Chelsea are starting to realise how Paris Saint-Germain feel.
Every summer, at least one highly talented youngster finds a way to escape the gilded cage that is the Parc des Princes, breaking free of the shackles in search of regular opportunities elsewhere.
And who can blame Odsonne Edouard, Moussa Dembele, Kingsley Coman, Mike Maignan and more? With Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Keylor Navas for competition, a pathway to the first team doesn’t often present itself at PSG.
Now, it seems, Chelsea find themselves in a similar position.
Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi have bid farewell to Stamford Bridge already this summer and, while Chelsea fans can console themselves with the prospect of a near £60 million windfall, the departures of Tino Livramento, Lewis Bate, Myles Peart-Harris and Dynel Simeu highlight a worrying trend – the club’s most exciting youngsters feel staying in west London threatens to stunt their growth.
Bate signed a three-year contract with Leeds United today while Livramento, Chelsea’s 2021 academy player of the year, is set to follow in Tariq Lamptey’s footsteps, another rampaging right-back on his way to Brighton.
Is Dynel Simeu leaving Chelsea for Southampton?
Renowned for his commanding, ball-playing style and natural leadership skills, Simeu’s exit means three highly talented centre-halves – alongside Tomori and Guehi – will leave Chelsea in the same summer.
When you consider Thiago Silva is 36 while doubts persist over Kurt Zouma’s long-term future, could the reigning European Champions look back on a generational exodus and wonder whether they should have done things differently?
Here’s what some Chelsea fans on Twitter had to say about the situation: