The summer transfer window is approaching rapidly with just the UEFA Champions League Final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich remaining before the transfer chaos can begin.
Teams will have their eyes and hearts set on players that they feel will be helpful additions to their side who can help their season be more successful than the previous one.
Yet at the same time, managers and teams will also know the serious threat that other teams have to poach their players and steal away their talent.
Chelsea is no different—it will have its eyes set on various players, and at the same time, its very own playing group is being targeted by clubs right around the world.
Chelsea must not forget the latter and must not give up certain players if it plans to be a genuine contender next season—both domestically and internationally. Here's the five players that the Blues shouldn't get rid of in the 2012 summer transfer window.
Not under any circumstances.
1. Juan Mata
Juan Mata had a breakthrough year for Chelsea—rising for the big occasions and giving Chelsea great direction and attack down the wing. Statistically speaking, he averaged the highest per match rating out of all Chelsea players in the Premier League season.
Mata led the team in assists this season with 13—more than double than the next best—and finished third in goals and fifth in shots per game for the season.
Aged 24, the Spaniard is arguably Chelsea's brightest prospect for the future and should not be sold under any circumstances.
Why? Well, he finally started scoring goals and he finally started showing glimpses of the form that football fans around the world wish he would regather.
Despite only chalking up 20 appearances for Chelsea this season, Torres still found the back of the net on six occasions and also had four assists.
With a crucial goal in the UEFA Champions League over Barcelona that saw him finish with more goals than Lionel Messi for the two legs, Fernando Torres can't be sold in the transfer window.
For everyone's sakes.
3. Frank Lampard
It almost goes without saying but Frank Lampard should not be sold this transfer window, and we could probably put Petr Cech and John Terry on that list also.
The Blues' legend netted 11 goals and five assists in the Premier League this season while winning a staggering eight man of the match awards as he established himself as one of the club's top performers this season.
Lampard being sold by Chelsea is never going to happen, but that's what I thought about Torres in the first place, so you can't be too sure with these things.
4. Raul Meireles
Meireles will be sourly missed in the UEFA Champions League final after showcasing his skills and importance to Chelsea over the past few months.
With just the two goals and three assists to his name this year, the numbers don't accurately portray the significance that Meireles had for Chelsea on multiple occasions this year. The Portuguese midfielder finished the season ranked top five in interceptions, key passes and fewest turnovers per game for the club. He should not be sold in the transfer window.
5. Branislav Ivanovic
After finishing the 2012 English Premier League season with the second-highest man of the match awards for Chelsea, it would seem ridiculous to let Ivanovic go even in light of the postseason clean out that appears evident.
Ivanovic ranked in the top six in interceptions, clearances, tackles, blocked shots and offsides won per game and recorded just one turnover in every three games of Premier League action this year.
Clearing out an under-performing team is fine; just don't get rid of one of the star players from the Chelsea defense this season who simply shouldn't be sold in the transfer window.
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