5 Chelsea Players Who Should Face Jose Mourinho's Axe
Jose Mourinho suggested last week that Chelsea's transfer business was done for the summer, only for the Blues to re-sign legend Didier Drogba on a free transfer a few days later.
It was a moment that proved we should never trust the words of a shrewd operator like the Chelsea boss, who was quoted by Sky Sports:
I have to say my club did a fantastic job, and not just because of what we bought, but because we did it in almost record time. The transfer market closes 31 August and we close our market on July 19. We finished the market today.
The club did fantastic, we knew the targets, we knew the players and the club attacked them and their clubs at a very early stage.
We got exactly what we need and what we want. The squad is one which I like very much and I look forward to starting the season.
Assuming Drogba's return is the end of Chelsea's transfer dealings, it doesn't mean players should not be sold.
After all, the Chelsea squad is rammed full of talent and it's going to be difficult for the Blues boss to keep all of his stars happy.
Mourinho needs to trim the fat, so with that in mind, Bleacher Report highlights five players who should face the manager's axe.
When Victor Moses joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012, it was a move that made sense.
Since then, Chelsea have signed Andre Schurrle, Willian and Mohamed Salah. They also have an abundance of young talent coming through the ranks in attacking midfield.
It means Moses' position at Chelsea no longer makes sense. He was always going to be a player to cover for his more high-profile teammates, only now there are even more talented players ahead of him.
And on the back of an uninspiring loan spell with Liverpool last season—where he struggled to make Brendan Rodgers' first-team—he looks even less a Chelsea player.
Moses is an affable individual, but his two years at Stamford Bridge have shown he isn't quite up to playing for one of Europe's leading clubs.
His presence will only serve to block the route to the first-team for one of the youngsters and Moses isn't talented enough to justify that.
There was a time it seemed Ramires was going to be the focal point of Chelsea's midfield.
The Brazilian was making a habit of scoring important goals—think his strike against Barcelona in the 2012 Champions League semi-final—and creating them for his teammates.
He was essential.
Since Jose Mourinho's return as manager, he seems to have struggled to make an impact, though.
Ramires doesn't quite fit into Mourinho's system and were the Chelsea boss to switch from his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3, Chelsea now have players better equipped to fill the role Ramires would, too.
With the club evolving and new personnel being added, Ramires has the look of a player who has become obsolete.
Not only that, he became a liability last season, picking up needless and petulant suspensions that left Chelsea thin on bodies in the latter stages.
With so many talented midfielders to compete against, Ramires' time at Stamford Bridge appears to be up.
Once dubbed the German Lionel Messi, Marko Marin's Chelsea career has never taken off since he arrived from Werder Bremen two years ago.
Injuries didn't help in his first campaign and since then he has been playing catch-up.
Like Victor Moses, though, Marin's position at Chelsea is hard to justify these days. He arrived when the Blues were eager to add more attacking midfielders and now they have an abundance of players who are far more talented.
He spent last season on loan in Spain with Sevilla, where he performed well in stages, but he isn't a player of Chelsea's standards.
It will be better for the club and Marin if he were to move on this summer.
John Obi Mikel
Save for a spell of excellent form in the latter stages of 2011/12, John Obi Mikel's Chelsea career has been a major disappointment.
He was predicted to achieve great things for the club when he arrived as a youngster in 2006, but he's never quite hit the heights so many had expected.
Indeed, Mikel has been a major disappointment.
The Nigerian has benefited from the considerable turnover of managers at Chelsea, always remaining in the squad as he performed a role in midfield that isn't always the easiest to fill.
Whenever a new manager has been appointed, the focus has been to sign a goalscorer or attacking midfielder, not a player to screen the back four.
Chelsea now have Nemanja Matic and Oriol Romeu—who has recently signed a new three-year contract, per ChelseaFC.com.
Both those players have shown themselves to be better equipped to perform in the midfield pivot, Matic especially after he transformed Chelsea's fortunes in that area when the club re-signed him in January.
Mikel's had his time and Chelsea should move him on.
There's no doubt Romelu Lukaku is a talented striker.
Just how far he will go in his career remains unclear, yet what we can be certain of at this stage is that he isn't ready to be a first-choice striker at Chelsea.
Whenever Lukaku has had the opportunity, he hasn't delivered for the Blues. He is yet to score a competitive goal for the club and was also guilty of a penalty miss against Bayern Munich in the Super Cup penalty shootout last term.
Even at the World Cup he failed to shine on the biggest stage for Belgium.
Right now, Lukaku needs to continue his development and accept he requires a bit more time to become the player he wants to be.
Lukaku doesn't appear to accept that, though—he wants to be No. 1 and he wants it now.
If that means leaving Chelsea, he doesn't seem afraid of the prospect given the rumors doing the rounds this summer.
Judging by comments from Everton's head of recruitment Ian Atkins to talkSPORT (h/t Goal.com), Lukaku is attempting to push through a permanent move back to Goodison Park where he knows he will be first choice.
Chelsea should let him.
Considering the likes of Didier Drogba, Diego Costa and Fernando Torres complete the Blues' attacking options, quite how Lukaku can demand to be picked ahead of them is baffling.
To suggest he should be doesn't bode well for his character and Chelsea aren't a club that can allow its players to dictate terms—especially when they have achieved little in the game.
Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes