5 Chelsea Players Who Don't Deserve Their Wages
As you can tell from the title, this is not going to be a pretty piece. But the fact is, for too long now, Chelsea have been guilty of overpaying, overspending and overindulging in the idea of marquee signings.
But for all of the club's superb signings in recent years, there have been some questionable ones; Tal Ben-Haim, Claudio Pizarro and Nuno Morais are just a couple of names from the Jose Mourinho era which were out of character from the big-spending West London club.
However, there has been a string of mysterious absences from the team in recent years, with Nicolas Anelka and Alex both sold in January 2012 despite their key roles in the previous season.
Try as they might, there are still some expensive flops on the books at Chelsea, and the club are desperate to get rid of them.
Find out here who they are and be sure to let us know what you think of our choices, your comments are welcomed as always.
It's a sad end to what has been a period filled with ups and downs for Florent Malouda, after the France international was banished to the reserves just months after winning the Champions League with Chelsea.
The reasons for the mysterious move have never come to the surface, but rumors suggest that Malouda's refusal to leave for a lower wage in favor of staying for the final year of his £80,000-per-week contract angered the Chelsea hierarchy.
Reports suggest that Malouda wanted to leave, but his excessive wages priced him out of a move to Brazilian side Santos or former club Lyon, and the club responded by hanging him out to dry, forcing him to train with the Under-21 side.
It's not entirely clear who is more to blame here. One could argue the club should take responsibility for handing a 29-year-old player, appearing to be declining in quality, a four-year deal back in 2009. On the other hand, it could simply be another case of how a player's greed has prevented him from prolonging his career elsewhere.
What we know for certain is that Florent Malouda and Chelsea will part ways after a six-year association come June 2013, and only then will the truth will come out.
Not since the days of Slavisa Jokanovic has a signing been so fiercely opposed than the club's capture of Yossi Benayoun, but the Israeli midfielder may feel he has never been given a fair chance to show his worth to the team.
Signed by Carlo Ancelotti for £5.5 million in 2010, the former Racing Santander midfielder's time at Stamford Bridge has been blighted by injury and managerial changes, with Benayoun facing an uncertain future after the Italian was sacked as manager.
Since then, he's made just 13 Premier League appearances, scoring one goal. That's a rather costly total of around £400,000 per appearance since his transfer from Liverpool three years ago.
A more impressive loan spell to Arsenal mustered four goals in 29 appearances in 2011-12, the season the Blues won the Champions League, but Gunners manager Arsene Wenger declined to make the deal permanent.
It looked as if Benayoun would get his dream move back to West Ham, the club who brought him to England in 2006, on loan. But after suffering an ankle injury, Sam Allardyce decided against keeping him for a further six months.
Under Rafa Benitez, he has had the opportunity to impress in the first team, but the decision to select the playmaker has been met with fierce criticism from the supporters, who believe youngsters such as Nathan Ake and Josh McEachran should be playing instead. However justified that may be, reports of anti-semitic chants aimed at the midfielder are just unacceptable, with the club vowing to investigate.
With wages around the £60,000-a-week mark, the 32-year-old has been difficult to offload, especially considering his injury record and his lack of match fitness as a result. Once his contract expires this summer, there will be a large majority of Blues fans happy to see the back of him.
It's not that Fernando Torres hasn't earned his reported £180,000-a-week wages. Granted, the Spain international has vastly improved this season. But the return he has managed during his two years at the club has been disappointing, and perhaps the extortionate amount could be lowered based on his performance.
Since his £50 million move from Liverpool in January 2011, Torres has hit just 14 goals in 78 appearances in the Premier League. And in comparison to his record at Anfield, it shows a massive dip in form.
However, the 29-year-old has shown encouraging signs that he is gradually improving, with the 2012-13 campaign seeing him net his best total of 19 goals—albeit in 56 appearances—with still a maximum of nine games remaining.
Of those 19 strikes, just seven have come in the league. And while Torres became the only Chelsea player to score in seven different competitions in a single season, the fans are still not convinced that the former Atletico Madrid star can turn his form around.
With rumors circulating that Radamel Falcao could be brought in, it could help the club if they got Torres off the wage bill. Perhaps bringing in some competition will aid his progress at Chelsea. Either way, he needs to maintain his level of performance, or he could be given the chop at Stamford Bridge.
When Chelsea announced the signing of Marko Marin for £7 million back in April 2012, many eyebrows were raised, not just because of the timing.
Why was a 23-year-old winger who had played just 22 games for Werder Bremen in an injury-plagued year being snapped up, when the club had also brought in Kevin De Bruyne from Genk.
And in all honesty, the concerns over the move have been justified. Marin has been hampered by injuries since his move last summer, making just 15 appearances despite Chelsea's involvement in seven different competitions this season.
In fairness to Marin, he has never been given a real opportunity to impress, with the vast majority of his appearances relating to 15-minute cameos from the bench.
His introduction as a 91st minute substitute against Wigan was more likely to be a time-wasting tactic by Rafa Benitez, but to his credit, Marin scored his first-ever Chelsea goal with his first touch. Unfortunately for the Germany winger, this has been his only memorable contribution and his performances have been way below par.
The Bosnian-born midfielder may not be such an expensive flop, but he could well be on the way out of West London this summer if his situation does not improve.
After his arrival on a free transfer in 2009, Ross Turnbull was ambitious enough to state that he wanted to fight for his place in the first team and refused to accept he would play second fiddle to Petr Cech. However, a series of clangers and 18 appearances later, that certainly is the case.
Of course, a second-choice goalkeeper is never going to get many appearances simply due to the stability and consistency which is required in defense. But even if Cech was struggling, Chelsea would be reluctant to put Turnbull in between the sticks.
While he is a decent shot-stopper, his ability as a goalkeeper has perhaps declined since his move from Middlesbrough, most likely as a result of a lack of match practice.
When Cech broke his finger earlier this season, Turnbull had to step in and made six Premier League appearances during this period. With all due respect, his level of performance was not quite up to the standard, but was sufficient enough.
Nevertheless, he was less than convincing against Swansea in the 2-0 defeat in the Capital One Cup semifinal, and ultimately some of his errors have cost the Blues dearly.
Third-choice veteran Henrique Hilario is also used sparingly, although he is more popular with the fans due to his ability to deputize without any problems occurring.
For now, Turnbull may be safe. But once Thibaut Courtois returns from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid, the 6'4" keeper could find himself leaving the club to reduce the wage bill.