One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Chelsea have made a habit of throwing away some of their most talented prospects for peanuts over the past five years.
Kevin De Bruyne, Mo Salah and Romelu Lukaku have been the high profile examples of when The Blues have got it wrong over recent times.
And the latest player who is on the verge of proving his former employees wrong is Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake.
Salah, De Bruyne and Lukaku could only manage 26 Premier League games between them at Chelsea, showing just how hard it is to break through the ranks at the London club.
The trio all forced moves to lesser clubs with Salah heading to Roma, De Bruyne to Wolfsburg and Lukaku to Everton – all in the hunt for regular game time.
Salah won Roma’s Player of the Year in 2016, De Bruyne won Bundesliga Player of the Year in 2015 and Lukaku was Everton’s Player of the Year in 2017 – as well as making the PFA Team of the Year in the same season.
And all three have come back to the Chelsea’s Premier League rivals to show The Blues what they are missing out on… well, two of them have anyway.
Ake, Chelsea’s Young Player of the Year in 2013, had previously been loaned out to Watford and then Bournemouth before making his move to the south coast permanent in 2017.
The Dutchman only made nine Premier League appearances for Chelsea between 2012 and 2016, primarily being used in the cup competitions.
He has played in every Premier League game for The Cherries over the past two seasons, with his good form attracting the attention of Pep Guardiola.
Man City, despite losing Vincent Kompany, still have a fearsome back-line with John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi all with a strong claim to a starting position.
Clearly not content with what he’s got, Pep has apparently launched a £40million bid for Ake, with Harry Maguire looking a bit too pricey around the £70mil mark.
Chelsea, who are now stuck with a year-long transfer ban, will be hoping the 24-year-old stays put at Bournemouth after the players mentioned above have come back to haunt them.
Salah has been Liverpool’s best player over the past two seasons and was vital in both their Champions League win last season and their silver medal the year before.
Luakaku has not been in great form over the past two seasons but has more goals than any Chelsea player since his departure in 2014.
And Kevin De Bruyne has become one of the world’s best under Guardiola’s management and was instrumental in their record-breaking 17/18 season.
A lot has been made of De Bruyne, Salah and Lukaku’s Chelsea careers, or lack of, but not much has been said of Ake’s departure.
Strange considering he was thought of as one of the hottest prospects at the club for some time.
It might take a title-winning season with Man City before everyone realises what a great talent Chelsea let go.