Chelsea’s 2023-24 season is not going to plan under Mauricio Pochettino and may be about to get much worse.
Some of Chelsea’s young stars are already planning their escapes, according to the Athletic, having realised they were missold PPI – the Pochettino Project’s Intention.
They appear to believe success was more of a guarantee than it currently is, even with a Carabao Cup final on the horizon.
But given 14 players have contracts which last into the next decade, they seem to have little chance of escape as it stands.
How long every Chelsea player’s current contract is
*Every contract ends on June 30 of the given year
Thiago Silva: 2024
There are rumours 39-year-old Silva will retire at the end of the season, or return to Brazil for one last run at a slightly slower pace. His performance against Wolves shows his age is starting to catch up with him.
Malang Sarr: 2025
Has been training with the under-18s this season and is expected to leave sooner rather than later.
Conor Gallagher: 2025
Contract talks have stalled, either due to the proposed length or Gallagher’s wage demands, depending on who you believe. It has been reported that Chelsea want to sign him up to a contract until 2032, which could put him top of this list.
Alfie Gilchrist: 2025
Academy product Gilchrist signed a new contract until 2025 and has become a popular figure after recent performances.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 2025
Kepa has spent this season on loan with Real Madrid, where he has lost the starting spot to Andriy Lunin. Is unlikely to start for Pochettino’s Chelsea any time soon.
Omari Hutchinson: 2025
The former Arsenal academy product has had a decent loan spell at Ipswich but doesn’t seem to be doing much to establish himself in the first team at Chelsea going forward. Still only 20 but a summer move seems likely.
Hakim Ziyech: 2025
Ziyech is currently on loan at Galatasaray, who have an obligation to buy him under certain conditions, but these have not yet been met as he has made just nine appearances in the Turkish Super League.
Tino Anjorin: 2025
Anjorin is a hangover from the Abramovich era, a player unfortunately destined to never quite make the grade at Chelsea.
Marcus Bettinelli: 2026
The back-up to the back-up goalkeeper, Bettinelli seems content to ride out his contract, which was extended last year.
Ian Maatsen: 2026
Maatsen signed a two-year extension ahead of a loan move to Borussia Dortmund in January, which is currently going very well. Seems to suggest he will be ripe for a summer exit as Pochettino has shown little interest in playing him as a left-back.
Romelu Lukaku: 2026
Lukaku has had a disastrous time at Chelsea but appears to be popular at current loan club Roma. Seems incredibly unlikely he will ever play for the Blues again and he will be for sale again this summer.
Alex Matos: 2026
Nineteen-year-old Matos has started every game since joining Huddersfield on loan in January and there are high hopes for him at Cobham. Could be a first-team option as early as next season.
Raheem Sterling: 2027
Sterling will be 32 by the time his current Chelsea contract expires, and it seems unlikely his whopping £325,000 per week contract would be renewed at that age.
Ben Chilwell: 2027
Whether Chilwell’s time at Chelsea will be prolonged feels dependent on how his injury problems develop over the next three years.
Marc Cucurella: 2028
Cucurella is probably the first name we’ve got to whose contract already seems far too long. As it stands, there will be four more years of those luscious curls and dreadful crosses at Stamford Bridge.
Trevoh Chalobah: 2028
Signed long-term deal in November 2022 with an option to extend for a further year, but things have not panned out well since then. Only injury stopped Chalobah from leaving in January and he seems almost certain to head off in the summer.
Reece James: 2028
Club captain James will still only be 28 when his current deal expires, but it’s hard to know how the next four years will pan out. On his day, James may well be the best right-back in the world, but his days have been few and far between of late, particularly given his injury record.
Cesare Casadei: 2028
Recently recalled from his loan at Leicester to join the first-team squad for the second half of the season. One of many players on this list with huge potential but a lot of unknowns.
Diego Moreira: 2028
For Moreira, see Casadei, but from Lyon rather than Leicester.
Carney Chukwuemeka: 2028
Chukwuemeka will be just 24 when his current contract expires. Has been injured for most of his first season after a slow start.
Armando Broja: 2028
Sent out for a deadline day move to Fulham, Broja clearly does not feature in Pochettino’s plans as we stand. Will be interesting to see whether that changes after six months elsewhere.
Gabriel Slonina: 2028
A young American goalkeeper currently on loan with KAS Eupen, Slonina is highly thought of but still only 19.
Christopher Nkunku: 2029
Has had a bright start but there is a huge amount of responsibility on his shoulders.
Axel Disasi: 2029
Impossible to know what five more years of the inconsistent Axel Disasi will look like.
Wesley Fofana: 2029
Similar to James, a hugely talented defender whose career is threatened by repeated injury. Another five years is a long time to pay for treatment.
Levi Colwill: 2029
There’s a brilliant centre-back here that should be at Chelsea for a long time.
David Datro Fofana: 2029
Fofana scored twice for Burnley against Fulham on his first appearance having been recalled from a poor spell with Union Berlin.
Angelo Gabriel: 2029
Angelo is enjoying a solid loan spell with Strasbourg, but has a lot of wingers ahead of him in the pecking order at Chelsea.
Robert Sanchez: 2030
Lost his No 1 jersey to Djordje Petrovic through injury and there has been talk of Chelsea wanting to sign another elite goalkeeper which could push him down the pecking order.
Benoit Badiashile: 2030
Hasn’t been the same player since returning from a long injury absence but has impressed in flashes so far.
Djordje Petrovic: 2030
Appears to be an excellent signing after some strong early performances.
Noni Madueke: 2030
Has really struggled for form and starts under Pochettino after signing last January.
Cole Palmer: 2030
The only unmitigated success of Chelsea’s £1bn transfer spree.
Malo Gusto: 2030
Has shown he is more than capable, but has a rash streak that fans will hope he can learn to contain.
Romeo Lavia: 2030
Chelsea fans haven’t seen enough of him yet to know whether this is a good thing or not.
Andrey Santos: 2030
Recalled after playing just seven Premier League minutes for Nottingham Forest, Santos has now been sent to Strasbourg to get minutes under his belt.
Lesley Ugochukwu: 2030
Has impressed in flashes but also been overrun under pressure. Potentially thrown in the deep end too early but has a long time left to improve.
Deivid Washington: 2030
Yet to break into the first team but has looked good at academy level.
Mykhailo Mudryk: 2031
Signed on an eight-and-a-half year contract, Mudryk has scored just four goals in 42 games for Chelsea so far. Could prove a burden on the club’s finances for a long time if he does not improve soon.
Enzo Fernandez: 2031
One of the players reportedly already with one eye on the exit, Fernandez has seven years left on his contract having initially cost £107m.
Moises Caicedo: 2031
His underwhelming first half-season at Stamford Bridge has been explained as a bedding in period. He has a lot more time left to bed in.
Nicolas Jackson: 2031
Seven more years of Nicolas Jackson… probably not what every Chelsea fan wants to be looking forward to right now after such an indifferent start.