Chelsea rejects XI: How good is it compared to Thomas Tuchel's current side?

Everyone knows a Chelsea rejects XI would be good, but is it so good it's better than Thomas Tuchel's current team? Planet Sport investigates.

Chelsea have a policy of stockpiling talent and then selling it on, so perhaps 'rejects' is the wrong term for those that leave the club.

That said, there is a case to be made for Chelsea having dropped some huge clangers in terms of who they have allowed to leave in the past.

In fact, are we now at a stage where a Chelsea rejects XI would be better than their actual team? Planet Sport takes a look.

Thibaut Courtois

Let's start with a contentious one, because Thibaut Courtois probably rejected Chelsea more than they rejected him.

The Belgian signed as a youngster and was immediately loaned out to Atletico Madrid, where he became their number one for three full seasons. That came back to seriously bite Chelsea in the backside.

After returning to England, Courtois became Chelsea's number one and played more than 150 games for the Blues, but by then he had already settled in Spain, and had two children living their lives there too.

Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid

In 2018, Courtois decided he wanted to be closer to his kids in Madrid and forced a move by refusing to train. Chelsea sold him to Real Madrid for £35million, and he has now gone on to become arguably the best goalkeeper in the world.

Fikayo Tomori

When Fikayo Tomori made his breakthrough at Chelsea following a string of successful loan spells in the Championship, he looked like a raw but high-quality defender.

He was big, strong, quick and versatile, generally everything you'd look for in a modern Premier League defender.

His involvement in the first team tailed off, though, and before long he found himself seemingly surplus to requirements. AC Milan saw his quality and brought him in on loan with an option to sign him permanently for £25million.

In the subsequent 18 months Tomori has thrived at AC Milan, become a Serie A winner and earned himself a serious shot at starting for England at the World Cup. AC Milan have wisely excerised that £25million purchase option. A snip.

Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake always looked like a serious prospect at Chelsea, and that only made it even more surprising when they allowed him to leave without really giving him a chance in the first team.

Ake was farmed out on loan during his early career, as is pretty standard for Chelsea prospects. He found success with Bournemouth, and they made his transfer permanent for £20million.

That looked like an inflated fee at the time but they got more than 100 matches out of him before doubling their money, so it turned out to be very astute purchase.

When Bournemouth were relegated, Manchester City swooped in and signed Ake for £41million. He has never made himself a regular at the Etihad, but he remains a valued player and has won two Premier League winners' medals at the club.

Marc Guehi

Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi and Manchester City's Phil Foden (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London

Considering that, at the time of writing, Chelsea's centre-back ranks consist of 37-year-old Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah there is a serious case to be made for Guehi completing a stronger rejected trio than the Blues can field themselves at the moment.

Guehi is yet to hit the heights of Ake and Tomori, but in the last year since moving to Crystal Palace for a reported £18million he has become an established Premier League player and been capped by England.

The Ivorian-born centre-back is only 21 years old too, so he still has a lot of development left in him.

Thorgan Hazard

When Chelsea signed Thorgan Hazard from Lens back in 2012, it looked a little like it was just a move to help his brother Eden settle in.

However, Thorgan Hazard has gone on to prove himself as a player of huge pedigree in his own right in Germany.

Hazard was initially loaned to Belgian club Zulte Waregem for two years and did very well. That got him a chance at Borussia Monchengladbach, and they saw enough to make the move permanent a year later for £6million.

He has since moved on to Borussia Dortmund and become a key player for a brilliant Belgian team, so if Chelsea did only sign him to help settle his brother, they seriously underestimated his talent.

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates for Manchester City

Speaking of brilliant Belgians, Chelsea's rejection of Kevin De Bruyne has become so infamous it's practically the gold standard of football mistakes.

To be fair, Chelsea were not alone in making it. "The world is going mad," former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson told Sky Sports after Man City paid £55million to sign De Bruyne from Wolfsburg.

"The amount of money they're paying for this boy is just absolutely bonkers! He's a good player, but is he a great player?"

Former Arsenal striker Paul Merson agreed, saying: " I just don't see this, I just don't see £50-odd million for this player. I really do not see it at all.

