Those at the Mirror believe that Frank Lampard (£5m), Didier Drogba (£10m), Nicolas Anelka (£5m), Florent Malouda (£10m), Michael Essien (£10m), Salomon Kalou (£15m) and Jon Obi Mikel (£15m) are all at risk of being shown the door. – That’s £70m worth of players. I think we could do with a degree of an overhaul, but it seems a little unlikely and drastic.
I couldn’t imagine Lampard going anywhere, for instance. Although I think he should perhaps be used more sparingly, he still has something to offer. Also, his wages are fairly high and he’ll likely retire at the club.
I could only see Chelsea parting with Michael Essien, if they don’t think they could rely on his fitness or are offered a substantial fee for him, £10m is nowhere near enough for the Bison. I don’t think we have any plans on selling Mikel either and believe he’s probably the best defensive midfielder we have as he’s comfortable on the ball and economic with it, even if his defending is a little suspect.
Nicolas Anelka is already a bit-part player and would have no problem taking a lesser role, so may just run down the final year of his deal. Similarly, if he stays, Malouda could become more of a ‘squad player’ next season, but obviously either could leave for a decent enough offer, but I doubt Anelka is in demand.
Kalou’s words in the press over the past few months have been irritating, but not quite as frustrating as his sporadic form – I’d sell him and would hope to see Daniel Sturridge afforded more chances in his place.
And then there’s Drogba, who knows what’s happening with him? He has been constantly linked with the exit door despite Gourlay saying that the Ivorian will stay, but we have been heavily linked with Radamel Falcao and if the Porto striker arrives, it could be the end of Drogba’s time at the club. At a push, he may have accepted that he’d have to fight for a starting XI place with Fernando Torres or even be his backup, but if he was to become third choice he’ll walk.