Six former key Chelsea players who left Stamford Bridge this summer

Chelsea are undergoing a summer of change in west London as the club look to rebuild from their worst Premier League campaign since the mid-nineties.

Todd Boehly’s arrival as owner has led to a rather chaotic period of recruitment, leaving Chelsea with an expensively assembled and overpopulated squad. Substantial sales have already began and the exits indicate a new direction at Chelsea under Mauricio Pochettino, with a number of former favourites ushered out of the exit door.

Here are six former key players who have left Chelsea this summer.

Cesar Azpilicueta

Mauricio Pochettino’s reign as Chelsea manager will begin with the club in need of a new captain, after Cesar Azpilicueta brought an end to his career in west London.

The Spanish defender has spent more than a decade at Chelsea and leaves as a club legend, having made 508 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, a record for an overseas star.

The 33-year-old was contracted for the upcoming campaign, but has been allowed to join Atletico Madrid as a free agent after expressing interest in returning to his native Spain.

Azpilicueta became the first Chelsea player to win every available major honour after lifting two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, two Europa Leagues, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup

Although past his peak, his experience and versatility will be difficult to replace next season, with Pochettino in need of a new leader as Chelsea look to move forward.

Mason Mount

Mason Mount’s exit has not been well received at Chelsea, with the Cobham graduate allowed to sign for Manchester United this summer.

Mount had been arguably the face of an emerging group from Chelsea’s academy system introduced into the side under Frank Lampard, before developing into an integral figure at Stamford Bridge. The midfielder was named as Chelsea’s Player of the Season in 2020/21 and 2021/22 and despite a dip in performances last term represents a sizeable loss to the squad.

The 24-year-old had entered the final season of his contract at Chelsea and is understood to have felt undervalued during negotiations for an extension.

His sale has brought in £60m to reinvest, but Mount’s departure has no doubt strengthened a direct rival while weakening Chelsea’s midfield. Mount’s game is built on intelligent off-the-ball work-rate and creativity through the centre, attributes that appear well-suited to the demands of a Pochettino team.

Mateo Kovacic

Mateo Kovacic is another Chelsea midfielder who will adorn the colours of a Premier League rival this season, after completing a £30m move to Manchester City.

The Croatia international had just a year to run on his contract at Stamford Bridge and has been allowed to depart as Chelsea move in a new direction. He made 221 appearances in all competitions and was a crucial part of the club’s run to Champions League success in 2021.

The 29-year-old captained the club on occasion last season, but Chelsea have sanctioned his sale with the club’s engine room to be centred around record recruit Enzo Fernandez.

Kovacic appears a fine fit for City with his comfortability in possession and ability to travel with the ball through opposition midfields. City’s interest emerged after Ilkay Gundogan decided to leave the Premier League champions to join Barcelona on a free transfer.

N’Golo Kante

Chelsea had been keen to tie N’Golo Kante down to a new contract at Stamford Bridge, but the midfielder has instead decided to call time on his decorated career in English football.

Kante has joined the growing list of big names to head to The Saudi Pro League and has signed for Al-Ittihad on a free transfer after his Chelsea contract expired. The France international has struggled with fitness issues in recent campaigns and made just six Premier League starts last season, but departs as a modern great at Chelsea.

Kante was named as the PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year as Chelsea won the Premier League title during his debut campaign at the club, while he has since lifted the FA Cup, Europa League, Club World Cup and Champions League.

His performances during Chelsea’s run to that latter triumph cemented his reputation as one of the most influential midfielders of his generation, as Kante was named man of the match in both legs of Chelsea’s semi-final win over Real Madrid and again in the final against Manchester City.

Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz has crossed the capital this summer to sign for Arsenal in a £65m deal. Excitement was high when Chelsea secured a deal to sign the Germany international from Bayer Leverkusen, but he departs three seasons later after an underwhelming period at Stamford Bridge.

Havertz scored the winner in the 2021 Champions League final to end his debut season on a high, but has struggled to turn his talent into consistent end product at Chelsea.

That said, the 24-year-old has made 45+ appearances in each of his three campaigns in west London and has often been tasked with – perhaps to the detriment of his own game – leading the line in a centre-forward position.

Full of ability but with much still to prove, Chelsea will hope their decision to allow Havertz to leave will not be one the club come to regret.

Edouard Mendy

Edouard Mendy is another who has chosen to leave the Premier League for Saudi Arabia, signing for Al Ahli after losing his place as Chelsea’s number one last season.

The Senegal international struggled for regular football last season, but had been a key figure in west London after his arrival from Rennes. Mendy’s debut season saw him star as Chelsea won the Champions League, with the goalkeeper conceding just twice in seven knockout round games.

His nine clean sheets in the 2020/21 campaign were a record for a ‘keeper in their first season in the Champions League and his performances saw Mendy named as UEFA Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season and as The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper.

Mendy – who also helped Senegal to Africa Cup of Nations success in 2022 – will count former Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino as a team-mate at Al Ahli next season.

Read – Eight brilliant players who played for AC Milan and Chelsea

Read Also – Six Premier League players who need to kick on this season

Subscribe to our social channels:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments