Frank Lampard of Chelsea
Chelsea are in the midst of one of their biggest transitional periods of the Roman Abramovich era. The Blues made strides to truly overhaul much of the squad this summer, but there are still several players who need to be moved on from the club in the coming months.
One of the hardest parts of football is knowing when your club has to start moving past the players you have grown to love.
In writing this article on Chelsea and thinking of the players that are set to be leaving the club, I remember seeing Sami Hyypia's career winding down at Anfield. As a Liverpool supporter, and having grown up admiring the great Finish defender, it was emotional to see the player leave after such a great decade at the club.
Of course that is only one example, but it is no less a fact of the game that players come and go, and that the time eventually comes that we have to part ways with those that we have welcomed into our hearts and homes in the way that only we football fans can.
Chelsea have multiple players who have crossed the 31-year-old mark and are nearing the later stages of their career. With the club looking to retool and build for another long run of tenured veterans, they have to move on their aging stars and bring in the stars of tomorrow, starting in the coming transfer window.
Daniel Sturridge has proven that he is looking for more opportunity than he is likely to see at Chelsea at this point in his career. Although new manager Rafael Benitez has a soft spot for young strikers, as he showed with David N'Gog for several seasons at Liverpool, Sturridge is ready for a challenge.
With Liverpool being a hopeful landing place for the player, the relationship of Benitez and his old club could help see the England international head towards Anfield in January.
With Sturidge out of the way, Chelsea would be free for their move to sign Hulk to go into motion. The Brazilian is likely to prove to be a more imposing figure on the pitch.
Likewise, his ability to go out wide and create space, as well as provide an assisting pass, is much more value for his price tag and allows him to offer a better total package than Sturridge.
Ashley Cole's relationship with Chelsea continues to look on the outs. Cole has been thought a primary target of Paris Saint-Germaine for several months. Despite the Mirror claiming that PSG no longer want Cole and are chasing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, he is still believed to be headed to Ligue One in the future.
At his age, it would be advisable for Chelsea to sell him before his value has a chance to fade. With the player set to turn 32 on December 20, 2012, the Blues want to make sure they can still offload him and retain enough funds in return to make a move in a new direction.
That other direction should be towards Everton's Leighton Baines.
There are few, if any, better players at the position in England, and if you are going to sell the top English leftback in the game, why not replace him with the player soon to claim his throne?
Everton are not likely to want to sell Baines at any price, especially if they feel they will qualify for Europe in the coming second half. However, the deep pockets of Roman Abramovich have the potential to make front offices change their minds, but Manchester United already look to have dibs on the star, according to the Independent.
Florent Malouda looks ready to take his leave from Chelsea as soon as he gets the chance. Having been linked with a move to Brazilian club Santos for the past several months, he is more than certain to take his leave in January, as he has been completely frozen out of the first team.
The Blues already have found a great long-term replacement in Eden Hazard, but they need another player to fill the void that Malouda will be leaving for depth and could use fresh talent as always to liven up competition in the squad.
A great replacement for the departing French international would be Catania's 24-year-old Argentine Alejandro Gomez.
What the 5'4" winger lacks in stature against the 5'11" Malouda, he makes up for with work-rate and tenacity.
The talented South American showed his true capabilities against Lazio in the club's 4-0 victory over the Aquile on Nov. 4, 2012. So far this season he has four goals and four assists in 16 appearances, having helped his club into the top half of the Italian Serie A.
If I did not watch English football religiously I truly would not know that Paulo Ferreira was still under contract at Chelsea. The 33-year-old rightback has played only a few more games over the last four seasons, as he did in his first year with the club.
Although a January sale could be a tall order, the Blues truly need to find a way to move the veteran out of the squad and bring in more fresh talent.
The departure of the Portuguese international would be greatly suited if it were followed by the arrival of a Brazilian replacement in the form of FC Porto's Danilo.
At the age of 21, the young defender is one of the most tracked, young and up-and-coming stars.
Despite the club already having Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta, the former is aging more into a centerback, and Danilo would be a prime candidate to grow into the fulltime role as a rival to the latter.
Danilo is equally gifted, with a tall 6'0" frame, as well as a blistering pace that allows him to be as much a part of the attack as the defense and a recovery speed to help stave off counterattacks.
Chelsea fans will hate me for saying it, but the days of Frank Lampard as set to be brought to an end, thanks to owner Roman Abramovich. The 34-year-old veteran is one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game and is, without a doubt, the most prolific scorer of his generation at his position.
The loss of Lampard would prove heart-wrenching to the fans who have embraced the England international since his move from West Ham in 2001. His all-around ability has been invaluable for the Blues for the past decade.
However, if there is one player that the Blues could potentially replace the great Lampard with, it is Everton's Belgian star, Marouane Fellaini.
The 25-year-old has grown into a well-established all-around midfielder himself with the ability to play everywhere, from the holding role to in the hole behind a forward attacker.
It would likely cost the Blues a hefty price tag, but for the potential star that Fellaini still has room to become, he could be well worth it. According to Football.co, the player has committed his future to Everton, but money has a strange way of changing many things.