Given that Chelsea endured their worst season in recent memory last campaign — finishing outside the top half of the Premier League table for the first time since the 1990s — and new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital forking out over £500 million in their first 12 months in charge of the Blues, it was always likely there was going to be a clearout at Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Chelsea hierarchy haven’t held back in the first month or so of the transfer window either, with Edouard Mendy, N’Golo Kante and Kalidou Koulibaly joining sides in the rising Saudi Pro League, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic moving to AC Milan and Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz being sold to English top-flight rivals Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal respectively.
That’s a lot of senior first-team members and influential figures in the dressing room to lose in a single window, but Chelsea are in a state of transition and it’s likely that we haven’t seen the end of their outgoings as Boehly and co. look to shift more deadwood before the end of the summer in a bid to help Mauricio Pochettino’s side become more favorable in the Premier League winner betting.
That said, let’s take a look at three more players who could be clearing out their lockers before the start of the 2023-24 campaign.
A player who has been linked with a move away from West London for a while now, Hakim Ziyech has come close to leaving Chelsea on several occasions in the past few windows but can just never seem to get a move over the line.
The winger was reportedly close to joining Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day in January, but the move collapsed late on as Chelsea sent the wrong documents while the Moroccan recently failed a medical that stopped him from joining Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
All parties will be keen for an agreement to be reached before the end of the window and there’s a good chance Ziyech has played his last game for the Blues, with other sides in the Middle East believed to be ready to swoop in.
Eyebrows were raised when former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich forked out over £90 million to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge for a second stint from Inter Milan back in the summer of 2021, and it has arguably proven to be one of the worst pieces of transfer business in Premier League history.
Lukaku was struggling to adapt to life under Thomas Tuchel and his relationship with the then-Chelsea boss reached boiling point when the Belgian striker gave a shock interview to Sky Italia expressing his wish to return to Inter. He remained at Chelsea for the rest of the season but scored a lackluster eight goals in 26 league appearances.
Lukaku spent last campaign on loan at the San Siro but now looks more likely to make a permanent switch to their Italian rivals Juventus.
Another graduate of Chelsea’s youth system that could be moved on this summer, Callum Hudson-Odoi first broke into the senior squad under Maurizio Sarri back in 2018-19 and the Blues had to fend off serious interest from Bayern Munich to keep the promising youngster at Stamford Bridge.
At the time, it seemed the sensible thing to do to reject the German giant’s multiple advances — which at one point saw a bid of £70m declined. In hindsight though, Chelsea might rue their decision not to bite Bayern’s handoff at that lump sum as Hudson-Odoi has largely failed to live up to his potential.
The 22-year-old has mustered 16 goals and 22 assists in 126 appearances for the club and spent last season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, where he also flattered to deceive with just one goal and one assist in 21 outings. Hudson-Odoi reportedly wants to leave Chelsea, but he might not leave west London as he has been linked with a move to Fulham.