It is being muted in some quarters that Nicholas Anelka is going to be the first Chelsea player out of the door this summer. This may well be true but there are others too that need to join that list if AVB is to secure his own future by impressing Roman Abramovich and the Stamford Bridge faithful.
I for one have been very impressed by Anelka since he joined the club and he offers a close ball skill that few men of his size ever achieve in their game. The problem is that when talking about a team to actually win the Premiership title and have a real tilt at the Champions league we need players like Anelka that can perform at his highest standard week in and week out rather than in glimpses, as is now the case with the Frenchman. Anelka could still do a job at Chelsea but in my opinion he should no longer be any more than a bench player. I would doubt that he would be satisfied with that situation and together with the point of his place blocking a younger ‘future’ prospect for the club I really do believe it is time that he amicably moved on to maybe one last big pay day deal in the autumn of his career.
Another player Chelsea will have to look at very closely and coldly when it comes down to a factual, positive contribution to the team effort over 90 minutes is Florent Malouda. This guy has got to be one of the clubs most infuriating players to don the Blue shirt of Chelsea in recent times. He has natural balance and skills to win games for the team, but just like his French counterpart Anelka, these skills and overall contribution are not consistant enough for a top team intent on actually winning things.
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that both of these players certainly made their individual and excellent contributions in our double winning season. The problem is and due to age, that season was most probably their last season of being able to play consistantly at that level.
Our new Manager and his immediate coaching team have a fine balancing act here that should not be ignored or understated. Get rid of too many of our experienced players (and their positive personalities) from the dressing room in one foul swoop and it will back fire on the club. For this reason I believe players like Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Alex and Ashley Cole MUST be retained by the club. Instead of wholesale changes the squad needs ‘tweeking’ with 3 or 4 TOP QUALITY players who are bound to come at a premium price but that would give the side a new cutting edge.
We have all seen the legions of players connected with a move to the club recently, some realistic, some less so and others down right laughable! I do not believe that Neymar is a realistic option as he himself, his agent and Santos President are too ‘flaky’ to try and do realistic business with. Personally I believe Alexis Sanchez should be bought in from Udinese even if that means a £45/£50m offer. The guy is a pure genius and still improving. I also highly rate the Turkish winger from Galatasaray recommended to the club by Guus Hiddink, Turan.
I also believe the inclusion of Aguero to the side would then give our new Manager the sort of squad to take ANYONE on in ANY competition.One last point that I would like to make with regards the approaching season is that I feel strongly that young Josh McEachran MUST either be given far more game time this coming season or loaned out to another Premiership side that could and would use his considerable talents. Possibly QPR so that our own club could monitor his progress and training more closely. What happened to this young man last season was criminal. He has the same skills and attributes as Jack Wilshire and is certainly as good if not better. He NEEDS game time and if Chelsea cannot realistically offer that to him, allow the lad to blossom elsewhere on loan, but ONLY to another Premiership team.
By Alan Frank