Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Chelsea were preparing to sell Florent Malouda, as the French winger tweeted a picture of the under-21 building at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground with the words “this is where I’ll train for my last season with the Blues”.
Now even though Malouda’s Chelsea career looks set to end in a far from ceremonious way, will he ultimately be remembered by Blues’ fans as a successful player? He began his career, like most Chelsea players do, with fairly high expectations.
The French winger cost the blues around £13 million from Lyon in 2007, but despite a goal on his debut in the Community Shield against Manchester United, Malouda struggled to make much of an impact at Stamford Bridge. The 2008/09 season was a bit better for Malouda as he scored 9 goals in 47 games, an increase from the previous season when he scored just 4 in 38 games.
However, Malouda’s best season was the one where Chelsea secured their 4th ever league title, the 2009/10 season. Malouda was electrifying at times as he played a key role in a formidable Chelsea attack which consisted of the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard all hitting some of their best form.
In the end, the campaign which also led to the side winning the FA Cup, the season was a great one for both Chelsea and Malouda. Malouda’s performances in the 2010/11 were much like Chelsea’s season in general: inconsistent. Malouda showed signs of the excellent form of his 2009/10 campaign but couldn’t maintain it.
By the end of the season, Malouda was more of a substitute than a regular starter for the Blues. In many ways, the 2011/12 was Malouda’s worst yet at the Bridge as his place was taken over by Juan Mata and many expected him to leave in the summer.
However, as we all know, he didn’t and now Chelsea have a predicament on their hands. Lyon, Malouda’s former club, are reportedly interested in the man who is still a France international.
In my opinion, Chelsea’s coercion of the player has been unnecessary and even disrespectful.
After all, Chelsea aren’t in the situation Manchester City were after Carlos Tevez refused to play for them against Bayern Munich last season, to our knowledge, Malouda does still want to play for Chelsea.
Also, I believe Malouda’s experience and versatility can still benefit the club, even more so now due to the departure of Raul Meireles.
In my opinion, Chelsea should have kept Malouda until January and then sell him. Making him play with the reserves doesn’t benefit anyone, particularly not Malouda who now surely feels like some sort of outcast.
Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow him on Twitter @chelsealad1365
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