No team has been as active as of yet this summer in the transfer window as Chelsea. An early signing of Marko Marin has been completely overshadowed by the Blues landing the two biggest targets available in Eden Hazard and Hulk in less than a week.
But as the locker room gets more crowded and the checkbook dips further into the red, it will come time for some players to make their exits.
There is no denying that Chelsea’s season was largely lived on the brink of failure.
Had one of the many chances Bayern Munich had in the Champions League final gone their way, this massive influx of talent would likely not be occurring and fans would be calling for the heads of players. There is still plenty of fat that needs to be trimmed in order to keep the glory they earned this past year.
Here are seven of the players you can expect to see leaving the club this summer.
It still seems like a bit of shock to realize Didier Drogba will not be in Chelsea blue next season, though it was the right move for both sides. It is time for the club to move on and the player himself could not be more gracious in his exit leaving on the best terms possible.
The possible destination for Drogba seem to grow every day. Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua are still believed to be leading candidates rumored to be offering the Ivorian a £6.7 million deal.
Though if he still wishes to play at the top level, Barcelona has always had a more than passing interest in bringing in a big man. Same goes for Juventus, who could really benefit from a goal scorer as they return to Champions League next season.
No one suffered as big a dip in performance this past season as Florent Malouda. The French international struggled to make an impression for either manager as the departure of Nicolas Anelka and changes in system made him always seem uncomfortable.
However, Malouda still should be able to bring in a decent sum for transfer. He still is a talented footballer evident by his strike against Serbia in a friendly Thursday. Joining the right team could really see his career get back on track.
Malouda has stated that he would like to stay with the club, but recent signings will see his reduced role become obsolete as the team builds for the future. It may be time for the last remaining member of this once great attacking trio to depart as well.
Kalou had a rebirth under Roberto Di Matteo, moving from a bench player to an every-game starter out wide on the wing. He had his moments, but ultimately looked too much like a striker, losing possession and making poor decisions.
With the club bringing in true wingers and Kalou unlikely to make any kind of push to play up top, he will be relegated back to the bench. Thought this is a spot he is used to and has had a fine career playing it, the club has decided it’s best to part ways.
A possible destination for Kalou may be a short trip north as Arsenal are rumored to be interested in his skills. Kalou would welcome the move as he has even commented on what an “honor” it would be to play for Arsene Wenger.
It was a up-and-down season for the Portuguese right-back as Bosingwa played hero as just enough times to keep fans from killing him. His impressive performance in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal gave fans faith, but a total evaluation will show you that he is just too much of a liability to rely on consistently.
Bosingwa’s contract is up and the club is not expected to make an attempt to re-sign him, giving him a free transfer to wherever he chooses.
The fullback still has a lot to offer as an attacking defender. He even has been rumored to pique the interest of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United as he is looking to add depth to the right side of his defense.
It would not be the most popular move amongst fans, but from a business standpoint you want to sell your stock at the highest possible price. After the breakout season Sturridge put in, his has never been higher.
Sturridge was second on the team in scoring with an impressive 13 goals in all competitions. He really proved that his form while at loan to Bolton to end last season was no fluke. However, he fell out of favor toward the end of the year, likely due to his increasing inability to play out wide.
It is obvious that Sturridge has a knack for getting goals and would prefer a more central role. But as long as Chelsea continues with one striker, it is hard to have him above Fernando Torres or even Romelu Lukaku, who offers more in terms of physicality.
Rumors were already swirling around Sturridge’s exit as early as February when Arsenal expressed their interest. That was followed up by Roberto Mancini hoping he would make a return to the lighter shade of blue with Manchester City.
Forgot he was a Blue?
Benayoun spent the past season as a part of Arsenal’s drive back to prominence on a season-long loan at the Emirates. He played a nominal but important role in their season, making 25 appearances while adding six goals and three assists. He did a lot off the ball helping to open up the middle of the field for the attackers to make things happen.
Many believe that Wenger would sign the Israeli on a permanent basis as it would be wrong to mess with a good thing. Chelsea would likely be looking to offload him as well, as there is just not space for him any longer at the club.
Yet the two sides are unable to come to an agreement on the details. Chelsea are reportedly getting sick of the back and forth and have placed a deadline on Wenger’s decision.
Never have I seen such noise about a player that has made such limited first-team appearances, but it seems like every year fans are asking what will happen with Gael Kakuta.
Kakuta spent last season with Ligue 1 side Dijon where he actually enjoyed some success. His five goals and two assists in 14 matches were commendable, but not enough to keep the team in France’s top division. But it did prove that Kakuta is perhaps some of the player we were all told he was.
The youngster seems to attribute at least part of that success to playing in his home country and wants to make a move back permanently. Nice, St. Etienne and powerhouse Marseille are all interested. It could be the best move for him as well with a tough challenge for regular first-team ball with the new Chelsea FC.
At times, seeing players leave a club can be a hard thing to watch. You invested time into seeing these talents play and can even grow attached to them. Other times you can't wait for them to be out the door and think the team will be better for it.
But it is a part of the game whether we like it or not and it will be a major part of Chelsea's summer transfer window.
So who do you think has played their last game at Stamford Bridge? Did I leave anyone out?
As always, please leave your comments below and thanks for reading!
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