Chelsea start, bench, sell: Assessing the players linked with a summer exit

Date published: Tuesday 14th March 2023 7:50 - Will Ford

Chelsea collage

Chelsea have got too many players. Fans of opposition teams have their tiny violins out for Graham Potter, but it really must be difficult to put on a training session with that many internationals, let alone pick a starting XI.

Reports suggest Todd Boehly and Clearlake will be clearing the decks in the summer, and we’ve done a ‘start, bench, sell’ for all of the Chelsea players linked with the exit.


Edouard Mendy: Sell
The Best goalkeeper in the world in 2021 after his Champions League heroics is now firmly second choice behind one of the worst goalkeepers in Premier League history. To be fair, Kepa Arrizabalaga is a hell of a lot better now than he was when he earned that badge of dishonour under Frank Lampard – his stats for this season suggest he’s now among the best in the English top flight.

Still, it must sting for Mendy, who rejected a “disrespectful” contract offer in December. Assuming Kepa remains No.1, summer signing Gabriel Slonina should be a more than serviceable back-up.


Kalidou Koulibaly: Sell
Signed in the summer for £34m, Chelsea have seemingly changed transfer tack as a result of his performances. He’s 31 and has absolutely looked it through most of his short time at the club. Chelsea are now instead set on hoovering up young talent.

It’s interesting that the ‘time to adapt’ caveat isn’t offered so willingly to players of a certain age, but Koulibaly does look past his best.


Ethan Ampadu: Sell
Somehow still only 22 but his development since his debut in 2017 has not been as significant as many would have hoped. Spezia were thought to be close to a permanent agreement for his transfer in the summer only for him to instead move to the Serie A side on loan. He’s very unlikely to play for Chelsea again.


Cesar Azpilicueta: Sell
The two-year contract signed in the summer now looks a bit daft and there’s a very real danger one of the club’s greatest servants will leave with a bit of a shrug. Deserves a good send-off.


Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Sell
It’s both a surprise that he’s managed to rack up 146 appearances for Chelsea and that he’s not played more considering he broke into the first team in 2015. He’s been beset by injury for a large portion of that time but has played a significant part in the last year or so.

But crucially, given he’s an academy product, his sale would do wonders in Financial Fair Play (FFP) terms. £30m or so isn’t unreasonable for a 27-year-old of his quality.


Mason Mount: Start
The Mason Mount witch-hunt among the Chelsea fans is absurd. What happened to ‘One Of Our Own’? His apparent desire to leave for Liverpool isn’t about money, it’s about respect.


Conor Gallagher: Bench
Difficult one this, because again his sale would be great for FFP. But he’s also arguably a pretty ideal guy to have the bench, as he’s unlikely to kick up a big fuss because he’s not starting, and will run around like a madman causing chaos when he does come on.


Christian Pulisic: Sell
Wins a lot of free-kicks but would be nice if he also assisted and scored goals. Chelsea can’t wait forever for him to come good, particularly when the ceilings of Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke are significantly higher. Chelsea should get a decent wedge for the 24-year-old.


Callum Hudson Odoi: Sell
If only Chelsea had accepted that £50m from Bayern Munich. To be fair, that could have been the right move at the right time for Hudson-Odoi, whom you could imagine now flying for the German champions. Instead he’s failing to pull up any trees on loan at Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen. Chelsea will now be lucky to get £20m.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi Bayer lines up


Hakim Ziyech: Sell
Chelsea somehow botched his PSG paperwork three times in January to prevent that move from happening, and will be praying another club comes in for him this summer.


Raheem Sterling: Start
He’ll miss a lot of chances, but also gets far more than your average forward. Potter values his experience and so too will the young Chelsea forwards in the long run.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Sell
One of the most laughable transfers in Premier League history. Signed for Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked five days after his arrival, Graham Potter is now stuck with a famously bad influence on the dressing room who looks like he can barely put one foot in front of the other when he does play, let alone put the ball in the back of the net.


Armando Broja: Bench
It would have been interesting to see the sort of impact he might have had this season with Chelsea begging for goals. He’s unlikely to be the guy but it’s possible.


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