The Premier League may have already kicked off this weekend but there is still time to finalise the 25-man squads for 2014-15 before the transfer window closes at 11 p.m. on September 1. Jose Mourinho told reporters how happy he is with his squad, per Ed Aarons at The Guardian:
We have the squad that we want to have. It is a squad for tomorrow, for next season and also a squad with big possibilities for the next five or 10 years with so many young people. So I like my squad very much.
However, he also told the official Chelsea website “We do need one player to leave because we have 18 foreign players and you can only have 17.”
Marko Marin is likely to be that player.
Marin signed for Chelsea in 2012 under Roberto Di Matteo. The off-pitch turmoil disrupted his debut season, and Mourinho decided to send him on loan to Seville for 2013-14. Several players have staked a claim for his spot in the squad in his absence, and he will find it almost impossible to make his way back into Mourinho’s selection thoughts.
Since returning to Stamford Bridge last summer, Mourinho has signed three wingers in Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah and Willian, while Eden Hazard is also available to play out wide. Even Ghanaian international Christian Atsu’s performances at the World Cup were not enough to keep him in the squad, and he has been sent on loan to Everton. In this light, it is easy to see how far Marin would have to climb up the pecking order to stand a chance at Chelsea.
When compared to his closest competition at Chelsea using the Squawka comparison matrix, on-loan Victor Moses included, Marin is third in passing accuracy and second in chances created, which should put him in contention. However, he finishes bottom in goals scored, tackles won and interceptions, highlighting the fact that he is not a Mourinho player.
Chelsea are hoping that they will not be as reliant on their midfielders to score as they were last season, but they will still have a crucial role to play. Despite playing fewer minutes than Marin, Salah managed to score two goals to the German’s 0. Moses scored once on loan at Liverpool.
Marin himself was pragmatic about his future when speaking to Sky Sports in May, saying:
Sevilla would like to keep me here, but there are also signals from England that they (Chelsea) want me to return.
So far I have never really had enough fitness. I have started to play more regularly in the last few weeks, but I still can't play three matches per week.
I have been unable to feature regularly for my club and unable to put out my best performances in matches. I always knew that I wouldn't be able to take part in the 2014 World Cup, but my aim now is to regain full fitness.
Considering the fact that he was not involved in the World Cup, Marin should have been afforded the opportunity to impress in pre-season. However, his absence from the tour indicates that there is no future for him at Stamford Bridge.
His contract still has three years to run so another loan to Seville would make sense for now, but he should understand that he is not likely to play for Chelsea again.