By the start of José Mourinho’s first season at Chelsea, 10 Chelsea players under the Claudio Ranieri reign were deemed surplus to requirements.
Seven years on, André Villas-Boas has been tasked to better Mourinho’s achievements.
Here are five Chelsea players under the Carlo Ancelotti reign that Villas-Boas must sell this summer.
I still cannot understand how Fernando Torres—who had a Stéphane Guivarc'h-esque impact during Spain’s 2010 FIFA World Cup triumph, who was having his worse season at Liverpool, who didn’t even look half the player he used to be—still garnered a ridiculously overpriced and inflated £50 million transfer fee.
In his first season at Chelsea, Torres showed no heart, no determination, and for 13 games, no goals.
Don’t you wonder how a player who was having an average first half of the season ended up having a historically bad second half of the season?
This is why I facepalm when people say former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti wanted Torres at Stamford Bridge. Yes, maybe a fully fit scoring Torres, but not an unfit and deteriorating Torres.
What Ancelotti did in Chelsea’s two most important games of the season demonstrated how much faith he had in Torres.
Having thrown Torres to the wolves in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester United, he then substituted him at half time (rightfully so) in the second leg.
Clearly Torres was Ancelotti’s favourite footballer.
Keep in mind, Gianfranco Zola told Gary Jacob at The Times that playing under Ancelotti at Parma was the lowest point of his career.
Ancelotti froze Torres out of the team, hence why Torres didn’t perform to the best of the deteriorating ability he has left.
New Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas must sell Torres, but it won’t happen, so it will be interesting if Villas-Boas can instill confidence in Torres, which hopefully for Chelsea's sake, will translate to a scoring rate of a £50 million valued player.
What would be nice is 0.75 goals per game next season.
José Bosingwa had a promising start to his career at Stamford Bridge, as he showed exhilarating wing play and looked to be a great signing—until he suffered a career debilitating knee injury.
His defending was always shoddy, his crossing was inconsistent, but now he can't offer the same incisive runs as he used to.
He had good games against Blackburn Rovers and Copenhagen, but it’s inconsequential if you cannot perform in the big games.
He had bad games against Manchester United in the English Premier League and the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
In between those games, he’s looked mediocre, perhaps even par, at best.
At 28 years of age, it’s best for manager André Villas-Boas to sell Bosingwa.
Though will Villas-Boas’ Porto sympathies allow Bosingwa another season?
Is Yuri Zhirkov worth £18 million?
Zhirkov is an honest hard working player, but he’s only at Stamford Bridge because he’s Russian.
Look, if he came for free, OK, he’s hard working squad player.
But £18 million for 17 substitute appearances and 26 games where he’s just been left on the bench, please, that’s just owner Roman Abramovich flexing his muscle.
Zhirkov isn’t the first token Russian at Chelsea, as several seasons ago, Alexey Smertin was just making up the numbers under José Mourinho.
I hope manager André Villas-Boas decides to play play Gaël Kakuta or even Patrick van Aanholt off the bench, rather than play Zhirkov.
Paulo Ferreira's confidence must be deflated when Branislav Ivanović, a natural centre back, became a revelation at right back.
Why was the move made?
Ferreira was putting in below average to OK performances, and let's face it, he’s not good enough to be a Chelsea player.
Why not let a youth player into the squad, rather than have an aging, deteriorating and seemingly unmotivated reserve right back?
I hope manager André Villas-Boas does not bear any Porto sentiments towards former Porto players, because Ferreira, like his compatriot Bosingwa, must be sold.
For a player who showed so much promise yet delivered only snippets of his ability, Nicolas Anelka’s career ranks up there with Álvaro Recoba and Denílson as one of the most unfulfilled careers ever.
Anelka has been a good player for Chelsea, and his 58 goals in 167 games (most games played out of position), have been worth the £15 million.
That being said, at 32 years of age, it’s time for him to be moved on and for manager André Villas-Boas to give someone like Daniel Sturridge a chance.