Chelsea Transfer News: Players Blues Have to Get Rid of This Summer

Brian GrammanContributor IIIApril 2, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge on February 9, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

At the end of the 2011-12 campaign, Roman Abramovich cleaned out the Stamford Bridge bench and sent several formerly high-profile players packing, prefacing a heap of summer purchases.

It's about time for Chelsea to trim the fat once again.

Yossi Benayoun, Ross Turnbull and Florent Malouda top a list of players whose negligible impacts on the squad will lead to their respective releases.

But in terms of players with long-term contracts, two names in particular stand out as individuals that should no longer be counted in the Blues' prospective plans.

Michael Essien

Currently on loan for the season to Real Madrid, Michael Essien still exhibits some of the traits that made him one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League for much of the past decade.

The future of Chelsea, however, should not lie in his hands.

While Essien, the 30-year-old Ghanaian international, can still perform at a high level, three of his most recent four seasons with Chelsea have been marred by serious injuries, and his health going forward can never be a sure thing.

Also, John Obi Mikel is in his seventh season with the Blues and is now at the point in his Chelsea career where he must either be fully trusted or sent packing.

While he's certainly been inconsistent throughout the season as a defensive midfielder, there is no reason to believe that Mikel can't handle his place in the starting XI in the near future.

And if Mikel maintains his place, it doesn't make sense to keep a player of Essien's age and caliber on the bench.

That being said, Essien's future depends entirely on whether or not Chelsea picks up Jose Mourinho over the summer. If Mourinho stays, Essien should stay with Real Madrid on a permanent basis.

If the Special One makes his triumphant return, it only makes sense for a player familiar with his system to fly right back with him.

Fernando Torres

Suffice it to say Fernando Torres hasn't had the best of times since coming to Chelsea in the 2011 January transfer window.

He may have scored in seven competitions this season, which is a new record.

However, 28 goals in 118 appearances isn't worth Torres' £175,000 a week salary.

With Demba Ba arriving from Newcastle and Romelu Lukaku set to return from his loan at West Brom over the summer, now seems like an opportune time to ship the Spanish international striker elsewhere.

An ideal situation for Chelsea would be to use him as a bargaining chip in their everlasting struggle to pry Radamel Falcao away from Atletico Madrid, a swap that, according to the Daily Mail, seems like a possibility, assuming the Blues are willing to value Torres at around £10 million.

Seeing as the club purchased him from Liverpool for five times that amount, it will be interesting to see whether Roman Abramovich is willing to accept such a drastic decline in value, even if he has enough money to render it inconsequential.