The rumour that both Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa will be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer seems to have been around so long it almost seemed inevitable.
In an article in the Metro it is claimed that the duo’s names are expected to be omitted from the Blues’ retained list which will be submitted today.
So despite being starters in the Chelsea team that took to the field in Munich for the club’s historic Champions League final win there will be no place for them next season. This is the biggest sign yet of Abramovich’s lack of sentiment when making the decisions that have to be made at Chelsea.
Kalou, 26, has been mainly used as a squad player since joining Chelsea from Feyenoord in 2006 for £9m. Despite this he has still managed to clock up more than 250 appearances and scored 60 goals. He was frozen out during Villas-Boas’ time at the club but had a resurgence under Di-Matteo; his last goal was the winner against Benfica in Lisbon in the Champions League quarter final first leg.
Boswinga, 29, a £16.2m signing from Porto in 2008 during Scolari’s brief stint in the hotseat, was also frozen out under Villas-Boas. He too revived his career under Di-Matteo, ending up with a FA Cup and Champions League winning medal.
Both players would be attractive signings to a variety of clubs. The factg that they are free transfers will obviously increase their desirability even moreso. However one would suggest that after being at Chelsea both players are likely to have high wage demands.
Arsenal have been consistently linked with Kalou and may be tempted to offer him a deal. One would assume that he would take up a similar role to that at Chelsea, being a squad player to bring on to offer impact late in a game. He is certainly unlikely to displace Walcott on the wing or have the ability to score the 20 plus goals required to cement a place as a striker.
If he was willing to take a wage cut in return for regular first team football one would theorise that Kalou could do a job for a Premiership club outside the top six. A club such as Sunderland or Fulham would be a good option and one wonders how well he would do given regular football. But a club lower down the table being in a position to pay his wages is unlikely.
I doubt whether a top six Premiership club would be interested in Kalou depite him being on a free. He doesn’t contribute enough goals to warrant a start in the likes of a Liverpool or Tottenham and I am surprised at the link with Arsenal. I would expect the most likely scenerio will be a move abroad for Kalou, maybe to a smaller club in the Spanish Primera, Serie A or possibly even a move back home for him to the Dutch Eredivisie.
It seems like similar story with Bosingwa. The Metro article claims clubs in La Liga and Serie A are looking t the full back. There is also a rumour that Mourinho is ready to bring him to Real Madrid.
I would suggest again that Bosingwa’s wage demands would probably be too steep for a club outside the top six of the Premier League. However his performances in the European Cup proved that he could still perform at a high level. His experience could be invaluable at a club such as Newcastle or even Arsenal to sure up their back lines.
Both players are young enough and have the talent to continue to play football at the highest level in my opinion. Whether they had a little trouble getting used to the English game or whether they just didn’t get the opportunities at Chelsea is debatable. One thing is for sure, Chelsea’s loss will be someone else’s gain.
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