Ramires and the Players Chelsea Should Have Sold in Transfer Window

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2014

Ramires and the Players Chelsea Should Have Sold in Transfer Window

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    A total of 36 players departed Stamford Bridge this summer—10 permanently, while the remaining 26 went out on loan to teams across Europe.

    Their were some high-profile casualties in Jose Mourinho's cull, too, including David Luiz and Romelu Lukaku.

    Legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were not immune to Mourinho's desire for change, either—both left when their contracts were not renewed.

    Of those who remain at Chelsea, however, some question marks remain.

    Bleacher Report looks at some of the players who can count themselves lucky to still be considered employees of Chelsea.

John Obi Mikel

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    How much longer can John Obi Mikel remain at Chelsea?

    It seems his name is linked with a big move every transfer window, but when it shuts Mikel always remains.

    This summer was no different, with a potential move to Inter Milan reported by Sky Sports ahead of the World Cup that never materialised. And before Inter, it was Galatasaray who were reportedly interested in him, according to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.

    Mikel has been a Chelsea player for eight years, and save for a good spell in the latter stages of 2011/12, he has rarely impressed enough to be considered a player suitable for the Blues.

    With Oriol Romeu signing a new contract this summer, many thought that would spell the end for Mikel, but with the Spaniard moving to Stuttgart on loan, Mikel has been given a reprieve.

    For how long, though, remains to be seen.

Mohamed Salah

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    After impressing in the first six months of his Chelsea career, Mohamed Salah has endured a frustrating summer.

    The Egyptian was signed from FC Basel in January and put in some encouraging displays, notably as a substitute in the 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal, before starting in Chelsea's 2-0 defeat of Liverpool at Anfield in April.

    With the likes of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Oscar and Willian delayed in returning from the World Cup, pre-season was the ideal time for him to step things up and continue his progress. It didn't quite happen, and Salah was instead surpassed by Chelsea's rising stars from the academy, who wasted little time in grabbing the headlines.

    Now the serious business of the Premier League campaign is here, it's difficult to see where Salah will get first-team football.

    At 22, he would have been better leaving Chelsea permanently or at least on loan to see more action.

Petr Cech

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    Selling Petr Cech would have been more about doing what's right for a legend of the club than what's right for Chelsea.

    Officially Chelsea's No. 2 goalkeeper behind Thibaut Courtois, Cech is going to endure a frustrating campaign this year. He will have to put up with headlines about his not playing, speculation about moving and whether or not Courtois is the better goalkeeper.

    By keeping him, Chelsea haven't committed a cardinal sin, although they have subjected him to an element of torture.

    Cech knows he is good enough to be No. 1 at Stamford Bridge: he's good enough to be No. 1 at most leading clubs across Europe. When you're as talented as he is, sitting on the bench is never satisfying.

    Besides, for a man who has achieved so much for Chelsea, if his career with the club ends as the No. 2, it will be a sad conclusion.


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    Where has it gone wrong for Ramires?

    Just two years ago, the Brazilian was emerging as a star in the new Chelsea—a player ready to take the club forward and be a pivotal part of the future.

    His goal against Barcelona in the 2012 Champions League semi-final was sublime and summed him up.

    Since then, things have gone downhill. He's created a habit of picking up juvenile suspensions, and his output and form have suffered.

    At the back end of 2013/14, Ramires was sent off for an ill-judged foul against Aston Villa and soon after returning was retrospectively banned for elbowing Sebastian Larsson off the ball when Chelsea faced Sunderland.

    Since Jose Mourinho's return, Chelsea have evolved to the point that Ramires' position in the team remains unclear. He's lost his place in the pivot to Cesc Fabregas, while further forward he is behind the considerable talents of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Oscar and Willian in the pecking order.

    Where does he fit in?

    We'll find out in the next few months, but come January, don't be surprised if Ramires becomes the next high-profile casualty of Mourinho's changes.

    Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes