The Premier League kicked off last weekend with most of the top contenders failing to put on a good show – Man United beat Spurs only because of Kyle Walker’s carelessness, Liverpool had Coutinho to thank for a late winner, and Arsenal were outgunned comprehensively, by West Ham United. Man City looked the sharpest, whacking West Brom soundly.
But what of the Champions? Chelsea’s all too familiar problem, a lack of firepower, reared its ugly head once again. The Blues spluttered to a 2-2 draw against a Swansea side that looked set to get an unlikely victory at the Bridge, but was more than happy with the point at the end.
However, not bolstering their strike force may not be the only mistake that may come back to haunt Chelsea later on this season. They’ve let a few key players go over the years, who may all prove to be the difference between Chelsea being Champions again or ending up as also-rans. We take a look at some of the best who got away.
5. Juan Mata
The 2012 and 2013 Chelsea Player of the year was unceremoniously dropped by Mourinho at the start of his second reign as the Blues boss. Blamed for “not working hard enough”, Mata was given very little playing time, causing the Spaniard to ask for a switch to Old Trafford. Moyes didn’t prefer him too much, and in LVG’s constant chopping and tossing, there were fears that the true Mata may have been lost. However, despite a slow start to his time in Manchester, Mata has grown to become one of United’s most trusted servants. Possessing the “brains” that are so crucial for a modern day central midfielder, Mata has provided his teammates with the ammunition that propelled them back into Europe after a year in the wilderness. Also chipping in with crucial goals from time to time, Mata may well prove to be the difference for this new look Man United side as it seeks to re-establish itself as Champions of England. Chelsea should be wary.