Jose Mourino has now had a whole year to examine the Chelsea squad. This summer he must reshape it more in his own image – albeit with whatever requirements Roman Abramovich tasked him with on his appointment, in terms of playing style.
In order to make room for new players, several will clearly have to be moved on. Cole and Luiz have already gone, of course, but there are quite a few others whose time at Chelsea appears to have run out, or who simply don’t fit in what Mourinho is trying to construct.
So who should go? Let’s take a look at five who could, and arguably should, be top of the list:
I doubt there’s much debate about this. I’m not in the “Torres is rubbish” camp that a fair proportion of Blues fans appear to be – in fact, I have a lot of time for him and think he is one of the most skilful players at the club – but it’s undeniable that he has failed to live up to expectations. 45 goals in 172 games is not the scoring rate you expect from a £50 million striker, and after three and a half seasons waiting for him to catch fire, it’s time now to cut our losses.
John Obi Mikel
Again, unlike many Chelsea supporters, I’m a Mikel fan. But his infrequent performances last season showed that he has progressed little from his highly promising start. He hasn’t become the midfield dominator he once looked like becoming, and now Nemanja Matic provides all Mikel can, and more hence I see the Nigerian been sold this summer should the right offer(s) arrive for him.
Too many misplaced passes, too many ill-judged fouls. His lightning pace, aggressive tackling and occasional moments of sublime skill (that chip over Valdes, for example) do not make up for the amount of possession he concedes or dangerous free-kicks he gives away.
The least skilful of our limited attacking trio, yet strangely the one most likely to remain at the club. Mourinho seems to value his willingness to do as asked and his ability to get his head onto long balls when we’re desperate for a goal. His propensity for managing to score with unorthodox parts of his body is always good for a giggle and of course we’ll always have Anfield and what he did after THAT slip. But we can do better. Lukaku, for example.
I’ve saved the most controversial for last. There’s no denying he’s an immensely skilful player with a penchant for the perfect pass and a sweet shot. But in my opinion, the game too often passes him by. He’s too easily intimidated by pace and physicality and has become – instead of the midfield lynchpin he initially looked capable of being – a luxury player. If PSG were to offer us upwards of £50 million for him instead of Hazard, I’d take it and buy a more consistent playmaker. I don’t expect this to be a popular opinion, however.
There are several other fringe Chelsea players who might have made this list – Bertrand, Moses, Romeu and Hilario for example. But I think we could sell these five, raise about £100 million and replace them better players, and still make a profit on the deals. Which can’t be bad.