Former Chelsea stars who have managed just one appearance
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Getty Images)

Representing Chelsea Football Club is a dream for millions of around the world - playing at Stamford Bridge alongside greats such as Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba. The list goes on.  

Like all professional football clubs, pulling on the jersey comes with hours of hard work and dedication leading up to the magical moment, even if it happens once... 

Chelsea have handed debutants to 15 players who only made one appearance. The circumstances differ to why this was the case, some were youth players who weren’t ready for the cut, but other reasons are quite humorous.  

Tariq Lamptey (2019/2020) 

The most recent and surprising single debutant, the young full-back made his Premier League debut in a fierce encounter with Arsenal at The Emirates when Chelsea won 2-1 back in December 2019.  

The 19-year old prospect signed for Brighton & Hove Albion in January of 2020, meaning his first team Blues career came to an abrupt and unexpected end.  

Since the move to the south coast, Lamptey hasn’t made his debut in the Premier League but Graham Potter told The Argus ‘he is here for the short term and the long term’ - indicating that his time will come, and he will be a regular once he has settled. 

Gerry Peyton (1992/1993) 

Despite being born in 1956, goalkeeper Gerry Peyton did make a Premier League appearance for Chelsea since the establishment of the league in 1992. The short cameo came against Sheffield Wednesday after Dmitri Kharin’s made way at half-time due to injury. 

The 63-year old was on loan at Chelsea from Everton, where he signed from Bournemouth in 1991. It's fair to say Peyton wasn’t expecting the appearance, his role consisted of a backup goalkeeper.  

In more modern times, Peyton has worked at Arsenal where he was a goalkeeper coach under the era of Arsene Wenger between 2003 to 2018.  

Peyton is now working in Japan, where his goalkeeping abilities and experiences are now being portrayed at Shimizu S-Pulse, who play their football in the top tier of Japanese football, known as the J1 League

John Swift (2013/14) 

Initially a product of the Portsmouth academy, Swift joined Chelsea in 2006 and stayed in West London for eight years until 2014.  

Swift has followed many former Chelsea academy starlets into Championship football, such as Lewis Baker and Izzy Brown who have both recently represented Leeds United

After loan spells at Rotherham United, Swindon Town and Brentford, Swift has made a permanent move to Reading as of 2016. The 24-year old has become a regular at The Madjeski, making over 100 appearances for the Royals

Jimmy Smith (2005/06) 

A cameo at the end of the season initially got fans thinking of an upcoming youth talent to add to their successive Premier League titles. Smith joined the Blues academy in 1996, making his debut in 2006.  

Despite the debut, four loan spells in as many years loomed for the midfielder. Leyton Orient made their loan move permanent in in 2009, keeping Smith until 2013 when Stevenage swooped in.  

Smith is still playing as of 2020, in Somerset. Yeovil Town loaned the former Chelsea academy product from fellow London side, Leyton Orient, who won promotion into League Two last season. 

Jeremie Boga (2017/18) 

Tipped for a big future, the French youngster could have seen his Chelsea career head in a different direction. Antonie Conte started the forward on the opening game of the season against Burnley. Despite making the 11, a first half red card for captain Garry Cahill meant Boga had to make way, this concluded to be the end.  

Boga joined Chelsea as a youth product in 2009, from ASPTT Marseille. The last involvement in English football came in The Midlands, on loan at Birmingham City in the same season. Once the loan expired, Boga headed out to Italy to play for Sassuolo in 2018. 

Since the move to western Europe, Boga has impressed. This season has saw eight goals in 25 appearances, a record that will be continued amid decisions of football governing bodies on the Coronavirus.  

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