After a slow start in the summer transfer window, Chelsea have begun their summer spending with the acquisition of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and the signing of defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli. Whilst Head Coach Thomas Tuchel has stated that he still wants to add to his squad ahead of the new season, the club also need to look at potential outgoings. The club needs to evaluate which players they are prepared to let leave Stamford Bridge this summer. Here is a look at some of the players that Chelsea currently has, who should realistically seek new clubs.
Ross Barkley joined Chelsea in 2018 for £15 million after having several impressive seasons at his boyhood club, Everton. He was deemed to be “one of England’s brightest prospects.’’ However, unfortunately for Barkley, he never really hit the ground running at Chelsea.
After spells in and out of the team, Barkley was sent out on loan to Aston Villa during Frank Lampard’s tenor as Chelsea manager. He did appear to revive his stunted form at Villa, however this quickly diminished.
He returned to Chelsea in the 2021/22 season with Tuchel at the helm. Barkley featuring in a Chelsea shirt became that of a rare occurrence under Tuchel, with him only appearing a handful of times. There is no doubt that the Everton version of Barkley is still there, it just seems he needs a fresh start away from The Bridge to be able to showcase the player he can be.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was once one of Chelsea’s brightest stars. Coming through the ranks at Chelsea’s Cobham Academy, he quickly became a fan-favourite after making his debut for the club at the age of 21. Loftus-Cheek began to flourish as he gained more regular game time, becoming a mainstay under Maurizio Sarri in the 18/19 season.
He sustained a major Achilles injury towards the end of the season, that put his career in jeopardy. He made a full recovery and was subsequently loaned to fellow Premier League clubs Crystal Palace and Fulham to regain fitness and game-time.
He showed glimpses of his former self during his loan spells but returned to Chelsea for the 2021/22 season. Last season, he found regular game-time hard to come by.
This season will be no different, with Conor Gallagher returning as competition to the squad after a stellar season on loan at Crystal Palace. Getting substantial minutes is something Loftus-Cheek may find very difficult whilst he is a Chelsea player.
Malang Sarr signed for Chelsea in 2020 as a free agent from Nice. Upon signing, he was loaned straight to Porto. Off the back of his season in the Primeira Liga, he joined Thomas Tuchel’s squad at the beginning of last season.
He found himself making a few starts and appearances, mainly due to Chelsea’s injury issues in defence. Tuchel is making moves in strengthening his defence, with the signing of Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly. Strong rumours have also surfaced around Jules Kounde, who is supposedly heading towards Stamford Bridge this summer.
The head coach also has academy players such as Levi Colwill giving him food for thought. With all this, it can be said that Sarr won’t be a regular player and letting him seek regular game-time would also help Chelsea’s wage bills.
French international Tiemoue Bakayoko signed for Chelsea back in 2017, for a heavy fee of £36 million from Monaco.
Throughout his 5 years at the club, he has played for Chelsea a total of 29 times. Most of Bakayoko’s time has been taken up through loans, spending time at AC Milan, Monaco, and Napoli.
He failed to make a positive impact when he featured for Chelsea. With him having a wage of an estimated £93,000 a week, the club needs to look to offload him.
Kepa Arrizabalaga penned a 7-year deal with Chelsea in 2018. He signed for a record-breaking fee of £72 million, replacing Thibaut Courtois. Kepa was a consistent starter under his first Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Upon Sarri’s departure, Kepa fell out of form under coach Frank Lampard, and ultimately fell out of favour in the team.
This then prompted the signing of Senegal Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes. Consequently, Kepa lost his number 1 spot which he never regained. The goalkeeper has noticeably improved and has performed well when called upon.
However, paying a £72 million fee for a goalkeeper, for them to end up sitting on the bench most game weeks, is simply uneconomical for the club.
Kenedy signed for Chelsea in 2015. In his 7-year spell at the club, he has featured for The Blues just 16 times. His Chelsea career has consisted of 5 loans, 2 in the Premier League with Watford and Newcastle United respectively.
He has also played Getafe, Grenada and Fluminense during his time on Chelsea’s books. Kenedy has always been on the fringes at Chelsea and has never really been instituted himself as a first-team player. Therefore, it would make sense for him to seek a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge.
Baba Rahman was purchased from FC Augsburg in 2015, for a fee within the region of £23 million.
He has appeared just 15 times in Chelsea Blue. Much like Kenedy, Rahman has been a player that has been loaned out several times.
He has spent time in the Bundesliga, playing 2 seasons at Schalke 04. He has also spent time at Reims, Mallorca, PAOK, and most recently played at Championship club Reading.
At the age of 28 and being a player who hasn’t been utilised at Chelsea, a potential move away from the club would suit both parties.
Chelsea letting first-team players go shouldn’t be a priority. However, should the correct fee come in for some of their players, they should consider letting them move. Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Timo Werner and Jorginho have all been linked with moves away from the club this summer. Whilst they aren’t players that should be at the top of the “outgoings list,” if a bid is made that cannot be turned away, the club should contemplate allowing them to move on to pastures new.