A long time ago in a galaxy far away, Chelsea were crying out for wide men (not you, Andy Reid) and God, as a cruel joke, sent forth some of the most incompetent wingers you could find in the game. Thankfully, that joke got old and we’ve been blessed with the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro, and Willian since then. And if you recall, we asked you to vote for the worst pair of wingers you’ve seen put on a blue shirt in recent times for the Chelsea Chronicle Worst XI. Well, the results are out and here’s how the nominees performed:

  1. Marko Marin (35%)
  2. Gael Kakuta (25%)
  3. Juan Cuadrado (18%)
  4. Shaun Wright-Phillips (10%)
  5. Mohamed Salah (8%)
  6. Scott Sinclair (4%)

Runaway winners Marin and Kakuta left everyone else biting their dust, which is a welcome departure from their actual careers. Let’s get to know them better.

Before The Blues

Marko Marin began his professional career at ‘A German Team’ after breaking through their youth and reserve teams. The early signs were good; Marin was short, fast and technically excellent. This led to inevitable comparisons with another youngster who was having his own breakthrough, miles away in Barcelona. Unfortunately for Marin, the tag of German Messi proved too much to live up to. Marin’s best days were at Werder Bremen, where he got a call-up to represent the national side at the 2010 World Cup. He underwhelmed at the finals and hardly got a look-in thereafter.

Kakuta was another terrifyingly talented prospect, seemingly destined for the top. He trained with the Lens age-group teams and was a star in their youth setup. The young Frenchman had shown enough promise to be promoted to the Lens first team where he would be a shining beacon for their commitment to youth and perhaps, be sold on for a decent sum in the future. Or so Lens thought.

The Chelsea Years

In a turn of events that would send Lens into a state of utter shock and disbelief, Chelsea signed Kakuta and added him to their youth team. In a bitter legal battle that followed, Kakuta was fined and banned by FIFA for allegedly breaching his contract with Lens to sign with the blues. Chelsea were also fined and had a transfer embargo imposed for two transfer windows. The sanctions were subsequently lifted after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided that Kakuta did not really have a valid contract with Lens after all. At this point, all Chelsea could do was hope that the youngster would be worth the hassle. In the Chelsea youth teams, Kakuta was a class above the rest. Carlo Ancelotti even called him the future of Chelsea. As with most Chelsea youngsters, Kakuta was farmed out on loan to gain experience and this is where the wheels started coming off. Kakuta could not make the grade at six different clubs at various levels. The young prodigy was advancing in age but regressing in his craft. In the summer of 2015, Chelsea released Gael Kakuta.

The transfer of Marko Marin to Chelsea was a cakewalk compared to the Kakuta shenanigans. Chelsea were coming off a bad season and were preparing themselves for a year without Champions League football unless they pulled a rabbit out of the hat against Bayern Munich in the final. Marin fit the profile of player that Chelsea could have attracted at the time – young, cheap and willing to sign for a non-CL club. Marin’s Chelsea career was blighted by injuries and the fact that Chelsea managed to sign one of the most exciting talents in European football in the same window. After a handful of appearances in his first season, Marin became a loan warrior, plying his trade across Europe before being sold to Olympiacos.

Present Day

Marko Marin is, somehow, still just 28 years old. That’s right. He now plays for Olympiacos in Greece, which is a lot better than where his Worst XI teammate on the other wing ended up. Gael Kakuta signed for Sevilla after his release but moved to China after just half a season. Controversy followed him to China too, as rule changes in the Chinese league restricted teams to just three foreign players. Hebei China Fortune decided Kakuta would not be one of those three and loaned him out. After that, there was confusion about him signing a permanent deal with Amiens in Ligue 1, which his parent club denied. In the end, he did move to Amiens but only on loan. Don’t worry, Gael. You’ve always got a home here in our Worst XI.