LEAVING THE BRIDGE?
Chelsea have led from the front since the season began and with Manchester City seemingly unable...
Chelsea have led from the front since the season began and with Manchester City seemingly unable to put together a run of form, the Blues remain the front runners and it looks like the Premier League trophy will be making its way back to Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2010.
But another summer of comings and goings is likely as Jose Mourinho shapes his side to defend that title and push on in Europe and the Champions League next season. As always there is a lot of speculation about who will be joining the club in the off season, but who is likely to be leaving before next the new campaign gets underway?
Two players that are likely to exit are Petr Cech and Didier Drogba. Both club legends should be leaving for pastures new after delighting the Chelsea faithful over the years. Cech’s departure has been on the cards for the past two seasons and with Thibaut Courtois spending the majority of this campaign between the sticks it looks like this will be the Czech keeper’s last. A full ten years older than the Belgian international, Cech will have to look elsewhere for regular playing time and a move to the continent looks likely as Mourinho won’t want such an iconic player lining up against him in 2015-16.
Drogba on the other hand has been able to have a final swansong at his beloved Chelsea after initially leaving in 2012. The return of Mourinho eventually heralded a return from Galatasaray for the Ivory Coast striker and although it will be sad for the Chelsea fans to say goodbye it is more than they could have hoped for a couple of years ago.
With the midfield being radically overhauled by Mourinho in the past two seasons there could be a chance that John Obi Mikel could be allowed to leave. The Nigerian has been at the club almost ten years but his performances have ensured that he has still been trusted by the manager to do a job in the middle of the pitch. But appearances have been at a premium this term and a chance to play regularly for a top side in Europe could prove tempting.
One player that fans would be really sorry to see go is Oscar. The slight Brazilian has complemented Hazard perfectly and would be a great addition to any club. Chelsea wouldn’t want to let the goal scoring midfielder leave but Mourinho could use him – or Ramires – as a makeweight in a deal to bring someone new into the club.
Although there are a number of older players in the Chelsea side it is unlikely that any more of the big names will be leaving and John Terry signed another one year contract at the end of March to end any speculation of the skipper exiting the club.
Amongst the other bigger names, Mohammad Salah has really enjoyed his time in Italy since joining Fiorentina on loan in January. The Egyptian never really got going in the Premier League and he may feel that his options are greater served by making his move to Florence permanent.
The way Chelsea have blown apart the Premier League this season it is hard to see how they can get any better but Mourinho will already have his eye on a host of top players to bring in. Some of the names that will leave the club have put in tremendous service, but to stay at the top Chelsea know that they must recruit new players that will hopefully become future crowd favourites.