Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Four players impressing after leaving Chelsea last summer

Chelsea have embarked on an astonishing overhaul of their squad across the last two seasons, spending around £1 billion in transfer fees for 28 new players.

It’s been an incredible number of incoming and outgoings at Stamford Bridge with the Todd Boehly era having been one of cash, change and inconsistency on the pitch. Some of those squeezed out under the new regime have found the grass to be rather greener, however.

We’ve looked at four players who have impressed since leaving Chelsea last summer.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Marseille)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s return to the Premier League proved short-lived last season, with the former Arsenal captain underwhelming after signing for Chelsea.

Aubameyang signed for the west Londoners from Barcelona as an experienced option at centre-forward but scored just three times in 21 appearances in all competitions.

At 34, it appeared the forward’s best football was behind him as he signed for Marseille last summer. However, since returning to Ligue 1 he has rolled back the years, scoring prolifically for Les Olympiens. Aubameyang has scored 25 goals in 42 appearances across all competitions and became the Europa League’s all-time record scorer when he netted against Shakhtar Donetsk in February.

Aubameyang has 12 goals and seven assists in Ligue 1 alone, with only Kylian Mbappe having been directly involved in more goals in France’s top tier this season.

Christian Pulisic (AC Milan)

Christian Pulisic failed to hit the heights expected from him at Chelsea with injuries having blighted the American’s time in English football.

He was allowed to depart to sign for AC Milan for a cut-price fee of £20 million as he approached the last year of his contract at Chelsea, a sizeable loss on the Blues’ £64m investment in 2018.

Pulisic has thrived amid an injury-free season in Milan and has scored 10 league goals in a campaign for the first time, with only Olivier Giroud having netted more in Serie A for the Rossoneri. The winger has 13 goals and eight assists in all competitions, having been involved in just three goals during a disappointing final campaign at Stamford Bridge.

After becoming the third American to represent Milan, after Oguchi Onyewu and Sergiño Dest, the United States will be delighted to see their poster boy back enjoying his football and thriving at the top level.

Kai Havertz (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s decision to sign Kai Havertz was questioned in the summer as the Gunners spent £65m to sign the midfielder from their London neighbours. Havertz, despite clear talent, had underwhelmed at Chelsea with the German struggling to find consistency or a clear role.

The 24-year-old took time to settle into the Arsenal team with an experiment in midfield delivering mixed results, though a move further forward has brought out the best in the new recruit. In the absence of a reliable centre-forward, Havertz has operated as Arsenal’s focal point with success.

His movement and work-rate have added a new dynamic to Mikel Arteta’s forward line and Havertz has delivered the most productive campaign of his Premier League career. He has 14 goal involvements from 23 league starts, including five goals and four assists in his last seven Premier League appearances.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (AC Milan)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek followed Christian Pulisic from Chelsea to Milan last summer, as the midfielder added to an increasing contingent of ex-Blues at the San Siro.

The duo reunited with Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud in Stefano Pioli’s squad and Loftus-Cheek has found his form after a frustrating end to his time with Chelsea.

Operating in an advanced midfield role, the 28-year-old has matched the best goalscoring season of his career with 10 in all competitions. He is one of four players to reach 10+ goals in all competitions for Milan this season, the first time since 2008/09 (Alexandre Pato 18, Kaká 16, Filippo Inzaghi 16 and Ronaldinho 10) the club have had such spread.

Despite the competition for places, he could be in contention for an unlikely England recall if his performances continue.

Read – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

See more – Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 33: Five differentials to consider

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