Transfer time is always a busy time at Chelsea FC. Whether we are buying or selling players, one can never say that Chelsea are dormant during the transfer period. This year has been no different, & the club have already purchased Marko Marin & Eden Hazard, while also showing interest in a host of other players. 3 players have also left the club: while Didier Drogba made a decision to not renew his contract that expires this year, striker Salomon Kalou and right-back Jose Bosingwa were released by the club.
However, there are still certain Chelsea players whose future remains uncertain. Will they stay? Will they go? At the moment, these are questions that have no answers. Nevertheless, let us take a look at 4 Chelsea players who may or may not leave the club soon :-
1)Florent Malouda– The French international joined Chelsea in 2007 from French club Olympique Lyonnais for a fee of around £13M. Malouda arrived at the club with a formidable reputation, having impressed at his previous club Lyon. However, the winger had a poor first season at the club, scoring 4 goals & providing 7 assists. He managed to find his feet at Chelsea during the latter half of the 2008-09 season. In the 2009-10 season, he was an integral part of a Double-winning Chelsea side, with impressive figures of 15 goals & 15 assists. His goal-scoring form continued into the next season, as he found the back of the net 14 times. However, the arrival of Spanish winger Juan Mata in 2011 meant that Malouda’s first-team opportunities were limited. A few poor performances didn’t help his case either. After the club won the Champions League in May this year, Malouda pledged his loyalty to the club. However, the arrival of Marin & Hazard could very well see the Frenchman leave the club sooner rather than later.
2)Michael Essien– When Micheal Essien signed for Chelsea in 2005, it brought an end to one of the longest-running transfer sagas in recent memory. Nicknamed “The Bison” for his his energy & presence on the field, Essien was signed from Olympique Lyonnais for a fee of £24.4M, a club transfer record at the time. The Ghanian international quickly established himself as a regular in Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea squad, playing 42 games for the club in his first full season. He has been nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year Award thrice in his career (2005, 2006, 2007) & won Chelsea’s Player of the Year award in 2007, besides winning other individual trophies. Essien has a decent right foot, & has scored quite a few goals with powerful long-range shots (who will ever forget that equaliser he scored against Arsenal!). But numerous injuries and the emergence of talents such as Ramires & Oriol Romeu at Chelsea have severely limited his game time. In the few games that he did play, he seemed to be a shadow of his former self. I admit it will be disappointing to see him leave, but I won’t be shocked if he does.
3)Daniel Sturridge– Admittedly the surprise inclusion in my list. Daniel Sturridge joined Chelsea in 2009 as a talented young striker from Manchester City. Initially, he showed signs of promise whenever he was given a chance, most notably putting in some impressive performances during the 2009-10 FA Cup campaign in which he scored 4 goals, the most by any player in the tournament. However, limited first-team opportunities during the 2010-11 season saw him agree a loan deal with Bolton Wanderers. The loan spell was a successful one, as he scored 8 times for the club in 12 games. The appointment of new manager Andre Villas-Boas in 2011 meant Sturridge became a regular in the Chelsea starting XI during the season, playing mostly in a wide-right position. However, he earned some criticism for his supposed “selfishness” & happiness to shoot at sight. The fact that he constantly spoke about how he would prefer playing in the striker’s position didn’t earn him many fans either. A drop in form during the 2nd half of the season led to him being benched a lot under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo. And while it seems highly unlikely that Chelsea would want to sell him, everybody has a price.
4) Yossi Benayoun– Probably the one player most likely to part ways with the club this season. Yossi Benayoun joined Chelsea in 2010 from Premier League club Liverpool for a fee of around £5.5 million. However, the Israeli international struggled to establish himself as a regular under Carlo Ancelotti, mainly due to a ruptured achilles in September that ruled him out for a majority of the season. He made his return for the club against Wigan Athletic on 9 April 2011. In the beginning of the 2011-12 season, he joined Arsenal on a 1-year loan deal, as he found his chances at Chelsea extremely limited. With his loan spell at The Emirates now complete, he has returned to Chelsea for the 2012-13 season. Whether or not he stays at the club remains to be seen, but one finds it hard to envision him in newly-appointed manager Roberto Di Matteo’s long-term plans.
Chelsea FC is entering a new era. The current squad (including the above-mentioned players) is a decent one,
but with some talented youngsters emerging from Chelsea’s youth set-up & with Roman looking likely to go on another spending spree, one can hardly imagine us missing any of these players on my list if they do indeed leave. There is no doubt that they will always be remembered for their contributions to our success, but if any of these players do express a desire to leave, I have no doubt that the club will let them go.