn’t make me happy.
“Now, I play in a position where I have more freedom, so I feel good.”
After enjoying three years at Stamford Bridge, Mendy made the switch to the Saudi Pro League this summer to join Al-Ahli. The 31-year-old has kept four clean sheets in his first nine matches and seems to be enjoying life in his new surroundings.
Mendy had a superb game against rivals Al-Ittihad as he managed to keep Karim Benzema and Co at bay with some superb saves to claim all three points.
🤯 Some beautiful saves from Édouard Mendy to win the Derby for Al Ahli against Karim Benzema's Al Ittihad.pic.twitter.com/YjkQm2nVV7
— X-Daily (@X_Dailly) October 6, 2023
As the Welsh international 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 already looks a class above the Championship.
The 23-year-old has expertly anchored Daniel Farke’s midfield and he will no doubt play a key role in their promotion push this year. Leeds fans are already in love.
Abdul Baba Rahman
We’d forgive you if you hadn’t even realised Baba Rahman had left the club this summer as his last appearance for Chelsea was all the way back in May 2016.
The left-back spent seven consecutive seasons out on loan and finally left Chelsea this summer upon his contract expiring. He joined Greek outfit PAOK and has had a steady start in his new surroundings.
Hudson-Odoi was considered one of England’s brightest emerging prospects just a few years ago, but his career had started to stall at Stamford Bridge. After a fairly disappointing loan spell with Bayer Leverkusen, the winger decided to leave Chelsea on a permanent basis in the summer.
Nottingham Forest signed the winger for an initial fee of £3million and it’s not taken long for him to settle in. The 22-year-old scored a superb goal from outside the box on his debut against Burnley.
“It was a relief,” Hudson-Odoi told Sky Sports after scoring on his debut. “It’s my job as a winger to create and assist. But I need to score more. My mentality this year has changed completely.
“In previous years, I maybe played it safe, played nice football, and I thought this year I have to score more goals, get more assists, be more of a problem than you used to be.”
Announcing his arrival 🚀 pic.twitter.com/YBErbLIJEP
— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) September 18, 2023
Chelsea fans have plenty of fond Azpilicueta memories to treasure, but this summer was probably the right time to move on. The Spanish defender joined Atletico Madrid and has featured in seven of their eight league matches so far.
Azpilicueta has been part of a water-tight defence at Atletico that has only conceded eight goals so far this season. We’re in no doubt that he will give his all for the club.
It should come as no surprise that Kante has already been making waves at his new club. Al-Ittihad boast the best defensive record in the Saudi Pro League and it’s no wonder when they have Kante anchoring their midfield next to Fabinho.
Along with his excellent defensive instincts, Kante has also been effective in the final third for his new club. The French midfielder has produced three goal contributions in his first nine league matches and already seems to be a fan favourite.
Aubameyang’s time at Stamford Bridge was nothing short of a disaster, but he seems to be enjoying his football again with Marseille.
The 34-year-old has already scored more goals for the French club than he managed during his entire spell with Chelsea. With four goals in his first 11 matches, he’s seemingly rekindled his goalscoring touch.
The French midfielder spent the last five seasons out on loan and departed this summer upon his contract expiring. He opted to return to France and signed a two-year deal with Ligue 1 outfit Lorient.
It’s still probably too early to judge Bakayoko in a Lorient shirt as the midfielder has only played 45 minutes for his new club so far. We’ll be keeping a close eye on him over the next few months.