Have Chelsea let the right players go over the past couple of seasons?
Chelsea are struggling right now. However, like most poor runs of form, they will snap out of it. What makes it harder for the Blues, is watching several players that they have sold in the past, doing quite well at their new clubs. Kevin De Bruyne has been in good form at Wolfsburg, while Mohamed Salah has been brilliant for his new club, Fiorentina.
Even Torres, the man who is arguably one of the most frustrating players in Chelsea history, is playing well at Atletico. When a team is struggling like the Blues currently are, it is easy to turn to past decisions, and label them as mistakes. However, this is no time for regret.
Since Mourinho’s homecoming, Chelsea have sold several players including Juan Mata, Kevin DeBruyne, Romelu Lukaku, David Luiz, and Andre Schurrle. They have also loaned out Mohamed Salah, with an option for Fiorentina to buy. However, Chelsea have also acquired several talented players during this time period as well.
These new players include Willian, Diego Costa, Kurt Zouma, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, Juan Cuadrado, Filipe Luis, and the installation of longtime loanee, Thibaut Courtois. Most reasonable Chelsea fans would consider this great business, especially considering the FFP regulations.
Chelsea fans often fall symptom to looking for quick fixes. It is easy to see a former player having relative success and regret past decisions to sell. However, what we must consider, is that we can not sign new players without selling members of our own team. While it is hard to see De Bruyne having success in a Wolfsburg jersey, it sits a little easier with me knowing that his sale funded the purchase of Nemanja Matic.
Watching our 1.95m CDM patrol our midfield should more than justify De Bruyne’s sale. While it was tough to see Schurrle go this winter, Cuadrado offers a new, fast approach that perhaps the Blues could use. At the same time Schurrle was not getting his chances and it was time for both parties to move on.
One of the best examples however, is the summer sales of David Luiz and Romelu Lukaku. I was personally a huge fan of Luiz. That being said, he was far from a stalwart at CB. Lukaku was a promising talent, and I still believe that he can develop into a great striker. It was tough to see them go, but it was much easier knowing their sales all but funded the purchase of Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, and Filipe Luis.
Having a short term memory is not a good attitude to have in this current football culture. And Chelsea fans would do wrong to have one here. Another thing to consider, is how strong each league is, and how expectations are at each new club. Many accept that the French League is no where near as strong as the BPL.
Therefore, while David Luiz maybe in better form in Paris, it is not the league that will most stringently test a CB, especially compared to the Premier League. While Salah may be terrorizing defenses in Italy,
it doesn't necessarily mean he could do the same here. While De Bruyne is pulling the strings for Wolfsburg in Germany, he would not be afforded the same time on the ball in England. And the mystery of Juan Mata warming the bench at United continues to amaze me. That being said, I doubt that he would be in a different place for the Blues.
As Chelsea fans, we must learn and grow as a fan base. We need not return to old friends in times of trouble, but rather look to greener pastures with the squad we currently possess. It's a team brimming with talent, from top to bottom. We may make acquisitions this offseason as most good teams do. However, we will look to upgrade the squad even further, and these additions will not include former players.
While people will say, look at the return of Matic, I argue that Matic is an exception. To be honest in the words of Jose himself, "If I had been here – left-footed player, 1.95m tall – a midfield player like that would never, never leave." Both Jose and I feel that Matic should never have left in the first place, but this is a rare mistake.
These errors are few and far between, and should not be used to measure the overall transfer policy. This summer we may be forced to accept further exits. Instead of bemoaning decisions made by Mourinho and the front office, we should choose to look ahead to the improvement of the overall squad, and in turn put faith in the team to compete for a trophy in every competition.