On December 8, 2009, Gaël Kakuta made his Champions League debut. At the time, he was the youngest ever player to represent Chelsea at Europe's highest level (Josh McEachran beat that record a year later).
He was a star, as Michael Ballack famously opined, though he probably meant that as a star in the making. Kakuta felt he was a star already and was not happy with just a bench role at 19. Chelsea certainly weren't ready to sell him at this point, and especially not after all the drama and courtroom fighting over his transfer to Chelsea, so off to the loan circuit he went. There's no blame to be apportioned here for any this, certainly not five years on, but unfortunately for the young man, he did not find consistent success on his journeys around Europe.
Last summer, he joined his sixth club on loan. After Fulham, Bolton, Dijon, Vitesse, and Lazio, he was off to Spain and Rayo Vallecano. Finally, finally, finally something clicked. He managed to establish himself in the Rayo first-team. He managed to stay there for the whole season, even. He avoided injury. He scored and assisted important goals. And now, it would appear, he's ready to collect his reward.
Back-to-back Europa League winners Sevilla FC are, according to multiple reports over the past week in both Spain and France, about to hash out a deal for the 23-year-old winger. After half a decade, Kakuta just might finally return to the Champions League!
If there are no last-minute problems [...] only awaiting the signature. The player's agent will meet with the English side for details, so the good news is expected next. Kakuta, who can play on both wings as an attacking midfielder, signed in principle for four seasons with the Sanchez Pizjuan.
-source: Estadio Deportivo via Google Translate
So that's a four-year deal to crown the (re-)breakout season. Over the last 12 months, not only did Kakuta manage to revitalize his career, his impostor was caught, jailed, and sentenced, too. Things are truly looking up!
For some reason, I've seen transfer fees in the region of £2-3m attached to these rumors as well, but as far as I'm aware, Kakuta's Chelsea contract is set to expire this summer anyway. So I'm not sure what to make of that. Regardless, it's onwards and upwards for the young man.