Chelsea XI if they hadn't sold anyone since 2012

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If there's one thing Roman Abramovich's time as Chelsea owner has been synonymous with more than challenging for Premier League titles, it has been the club's dealings in the transfer market.

Backed by the Russian's millions, numerous managers have welcomed in high profile signings only to wave goodbye to equally expensive prospects - either on loan or on permanent deals. Sometimes they've even bought the same players back a few years later!

Indeed, going back just a few years to 2012, Chelsea have recouped a phenomenal £296 million in transfer fees on no less than 24 players.

So, after a lacklustre 2015/16 season and Antonio Conte's current squad currently struggling to keep pace already after back to back defeats, has their haphazard transfer policy really been worth it?

GiveMeSport takes a look at the starting XI Chelsea could have had had they not sold anyone since 2012. The 11 players no longer at Stamford Bridge would provide stiff opposition for many a side...

GK - Petr Cech | Sold 2015 | £11.9 million

Cech is a legend at Chelsea after helping the club to four Premier League titles after arriving in 2004. 

Undoubtedly one of the best 'keepers in the world for much of his 11 year spell in west London, the Czech shot-stopper is still amongst the best in the Premier League. Although, Thibaut Courtois isn't a bad replacement.

RB - Jeffrey Bruma | Sold 2013 | £2.98 million

Bruma never really got a chance in Chelsea's first team after arriving as a teenager in 2009, spending time on loan at Leicester and Hamburg before signing for PSV in 2013.

However, still only 24 and with 20 caps for the Netherlands to his name, Bruma has since earned himself a move to Wolfsburg. His versatility - he's more naturally a fit at CB - and his age would make him a usual player for Conte to have at his disposal right now.

CB - David Luiz | Sold 2014 | £42.08 million 

Of course, everyone knows how this one has panned out. Sold to PSG for a monster sum after a woeful showing for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, Luiz is now back in the Blues' ranks after a deadline day return back in August.

The hope that he was coming back a changed man hasn't been long lived. Both of his starts in his second stint at the club have ended in defeat.

CB - Ryan Bertrand | Sold 2014 | £11.43 million

Another playing slightly out of position in this team, Bertrand is so versatile that England only took three centre-backs to Euro 2016 because of their confidence in the Southampton star to fill in if needed.

A left-back by trade, Bertrand was a surprise star in Chelsea's Champions League triumph back in 2012 and has only improved since finding regular football on the South Coast. With Chelsea having struggled for a natural left-back until signing Marcos Alonso on deadline day, he's another that maybe left too soon.

LB - Filipe Luis | Sold 2015 | £13.6 million

Luis arrived at Chelsea with a big reputation but lasted only one season before re-signing with Atletico Madrid.

However, with a lacklustre season at the Bridge sandwiched between impressive spells in the Spanish capital, there are a lot of fans who think Luis should have been allowed to settle.

DMC - Ramires | Sold 2015 | £23.8 million

For a time, Ramires was what Chelsea fans hope N'Golo Kante will be once he finds his feet - a combative midfielder who never gave the opposition a rest.

The Brazilian also had a canny knack for finding himself on the scoresheet and managed 17 goals in his 160 appearances at the club before making a surprise switch to China.

CM - Kevin De Bruyne | Sold 2013 | £18.7 million

This one has to sting. De Bruyne failed to find favour with Jose Mourinho before being shipped out to Wolfsburg in 2013.

Chelsea fans only have to look a little up the league table to Manchester City riding high at the top to see what a creative force the Belgian has become in English football. He'd be a shoe-in in Conte's current starting XI.

RW - Andre Schurrle | Sold 2014 | £27.2 million

Another who had his time at the Chelsea cut short before he had perhaps reached his full potential. Schurrle played 65 times for the club and scored 14 goals - mostly from a position on the flank.

He is a regular Germany international and his pace, combined with a physical stature, make him a potent threat for both assists and goals on the wing. Hands up if you'd take him over Moses or Pedro right now?

LW - Juan Mata | Sold 2013 | £38 million

It might be surprising to remember Mata was only actually at Chelsea for two-and-a-half years, but he became a fan favourite during that time.

The Spaniard was one of the driving forces as Chelsea made their unlikely run to the 2011-12 Champions League title. He followed that up with 12 goals in 36 games in the league the following season.

Having just put in a stunning performance for Manchester United under old boss Jose Mourinho against Leicester last week, Chelsea fans may have started regretting his 2013 sale a little more.

F - Daniel Sturridge | Sold 2012 | £12.75 million

Sturridge's career since leaving Chelsea has largely following the same path as the one it was on at Stamford Bridge.

Injuries and being overlooked by several managers meant the striker was limited to 63 games for Chelsea, but did manage 13 goals in that time. 

Since moving permanently to Liverpool, however, an inability to play a full campaign has continued. Nevertheless, when on the pitch, the England international can be amongst the most lethal forward in the Premier League.

F - Romelu Lukaku | Sold 2014 | £30.06 million

Lukaku might be the biggest misstep in Chelsea's transfer policy to date, and that's been proven by the fact Conte spent so much of the summer trying to get the big Belgian striker back from Everton.

Still only 23, Lukaku has a phenomenal record as a pro and already has a hat trick to his name in the league this year.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero reached 130 career goals before turning 24. He would walk into Chelsea's current line-up.

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David Luiz
Romelu Lukaku
Juan Mata
Frank Lampard
Kevin De Bruyne
Petr Cech
John Terry
Daniel Sturridge

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