"He's played here before, at a top team with top players. Honestly, I thought it was lira, I did."

There is nothing that really needs to be said about this one. Chelsea got it spectacularly wrong. They know it, we known it, Kevin De Bruyne knows it and even Phil Thompson and Paul Merson know it.

Declan Rice

Declan Rice and Mark Noble celebrate

Judging the futures of kids is tough in any walk of life, never mind just football, but you have to wonder just how Chelsea missed Declan Rice's talent.

Rice was at the Chelsea academy for seven years before being released as a 14-year-old, so it's not like they didn't have the time to get a good look at him either.

West Ham were, of course, only too happy to snap him up and he has gone on to prove himself an absolute Rolls Royce of a midfield player.

Given Rice will cost someone more than £100million now and Chelsea are one of the clubs linked, it may prove to be a very expensive mistake indeed.

Juan Cuadrado

When Chelsea signed Cuadrado it felt more like they did it out of boredom, more than anything else.

I mean, we've all done it when playing Football Manager, right? Sometimes you just want to sign someone. No plan, no real need, you just want to.

The Colombian never really got much of a chance for Chelsea, featuring in just 13 Premier League matches before being sent out to Juventus six months later. In truth, the English game didn't look suited to him, or he didn't have enough time to adjust to it at least.

Since joining Juventus, he as played more than 250 times and won five Scudettos, so his huge quality should never be in doubt.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

Chelsea's rejection of Mohamed Salah is almost as infamous as their Kevin De Bruyne mistake.

To be fair, though, Salah did play more games for Chelsea and didn't pull up any trees, so very few people could have predicted the player he was going to become.

In fact, although Salah did well in Italy with Fiorentina and Roma, he wasn't producing anything like the level that he has at Liverpool, so I think we can all probably let this one slide, no matter how crazy it looks at first glance.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea celebrates with Antonio Rudiger

While Romelu Lukaku has been a bit of a flop in his second spell at Chelsea, he was definitely a reject first time around.

Lukaku was signed as a teenager and, frankly, the whole thing was weird. Sign a teenager, loan him out, watch him become absolutely brilliant in the Premier League and then sell him before you even give him a chance in your own side? Bizarre.

That is essentially what Chelsea did with Lukaku in his first spell. What has happened since his return has clouded that slightly, but it certainly doesn't change it.

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham, Roma, Europa Conference League final

Tammy Abraham at Chelsea can be a tough one to judge, because they definitely gave him a chance. What they never seemed to do, though, was trust him.

In truth, you can't help but wonder whether Abraham would have got the opportunity if the transfer embargo hadn't limited the club's first team options.

That said, Abraham had proven prolific at Championship level on loan and scored 15 Premier League goals in 34 games for Chelsea when he was a regular.

Abraham escaped to Roma last summer in search of first team football and some love and has found it. He has repaid that with a stunning first season in the Italian capital, scoring more goals in one season than Timo Werner has for Chelsea in two, so…

Is the Chelsea reject XI better than their current side?

It's hard to argue that it isn't, in all honesty, and that is not something you say lightly given how good Chelsea are.

In goal it's probably a tight contest. Edouard Mendy has won accolades this year, but would you take him over Courtois? I don't think you would, and the Champions League final showed why.

Chelsea's current defence is very much depleted. Thiago Silva is quality, but 37, while Sarr and Chalobah have it all to prove. Meanwhile, speculation is rife over the futures of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Reece James would be an obvious choice ahead of Juan Cuadrado, and you'd likely take a fully fit Ben Chilwell on the left over Thorgan Hazard.

In midfield, you'd struggle to find a better duo in the Premier League than Kevin De Bruyne and Declan Rice even if you could handpick it from every team in the division.

At the top end of the pitch, obviously Chelsea can still call on the services of Romelu Lukaku, although that surely won't be the case for much longer. That leaves Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, neither of whom you'd pick over Mohamed Salah. That said, Mason Mount would likely be the choice of most over Tammy Abraham at this stage of their careers.

The Chelsea rejects XI looks the better side, which makes you wonder just how successful the current policy at Stamford Bridge actually is.

READ MORE: The worst starts to a Premier League campaign for each one of the 'Big Six'

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