Romelu Lukaku's return to Chelsea for a club-record fee is the latest talk from the transfer town. Players returning to play for their former clubs is not something we get to see every day in football. It's always an eventful occasion, something that everyone looks forward to.
The Chelsea Academy is brimming with talent
It's no surprise that Chelsea have the most players on loan around the world. The Premier League club's academy is one of the most renowned talent producers in Europe and it's often impossible for all of them to feature in the first team.
Most academy graduates are either let go on loan or permanently, with the option of bringing them back in the future often applied. Chelsea's history of losing talent in the past has made them more cautious when selling young prospects these days.
On that note, let's take a look at five former Chelsea players who could yet make a return to the club in the future.
#5 Fikayo Tomori
Having joined Chelsea at a young age, Tomori raced through the ranks being part of a very successful youth team. After making his debut, he left on various loan spells in the Championship. He then returned to the club along with Frank Lampard, who took on the reigns in a season hit with a transfer embargo in 2019.
The centre-back had an impressive season, making his breakthrough into the first team alongside many other young players under Lampard. However, it wasn't long before he found himself on the sidelines having been limited to just four appearances in all competitions in the 2020-21 season.
Amid a rumored fallout with Lampard, Tomori left on loan to Milan in January last season, with an option to make it permanent at the end of the season.
An imposing loan stint with the Rossoneri, helping them to a second-place finish in Serie A, was more than enough for the club hierarchy to sign him permanently. A £25 million permanent deal clause with £5 million in potential add-ons as agreed beforehand ensured the defender signed a contract until 2025.
Even during the brief period he was at Stamford Bridge, Tomori had done enough to showcase his talents in the center of defense and quickly become a fan favorite. Though Chelsea don't have a buy-back clause in his contract, it wouldn't be surprising if he's wanted back at the club in the future given his enormous potential.
#4 Marc Guehi
Another one of Chelsea's academy products, Marc Guehi, was also part of the young crop that dominated youth tournaments in the country for a long time. He was at the club during Lampard's first season in charge, making his professional debut in a 7–1 win against Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup.
He left for Swansea on loan in January last season, making his name in the Championship and becoming a mainstay in the Swans' defense on their journey to the play-offs.
Chelsea did discuss a contract extension but Guehi was not keen to remain a part of the 'loan army' and wanted regular first team minutes. With the possibility of regular involvement unlikely, the defender opted to seek greener pastures.
His destination proved to be Crystal Palace on a five-year deal for a reported fee of £18 million. Chelsea have also agreed a sell on fee and matching rights clause in his contract displaying the belief the club still have on him.
Guehi is certainly one to watch for in the coming years and a return to his boyhood club is never off the cards.