Chelsea have had the privilege of having some of the world’s best players turn out for the club.
While the majority of the players had relatively successful careers with the Blues, the club often eventually lost them to rival teams.
Currently, the West London club are facing the prospect of a summer exodus, with most of the players set to leave for nothing.
Here’s a list of players who left Chelsea on a free transfer;
1. John Terry
Terry departed Chelsea for Aston Villa in 2017 after 717 appearances for the Blues.
His last season in football almost saw his new club promoted from the Championship.
He subsequently joined the coaching staff at Aston Villa before leaving in 2021.
With the last penalty in a shootout, Drogba’s final strike in a Chelsea jersey earned the West Londoners their first ever Champions League against Bayern Munich.
After leaving nothing, his next move was to the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
But, with Jose Mourinho’s permission, he returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 to “create more history.”
He departed on a free transfer for Montreal Impact after 40 games and seven goals.
Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer, joined MLS club New York City in 2014.
Instead of waiting until January for the US season to begin, he was controversially loaned to Manchester City for match fitness.
Surprisingly, he scored his first goal for City against Chelsea, which brought Lampard to tears.
4. Ashley Cole
Cole’s job was completed in 2014, after he won Premier League trophies, FA Cups, a Champions League, and a Europa League, among other accolades.
In his last season with the club, he had already lost his spot in the first team to César Azpilicueta, thus it was no surprise that he was on the list of players whose contracts had expired.
He played a season at Roma before moving on to LA Galaxy and completing his career with Derby County.
Before departing Chelsea in 2008, the France midfielder won two league championships with the club.
He looked to have run his course in the Premier League, but he found a fresh lease of life with PSG.
He won the Coupe de France in 2010 and was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant manager from 2011 to 2013.
6. Solomon Kalou
Super-sub Kalou regularly rescued Chelsea. Wanting first-team football, he left in 2012 and joined Lille.
He scored 34 goals in two seasons in Ligue 1.The Ivorian scored 53 goals in 172 appearances for Hertha Berlin.
After departing, he never won anything.
7. Antonio Rudiger
Antonio Rudiger will join Real Madrid after failing to sign with Chelsea.
Premier League heavyweights have lost fantastic players on free transfers before.