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Chelsea’s squad cut and clear-out- who has left Stamford Bridge this summer?

Chelsea have been so active in bringing players to the Bridge this summer, that the outgoings at the club have been less spoken about in the media.

Since Todd Boehly and his consortium took over Chelsea earlier this year, a lot of change has happened at the club, including the playing personnel. One of Chelsea’s main focuses has been letting go of the club’s underperforming players and releasing the ones that have found themselves on the fringes of their squad.

When Abramovich was the owner at Chelsea, releasing players wasn’t common behaviour. It seemed that former Club Director Marina Granovskaia was often reluctant to conduct a club clear-out, even when it was needed. However, the new personnel at Chelsea have shown they have no issue in taking action to lift some weight off their wage bills. A considerable amount of squad space has been freed up. The list of players that have left West London this summer is longer than what is mentioned here, but here is a look at some of the most notable outgoings.

Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku’s return to his boyhood club didn’t exactly go smoothly, did it? He managed just 8 goals in 26 Premier League games. A media scandal and a few injuries later, and Chelsea decided that they were better off without the underperforming number 9. It is an understatement to say that Chelsea fans were disappointed with Lukaku, as his return to London couldn’t have gone much worse. The Belgian International expressed a desire to return to his previous club, Inter Milan. Chelsea granted his wish, sending him on loan back to the Serie A for the 2022/23 season, almost imminently after the season finished. The Blues received an €8 million loan fee and will more than likely look to make the move permanent in the summer.

Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley’s big move to Chelsea didn’t come off in either the way he nor Chelsea envisioned it. The England International was once hailed as one of the “country’s brightest stars,” but he never really hit the ground running in West London. Barkley had a consistent run in the side under former boss Maurizio Sarri and had a few bright moments in a Chelsea shirt. However, the midfielder didn’t ever really reach the standard Chelsea wanted from him and was never favoured by other managers. Ultimately, he became an outcast of the squad. The midfielder was on a considerable wage and wasn’t making the first team at Chelsea, therefore the club have decided to terminate his contract and he is now a free agent.

Danny Drinkwater

Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea, it was an odd one wasn’t it. The midfielder joined Chelsea from Leicester City for a substantial fee of around £33million in the summer of 2017. To say the midfielder’s move to West London was unsuccessful is putting it lightly. His most memorable contribution to Chelsea was a sweetly struck volley against Stoke City in the Premier League. Drinkwater did evidently have issues off the field, that were reasons towards why he struggled so much at Stamford Bridge. Much like Barkley, Drinkwater found himself on the fringes of the Chelsea team, flicking between training with the first team and the under 23s. His wages were high, especially for a player who only featured for the Blues just 12 times in 5 years. The club took the decision to terminate Drinkwater’s contract, leaving him free to be picked up on the market like Barkley.

Emerson Palmieri

Emerson joined Chelsea in 2018 from Roma, for an undisclosed fee. For the most part of his Chelsea career, Emerson has been a squad player as the Blues’ second choice left back, except for a brief spell under Sarri where he was the first choice. Emerson has never really put a foot wrong for Chelsea, he just simply never found himself as the first choice in his position. He opted to go on loan to Lyon for the 2021/22 season, where he gained regular game time, and the club were keen to sign him. This season, Emerson’s wage has been lifted from the Chelsea wage books, as he has secured a permanent move across to London to West Ham United for a fee in and around the region of £15 million.

Timo Werner

Timo Werner’s time at Chelsea wasn’t filled with the goals and assists we all expected from him. The German International joined Chelsea for around £47.5 million from RB Leipzig, in the 2020/21 season. Werner netted 34 goals in 45 appearances for Leipzig and was expected to continue his goalscoring form in West London. However, it did not quite work out that way. Werner made 89 appearances in total for the Blues, scoring just 23 times. The German looked like a shadow of the player he once was in the Bundesliga, and ultimately moved back to Leipzig at the end of last season. Werner found that he went from a consistent starter for Chelsea to not even making it off the substitutes bench. The German sat on the side-lines a lot under Thomas Tuchel. It just seemed that despite his best efforts, Werner just couldn’t quite adapt to life in the Premier League. Chelsea cut their losses, and Werner left London at a price of just £20 million.


Kenedy had been at Chelsea 7 years, appearing professionally for the club just 16 times. The Brazilian has been hampered with injuries throughout his playing career. But to put it more truthfully, he has been a player who has been a part of Chelsea’s loan system, moving 5 times. Kenedy never really underperformed, he just found himself on the fringes of the team, and never made enough of an impact to be in the first team permanently. His lengthy spell as a Chelsea player has come to an end, as he has secured a move to La Liga with Spanish side Real Valladoid, for an undisclosed fee.

As already said, Chelsea’s list of outgoings for this summer is much longer than this. But these are some of the club’s most significant departures. Chelsea have needed to have a squad clear out for years now, and it is a refreshing sight for fans. Todd Boehly and his team have certainly filled the spaces that have been freed up in the team, as Chelsea have been one of the most active teams in the transfer market this summer. It is now up to the new recruitments and the rest of the first team to ensure that Chelsea now go into a good run of form, after a questionable start to the season.

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