Date: 10th August 2012 at 10:04pm
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Recently the Daily Mail had reported that Raul Meireles is a target of Napoli and could join for around £8 million whilst the Daily Star have suggested that he could be used in a deal to sign Edinson Cavani, but considering the midfielders we have in the squad, should he really be the first out of the door?

I’m expecting many people to disagree with me here if the opinions I have heard and read are anything to go by, especially as the Portuguese midfielder isn’t the most loved player at Stamford Bridge and seems to be one of the default scapegoats for a poor team performance…and by saying that I’m not suggesting he’s not had his woeful displays, he’s had them, but perhaps not as bad as people have made out.

Meireles played over 40 games in all competitions for Chelsea last season and contributed six goals and six assists during his first campaign at Stamford Bridge, which aren’t bad stats for a player in his position.  He was never particularly amazing, just a steady all rounder with good mobility, works hard and isn’t afraid to get stuck in. He’s never going to be a guaranteed starter but he’s a very useful squad player, essentially.

In comparison, Michael Essien, a player who was one of the best in our ranks once upon a time and a character that is appreciated by the fans. However, the injuries he has suffered have all but ruined his career and his performances have been laboured, he’s a shadow of his former self. It’s sad, really sad, but in reality I do not see him recovering his previous best and is something of an expensive under-performer at the moment.

I’d also clear out the likes of Yossi Benayoun ahead of Meireles, as he has a snowball’s chance in hell at playing much first team football as he’ll be behind the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Marko Marin and company in the pecking order. On top of that, he was a pointless buy to begin with and pretty much nailed his colours to the mast when he chose to support Arsenal over his parent club.

Now, I’m not saying Meireles shouldn’t be sold and if the club decides to do so then so be it. But he’s a decent squad player and is probably a better option than those he’d be leaving behind in my opinion.

I’m expecting to get a few replies in support of Essien especially, probably saying “give him one more season” but we’ve been saying this for years now. But you are all of course entitled to your opinions (arguing our views is part of the fun when it comes to football discussion) and your feedback is greatly appreciated as ever. Tell me what you think in the comments section below.