Chelsea have it all to do if they are to finish in the Premier League’s top four and get into next season’s Champions League, so Blues fans could be forgiven for wishing some former players who are flourishing at other clubs were still on the books.
Any football team has one or two names that got away and went on to do well elsewhere. Chelsea is no different. With that in mind, here are four former Blues who are performing well for other hands.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Belgium playmaker Kevin De Bruyne played just nine games for Chelsea and made a sole assist in 2013 but has really stepped up his form since returning to England with Man City – a team that the bookmakers have already paid out on in the outright Premier League betting. Perhaps given too few chances under Jose Mourinho, De Bruyne has become a real pass-master.
Via a second spell in the German Bundesliga with Wolfsburg (he had also spent time previously on loan with Werder Bremen), De Bruyne came back to English football in the summer of 2015. With seven games of the 2017/18 Premier League season left, he is the clear leader in the assists table, having set up 15 goals for his Etihad teammates.
Radamel Falcao (Monaco)
One-time Chelsea loan flop and Colombia frontman Radamel Falcao has left his difficult spells in England at Old Trafford and the Bridge behind him by banging in goals for Principality outfit Monaco. Alongside Kylian Mbappe, he fired them to the French Ligue 1 title last season and has continued to be prolific since.
A career-threatening knee injury sustained in January 2014 that cost Falcao a place at the last World Cup in Brazil looked to have hampered his club career, especially given his lack of goals for Man Utd and the Blues. Maybe playing in an arguably weaker league has helped him discover those predatory instincts in front of goal, while Falcao is 33/1 in the World Cup 2018 top goalscorer betting with a quarter of those odds available for four places.
Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Another Belgian barely given a chance at the Bridge was 18/1 World Cup top scorer chance Romelu Lukaku, who made just 10 Premier League appearances for the Blues without a goal. That hasn’t stopped the big striker becoming the youngest foreign player in the competition’s history to net 100 goals, though.
Lukaku first left Chelsea temporarily in search of regular first-team football and enjoyed successful spells with West Bromwich Albion and Everton. He made a permanent switch to Goodison Park in the summer of 2014 and continue to score consistently, prompting Manchester United to pay a reported initial £75 million for his services where he’s already matched last season’s tally of 26 goals in all competitions.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Egypt winger Mohamed Salah played 19 times for the Blues after joining from Swiss Super League side Basel in January 2014. He scored twice and made four assists but found fellow wide operators Eden Hazard and Willian hard to get past.
Salah really found himself in the Italian Serie A, first on loan with Fiorentina and then capital club Roma. His form in the Eternal City prompted Liverpool to pay a then club record fee this past summer and has repaid it in spades as the Premier League’s current top goalscorer. Thanks to Salah’s exploits, the Anfield outfit are 11/4 in the outright betting without Man City.