With Chelsea’s hopes of retaining the title all but dashed, surely some of these players could have helped improve the squad depth needed to challenge for major trophies.
Some of the club’s stars of today are worthy of inclusion in this starting XI, but we’ve also selected those who perhaps were let go too easily or, for whatever reason, departed the club.
This could have been Chelsea’s starting eleven…
GK Thibaut Courtois
One of those still at the club, Courtois is at the pinnacle of his career. Chelsea’s greatest ever keeper, Petr Cech, was sold to Arsenal in 2015 but has failed to display the same heroics as he did at Chelsea.
With that said, second-choice Willy Caballero has struggled to really dominate the Chelsea penalty area.
Despite his penalty shootout heroics against Norwich in the FA Cup, every Chelsea fan’s heart is in their mouth when a dangerous ball is sent sailing into the box.
DEF Nathan Ake
Chelsea sold the youngster to Bournemouth last summer despite numerous solid displays. Ake scored against the Pensioners this week as Bournemouth demolished the champions 3-0.
With the recent struggles of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger, the Chelsea board may have made a big mistake.
DEF Andreas Christensen
Christensen has emerged one of the world’s most exciting young defenders and has attracted the attention of Manchester City and Barcelona. He is clearly a favourite of Antonio Conte’s.
Let’s hope Chelsea don’t make yet another error of judgement and offload him if the boss is to be axed come May.
DEF Kurt Zouma
The Frenchman is one of the quickest defenders to ever wear the blue of Chelsea.
Despite being desperate to stay in west London, Zouma was one of nearly 40 youngsters to be shipped out on loan. Since arriving at the Britannia Stadium, the former trickster of the Chelsea squad has nailed down a regular place with the Potters and looks to be reaching the levels of consistency needed to make it in England.
Surely, Chelsea could use his pace when coming up against some of the better teams in the Premier League.
LWB Filipe Luis
Having fallen out of favour with Jose Mourinho, it took only one season for the Brazilian to return to Atletico Madrid.
Having been faced with the tough task of competing with Azpilicueta and Ivanovic, it was always going to be a big ask.
Marcus Alonso has shown his attacking qualities with his crossing and set piece ability.
MID Kevin De Bruyne
Probably the worst transfer decision made by the club. De Bruyne has emerged as a rival to Eden Hazard for the reputation of league’s best player and so far he has been winning that battle.
His passing ability has allowed the likes of Sane and Sterling to run riot this season. He is the one player Chelsea may never find a replacement for.
MID N’Golo Kante
The two-time Premier League winner has potentially established himself as the best defensive midfielder in the world.
Had De Bruyne stayed, Chelsea may have had the best defensive and offensive midfielders in the world.
RWB Cesar Azpilicueta
“Dave” has without doubt been the rock of the Chelsea defence over the last few seasons.
Jamie Carragher has even gone as far to say that he is the most consistent defender in Europe’s toughest league. Surely I’m not the only one who sees why he should be the next Chelsea captain.
AM Eden Hazard
Without a doubt, the finest player in the squad, should Real Madrid steal him away in the summer Chelsea would struggle to replace him.
At times he looks almost too good for English football and with a player of his ability, Belgium should have a great chance in Russia.
ST Mohammed Salah
Currently the league’s top goalscorer, the Egyptian international’s goals could have been helping the Blues rather than the Reds.
At times he has been compared to Messi, and yet, Chelsea somehow failed to get the best out of him.
Like Ake, Salah felt somewhat justified when he scored against the 2012 Champions League winners during a 1-1 draw between the sides earlier this season.
ST Diego Costa
Despite being a controversial figure no-one can argue that this man is the closest thing to club legend Drogba since the Ivorian departed.
Former Chelsea midfielder Denis Wise believes the sale of Costa is the primary reason that Chelsea have had a rather bipolar season.
Luke Gannon, Pundit Arena