Six academy stars who left Chelsea and went on to become world class

Pochettino believes Chelsea are 'building something'

Chelsea have one of the most successful academies in world football, which has played a key role in their success over the years. The likes of Reece James, Levi Colwill and Conor Gallagher are among the core group of homegrown stars in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad currently and other talented prospects are waiting for their opportunity to impress. However, several players have slipped through the net at Cobham and gone on to become world-class talents elsewhere; Express Sport takes a look…

Jamal Musiala

Musiala spent eight years at Chelsea before deciding to leave the club, aged 16, to join Bayern Munich. The midfielder has not looked back since heading to the Bundesliga, scoring 23 goals in 94 appearances and being touted as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe.

Declan Rice

In one of Chelsea’s biggest blunders in recent history, they released Rice when he was 14 years old, in 2013. The England international joined West Ham and quickly rose through the ranks at the club, blossoming into a top-quality midfielder and becoming their captain. After making over 200 appearances for the Hammers and asserting himself as one of the best in the business, he joined Arsenal this summer for £105million – to truly rub salt into the wounds of the Blues.

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Fikayo Tomori

Questions were raised about why Chelsea were willing to sell Tomori to AC Milan in 2021, and those doubts have been justified since. The defender has impressed in the Serie A and developed into a world-class central defender, recently being rewarded for his consistent displays with an England call-up.

Nathan Ake

Ake has become an unsung hero at Manchester City, playing a key role in their treble-winning success last season and proving to be a versatile asset under Pep Guardiola. The Dutchman came through the ranks at Chelsea before opting to make a permanent move to Bournemouth when it became apparent that he would not feature under Antonio Conte. He has since progressed markedly, with the Blues even trying to buy him back for almost £50m in 2022.

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Tammy Abraham

With Chelsea still desperately scouring the market for a striker, they will certainly rue allowing Abraham to leave the club in 2021 to join AS Roma. The 26-year-old has continued to progress in the Serie A, despite already proving himself at Chelsea with 21 goals in 58 appearances, and has the attributes of a player that would thrive under Pochettino. The Blues inserted a buy-back into Abraham’s contract when he departed for the Stadio Olimpico to avoid having to pay over the odds if they felt they had made an error in selling the academy graduate.

Michael Olise

Another star who Chelsea almost splashed the cash on to re-sign was Olise, with the Crystal Palace star eventually penning a new deal at Selhurst Park this summer rather than heading back to his former side. The winger spent seven years at Cobham before enjoying a brief spell at City and eventually joining Reading, where he became an instant success. The 21-year-old shone in the Championship and is showcasing that he possesses the ability to be a sensational winger at Palace, with numerous clubs keeping tabs on his progress.

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