Papy Djilobodji insists that he does not know why his chances at Chelsea were so limited, but claims he will use that disappointment as an incentive as he looks to rebuild his stalling career with Werder Bremen. No shortage of eyebrows were raised when the player was first signed by Jose Mourinho from Nantes in a £3m ($4.3m) deal back in September 2015, not least because his new club had spent much of the summer pursuing a deal for Everton's John Stones.
With many doubting his ability to play a significant role for Chelsea, Djilobodji failed to make a single appearance in the Premier League and his only taste of first-team football in England came with a one-minute substitutes' cameo during the Capital One Cup third-round victory at Walsall. Such a lack of regular action led to a loan move to the Bundesliga, where he will remain for the rest of the season before his situation is evaluated further.
Werder Bremen coach Viktor Skrypnyk is clearly not remotely concerned by that absence of match practice, inserting the Senegal international straight into his starting line-up for the 3-1 win over Schalke on 24 January. An assured performance at Veltins-Arena will have likely done wonders for his confidence, although Djilobodji is still confused as to why he did not feature under Mourinho or successor Guus Hiddink.
"Really I do not know," he told German publication Bild. "I gave everything. But the coaches have decided it. For me, it is also an incentive to continue to work."
Djilobodji was not the only centre-back signed by Chelsea last summer as Michael Hector also joined before being immediately loaned back to former employers Reading until May.
Matt Miazga is the latest defender to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with widespread reports suggesting that the 2014/15 champions are set to pay £3.5m to secure the services of the highly-rated 20-year-old from Major League Soccer franchise the New York Red Bulls.