|Raul Meireles: Should he be sold or kept?|
Meireles transferred to Chelsea on 31st August 2011 for a reported fee on £12m. Chelsea signed him as an immediate replacement for Michael Essien, who was out because of injury, and as a bid to sign Luka Modric from Spurs had failed. Having played with Andre Villas-Boas before at Porto, Meireles was a regular in the Chelsea team in the early months after his transfers. Playing as a CM in a 4-3-3 formation, Meireles often impressed with his accurate passing and created quite a few goal opportunities. He linked up well with the forwards and midfielders and had almost cemented his place in the team. However, when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and Roberto Di Matteo changed the formation, Meireles’ form dropped.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation played by RDM, Meireles was often asked to play as a defensive midfielder. However, he failed to impress in this position and his form dropped towards the end of the season. The performances of John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard in that position also made it difficult for Meireles to make it into the playing XI. Also as Juan Mata performed so well playing in the hole, Meireles found that his preferred position was no longer available for him and he could not regain his form. Yet he did contribute well in the semifinal against Barcelona. Defending well along with the others, he helped in keeping Barcelona at bay. Although he picked up a yellow card in Camp Nou which made him miss the final in Munich, Meireles had a fair share of contribution in getting the team into the final and was also given a Champions League medal.
However, at 29 years of age, Meireles is almost past his prime. One has to be admit that Meireles has always been a player who has been slightly above average, at best. He was not someone who set the world alight and because of his age is not likely to get any better and with the young talent coming in at Chelsea, it is very unlikely that he will get any opportunities here. Many fans said that Meireles should be one of the players sold by Chelsea this season. Until now though, there were no reports of any clubs being interested in buying the aging midfielder. But recent reports suggest that Napoli could be a possible destination for him.
During the last few days reports emerged that Napoli were ready to cash in on Cavani. Soon after these reports came further news that Meireles could be used in this deal. This move could actually be very beneficial for Chelsea as well as for Meireles. For Chelsea, using a player in the deal would bring down the price of Cavani. As Chelsea currently are in need of signing a player who can play as both a RW and striker, signing Cavani would be a good move. Also, having to adhere to the FFP from next year, Chelsea will appreciate any help they can get in reducing the price of the player. Using Meireles in the deal could reduce Cavani’s price by as much as £8m which would be a valuable saving for us.
For Meireles this move would be good as he could actually get gametime at Napoli. Although he might not be one of the best in the world, Meireles is still talented and can be a great asset for a team if deployed correctly. In Napoli, Meireles will be able to prove his talent and get some glory which he deserves. Also, having less competition there, Meireles can play without a lot of pressure and improve what he can about his game.
If these reports regarding the Cavani deal are indeed true, I feel that Chelsea will not hesitate to transfer Meireles to Napoli. While he has only been a blue for one season, Meireles has had his fair share in our FA Cup and Champions League successes and we must not forget that. We would like to know what you think about Meireles. Feel free to leave your thoughts.
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