Raul Meireles: Chelsea Sell Midfielder to Fenerbahce for £8 Million

Ryan Day@theryanedwardCorrespondent ISeptember 4, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04:  Raul Meireles of Chelsea celebrates victory after the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Chelsea and Benfica at Stamford Bridge on April 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

In what was a little later than an 11th-hour dealing, Chelsea have agreed to sell Raul Meireles to Fenerbahce for a transfer fee of £8 million.

According to Chelsea's official website, the Blues wished Meireles well and thanked him for the part he played in the club's successful Champions League run:

Raul Meireles has today joined Fenerbahçe on a permanent transfer. The move was completed before the close of the Turkish transfer window later this week. Chelsea Football Club thanks Raul for the part he played in such an historic and successful year, and wishes him well at his new club.

The 29-year-old Portuese playmaker completed his physical last night and has signed a four-year contract with the Turkish side, whose transfer window is open until Wednesday.

He had spent less than one year at Stamford Bridge.

It's odd that Meireles would want to leave and that Chelsea would be keen to sell him. He featured heavily in Roberto Di Matteo's plans last season with the Blues manager giving him 45 appearances in all competitions.

Meireles also seemed to thrive in Chelsea's system, scoring six goals and collecting assists on six others.

But with the sudden increase in attacking midfielders that the Blues had at their disposal, Meireles must have foreseen a dramatic drop in his playing time this season. Whatever the case, the loss might not be felt as strongly with how deep Chelsea is at midfield—with Mikel John Obi, Frank Lampard and Oriol Romeu able to fill the role of deep-lying midfielder.

Should Chelsea have given up on Meireles, or was it for the best that he was sold so as to recoup some of the cash the Blues spent in this summer's transfer window shopping spree?