Bunley midfielder Jack Cork says the presence of former teammates Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele and Michael Ballack led to his struggles at Chelsea.
Essien and co were at the peak of their careers at Chelsea leaving the then teenager to continue waiting for a breakthrough at the Club.
Cork, who came through the Youth ranks at Chelsea to the senior team hardly made it into the first team.
Competing for the same position with the Ghanaian (Essien) and other senior players meant the former England Youth team player would seek opportunity elsewhere.
“When I was at Chelsea, there were a lot of good midfielders – Lampard, Essien, Ballack,” he says. “I used to play centre-half or in the holding role for Chelsea and, at the time, Claude Makélélé was the one there,” he told Sky Sport.
“I couldn’t have been at a better club for all the opportunities Chelsea gave me. The clubs I got sent on loan to were unbelievable and I probably wouldn’t have got those opportunities if I was at a club lower in the league or that wasn’t as fashionable at the time.
“That side of it was unbelievable, I couldn’t recommend it any more to young players coming through. There are opportunities available there if you don’t make it through to that first team. Going on loan was something I loved doing, it changed who I was as a person and a player.”
At age 30, the midfielder is now having a wonderful time with Premiership side Burnley where he remains a key part of the squad.