Ahead of the current season it was always the plan for Chelsea to move veteran midfielder Florent Malouda in order to make way for new recruits for a new-look Blues side but so far the club have failed to find a new team for the Frenchman and he’s been in exile since the summer, have the club been too quick to freeze him out?
No matter what your opinion of Malouda he’s still a Chelsea player, he’s still picking up big money and he’s still a better option than some of the players that are currently involved in the first team set-up, such as Yossi Benayoun, so why is he being made to train with the under-21s?
The same board that have adopted a revolving door policy at Chelsea, sacked double winning managers Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo, and appointed the most unpopular manager possible in Rafael Benitez have conveniently painted Malouda as the bad guy. Some of the criticism is true as he is ‘sitting on a contract’ after all, but he’s only able to do so because of the agreement he came to with the club for those wages and terms.
We’ve already seen this before when Nicolas Anelka and Alex were frozen out during the time of Andre Villas-Boas, who had been blamed originally, but I doubt Benitez took one look at Malouda and decided he could stay training with the youth team and it looks increasingly as though the likes of Michael Emenalo and the board decided the fate of the aforementioned and whoever the manager is has no choice but to accept it.
Luckily for Anelka and Alex they managed to secure moves to nouveau riche clubs Shanghai Shenhua and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, who agreed to pay their wages but there has been no such luck for Malouda. It had been reported in the summer that Chelsea had been demanding a fee for the player which was incredible as many wondered how can you hold a value on a player that isn’t even allowed to train with the first team. As it stands, it seems as though we cannot shift him for free.
Surely Chelsea would have been better off giving Malouda the same chance as any other player during the pre season and if he’d been half decent then a club may have been more inclined to go in for him.
Unfortunately it seems as though the bridges have been burned between the club and the player and there’s no way we will see him play for the first team again, but he’s received far more criticism that he has deserved and it’s astounding that we would treat a player that played a major part in winning our first Premier League and FA Cup double amongst other honours.
Yes he was frustrating at times and didn’t really settle until Guus Hiddink lit a fire under his arse, but he’s scored 45 goals and made 44 assists in his 220 appearances in a blue shirt. He’s also tactically aware and experienced, could he have helped counter the naivety that has cost Chelsea all too often this season?