Didier Drogba, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen. These are just three former Chelsea strikers that made an impact during their times at Stamford Bridge.
This week’s Forgotten Blue is a striker that did the complete opposite.
Ben Sahar is one of many promising youth players that never made the grade at Chelsea.
Coming through the youth ranks at Hapoel Tel Aviv, Sahar enjoyed a two month trial at Chelsea. The Blues must’ve been impressed with the striker, and paid the Israeli side £320,000 to bring the player to West London on a permanent basis in May 2006.
It took until January of the following year for Sahar to make his Chelsea debut. In an FA Cup fixture at home to Macclesfield Town, he replaced Salomon Kalou in the 76th minute. His next appearances was in the League Cup, again as a substitute. This time replacing Shaun Wright-Phillips, Sahar enjoyed 30 minutes off the bench as Chelsea were held 1-1 by Wycombe in the first leg of the semi-final.
The Israeli made his Premier League debut, once again from the bench. Replacing Arjen Robben in the 82nd minute, Sahar was unable to find his first Chelsea goal. He would also make a further two appearances in the league for Chelsea, against Manchester United, and Everton.
With first team opportunities limited at Chelsea, Sahar was loaned out to Queens Park Rangers. During the season, he suffered a number of injuries, and only made nine league appearances for the Championship side.
His loan at Loftus Road ended in January 2008, and Sahar later joined Sheffield Wednesday on an initial month loan. After impressing, his loan was later extended to the end of the season. He ended the season with three goals in 12 games.
A loan to Portsmouth then followed, but the striker did not make an appearance for the side during his time at Fratton Park. He later joined Dutch side De Graafschap, scoring five goals in 16 Eredivisie appearances.
Sahar finally departed Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis in the summer of 2009, joining Spanish side Espanyol for a fee of around £1 million. Despite spending three years at the club, he only made 22 La Liga appearances and scored once. Yet again, Sahar was sent on loan numerous times.
His first loan spell saw him return to his native Israel, and his boyhood club; Hapoel Tel Aviv. He enjoyed impressive form in Israel, scoring 16 goals in 30 league games. His form wasn’t good enough for a return to Espanyol, and he later joined Auxerre on loan.
Germany was next for Sahar, joining Hertha BSC on a free transfer. Unfortunately for Sahar, he was unable to secure first team football at the club. He featured for the B Team and was also loaned to Arminia Bielefeld.
His spell at Hertha didn’t last long, and the Israeli international signed for Willem II. He only spent a year in the Netherlands, scoring seven goals during the season he spent in Tilburg.
Sahar then returned to Israel, signing for Hapoel Beer Sheva in 2015. Since returning to his native country, he helped the side to their first league title in 40 years, scoring nine goals in the process. The following season saw the side with the title again, with Sahar at the forefront of their attack.
Despite failing to make the grade at Chelsea, and a number of other European sides, Sahar seems to be enjoying his football back in Israel.