Given the disastrous way in which their Premier League defence has begun this season, the release of the 2015 Ballon d’Or shortlist must have irritated a few Chelsea fans.
And not just because one of its worthier contenders, Eden Hazard, has left his superhero cloak in the wash this season either.
There is another prominent name on FIFA’s 23-man roll call whose guile and goals were once their own property not so long ago, only for patience in nurturing his talents to run out a little too promptly.
Kevin De Bruyne never cut the mustard at Stamford Bridge for whatever reason, before being sold to Wolfsburg.
His phenomenal 2014/15 campaign then saw Manchester City dust off their charity-sized cheque book and already the Belgian conjurer is producing the goods Chelsea couldn’t seem to extract.
Here at Ladbrokes News, it prompted us to develop the theme a little further and create a top five of Chelsea players that the Blues probably regret letting go only to see them flourish elsewhere….
Top 5 Chelsea Clangers:
5 – Ryan Betrand
The Englishman failed to make the grade at Stamford Bridge despite famously starting Chelsea’s glorious Champions League final. Since his departure however, the left-back spot has been a troublesome one to fill with a natural left footer. Ironically, after shining brightly at Southampton last season, Betrand made the PFA Team of the Year, alongside three former Chelsea colleagues in the back four!
4 – Arjen Robben
Real Madrid wanted some of Chelsea’s flying Dutchman after he had helped christen Jose Mourinho’s first stint with every domestic trophy in a two-season blitz. Chelsea would argue that £25m was a lot to recoup for an injury-affected player, but from what the Bayern Munich star has gone onto achieve both in Spain and Germany, Robben is still one that slipped the net.
3 – Nemanja Matic
Whoever decided that the Serbian enforcer was not fit for purpose at the Bridge would have been blushing when the club decided they should buy him back off Benfica for £14.5m more than they sold him for.
2 – Daniel Sturridge
After fighting for his place at Chelsea without being fully trusted to lead the line, his former coach Brendan Rodgers was only too happy to snap Sturridge up for £10.5m. Having left in January 2013, the striker promptly went on to score 10 Premier League goals in his first 14 Reds appearances, before hitting 21 from 29 the next season. Chelsea might well have won the league with such returns. Injuries have subsequently blighted his reputation somewhat, but Studger is a class act.
1 – Kevin De Bruyne
As mentioned above, the Belgian whiz is up there among the world’s very best attacking midfielders, winning Germany’s equivalent to the PFA Player of the Year Award scooped by former teammate Hazard last season. De Bruyne never appeared to get a fair crack of the whip in west London, but since Wolfsburg gave him licence as a roving number 10, he’s never looked back. City have already extracted five goals in eight appearances from their summer signing.
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