With all the talk this summer on Chelsea’s incredible attacking force that they have reinforced this summer. There is one man who has fallen into the shadows of Stamford Bridge in Florent Malouda. Where does his future lie?
Joining Chelsea from Lyon in 2007 for £13 million, he has proven to be a capable signing in the five years at the club. Initially struggling for form, he started to finally find his feet in the 2009/10 and 2010/2011 seasons, as he scored 25 goals in those two years in 71 appearances.
Last season however, like the Chelsea team in general (ignoring the Champions League triumph) Malouda struggled to find any consistent form at Stamford Bridge, providing only three assists and two goals for London side. Now it appears Lyon want him back for a cut price deal, and in the twilight of his career, he would be far better off returning to France.
At 32 years of age, Malouda certainly doesn’t have time on his side, and Chelsea’s recruitment drive this summer was focused on the positions that he is known to play in. The likes of Victor Moses can play on the left and right hand side. Hazard can operate anywhere in the final third, and that still doesn’t count the likes of Marin and Oscar who could also operate on the flanks if need be.
As part of the old guard at Chelsea, boss Roberto Di Matteo is slowly edging out the players for a team that operated without much change for over five years. That also includes trying to remove their escalating wage bill, with Malouda a prime culprit on a reported £110,000 a week. Di Matteo seems determined to push Malouda out the club sooner rather than later and has relegated him to training with the under 21s.
A quiet and shamefully sad ending for a player who impressed greatly at Euro 2012 and was instrumental in Chelsea’s 2010 Premier League success. It seems we have seen the last of Malouda in English football, and for his sake, a return to France will offer a final chance of success for the winger.
Should Malouda be considered for a first team berth at Chelsea? Or should he leave? Leave your comments below.