Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam has drawn parallels with the development of Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne in their time away from Chelsea, hitting out at the Premier League champions development plans.
The part-time pundit was puzzled as to how the London club let such quality players slip through their grasp.
“It’s strange to see that somebody like Salah who struggled at Chelsea and then went to Roma,” Adam told BBC Radio 5 Live, as quoted by Squawka,
“He did great there. He came back and he has been a totally different player. It happened with Kevin De Bruyne. He left Chelsea and went to Wolfsburg. He came back to the Premier League and he has been a totally different player.
“It’s great to see these players come back to the Premier League and show the quality they have.”
Both players have had exceptional starts to the 2017/18 campaign, and have become integral players for Liverpool and Man City.
Salah, who joined Liverpool in the summer for around €40m from Roma, was never given a true chance to showcase his skills at Stamford Bridge, but has since flourished, initially in the Italian capital and now at Anfield.
Kevin De Bruyne has arguably been the best midfielder in the Premier League this season. He too had a poor stint at Chelsea, before being famously exiled by Jose Mourinho to Wolfsburg.
Add to this list Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, the Premier League's top scorer currently, and it becomes an even more worrying selection of players who have slipped through the Chelsea cracks.
This becomes even more relevant when you take into consideration Chelsea's current squad depth, with key injuries currently highlighting the Champion's shallowness in crucial areas of the pitch.
You can't help but wonder how good their team could be, if they had given these clearly talented players more time to develop under their roof instead of offloading them to pastures new so early in their careers.