Number of Chelsea players falls in FFT’s Best 100

Just four members of Chelsea's squad have been named in FourFourTwo’s Best 100 Players in the World for 2016, two fewer than this time last year.

The Blues’ defence of their title last term was the worst in Premier League history. The Londoners lost 12 times en route to ending the season in 10th, eclipsing the seventh-placed finishes of Blackburn in 1996 and Manchester United in 2014.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic all fail to make the cut as a result, while Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois earn reprieves. They are joined by summer signing from new champions Leicester, N’Golo Kante.

Hazard, the Premier League Player of the Season, PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year for 2014/15, remains the Blues’ highest-ranked player, but the Belgium international slips out of the top 20 to number 27.

Fellow Belgian Courtois dives 34 spots down to number 63, losing the title of the Premier League’s best shot-stopper to Manchester United’s David de Gea.

Diego Costa rises three places to number 41, despite his team’s travails. The former Atletico Madrid marksman scored 12 league goals and assisted another six last season, and has started this season with 12 strikes in his first 15 league games.

Former Leicester enforcer Kante completes the quarter of Chelsea players in the FFT100. The 25-year-old made 175 tackles in the league last term (31 more than any other player) and 156 interceptions (15 more than any other player).

And he is already catching the eye at Stamford Bridge, helping Antonio Conte’s side lead the table after 15 games.

FOURFOURTWO’S BEST 100 FOOTBALL PLAYERS IN THE WORLD 2016