In midweek, Chelsea played hosts to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup. The Blues were comfortable winners in the fixture, coming out on top 5-1. One of the Forest players, the side’s current captain, returned to Stamford Bridge, and is this week’s Forgotten Blue.
That player is Michael Mancienne.
A product of the Chelsea youth academy, Mancienne first joined the side as a nine-year-old and signed his first professional contract in 2006. He was later sent on loan to fellow London-based side Queens Park Rangers, where he would spend the next 18 months.
A loan spell at Wolves then followed, but he was shortly recalled by the Blues after only a couple of months at Molineux. He eventually made his Chelsea debut in February 2009, in an FA Cup fixture away to Watford. Only 11 days later, Mancienne would make his European debut for the club, coming off the bench in a Champions League tie against Juventus.
In November 2008, Mancienne was called up to the senior England squad for a fixture against Germany. Unfortunately, the defender did not make his debut for the Three Lions.
He would make six appearances in all competitions for Chelsea during the 2008/09 season, and these would be the only first-team games he would play for the club. After making a handful of appearances for the senior side, he was named as the club’s Young Player of the Year for 2009.
Unsurprisingly, Mancienne would spend the next two years out on loan. He rejoined Wolves, and helped the side avoid relegation from the Premier League. After two years in Wolverhampton, Mancienne left the club and left Chelsea permanently, too.
A move to Germany materialised, and Mancienne signed for Bundesliga side Hamburg SV. He would spend the next three years in Germany, making 49 appearances in the league, and left the club in 2014 after keeping them in the top flight of German football.
After three years abroad, Mancienne returned to England and signed for Nottingham Forest on a three-year deal. An instant fan favourite at the City Ground, Mancienne would later sign a two-year extension to remain at the club in the summer of 2017, and reportedly accepted a lower salary in order to continue playing for Forest.
At the start of the 2017/18 season, Forest manager Mark Warburton named Michael Mancienne as the side’s captain for their opening fixture against Millwall.
Ahead of a return to Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup, Mancienne claims he would have “rotted away” if he remained at Chelsea. Now a key player at one of the Championship’s biggest clubs, it’s safe to say that the 29-year-old made the right call for his career.