Dealing with weeks sitting on the bench must be frustrating for any great player, and at Chelsea, the substitutes could probably challenge for a Champions League place.  

Jose Mourinho must feel quite content when he looks at his squad, especially when he sees World and European Cup winners making up the numbers on the sidelines.

It's this squad depth which has powered the Blues through 70+ game seasons, making this aspect of their game more of a necessity, rather than an advantage, in the long, fatigued campaigns, which have brought Chelsea their greatest of successes. 

But with this amount of world class talent, squad rotation becomes even more difficult with the demands from the players increasing as the World Cup comes ever closer, and international selection around the corner.

Playing time is essential, and at Stamford Bridge, for some players this just isn't possible.

It's getting clearer who Mourinho prefers in the starting XI for Chelsea, as we approach the midway point of the season, it's a crucial time in the year and some of the fringe players need to take advantage of the upcoming transfer window.


The first blue outcast unfortunately begins with Willian. Yes, he's only just arrived in the Premier League, but the Brazilian's mere presence at Chelsea probably sums the club up best, we want him, we get him, even if he's not needed. 

Although, for £30 million, Chelsea fans surely would have expected more so far this season, but having almost no game time, it's hard to really criticise him. And with a bank of attacking midfielders already at Mourniho's disposal, the transfer seemed a bit unnecessary.

It was however controversial, as Chelsea 'stole' the winger from Tottenham's grasp, even after a medical had been completed at White Hart Lane, clearly Champions League football attracted the player further south, who was given a taste of it at Shaktar Donetsk last season.

Willian, who is another player eyeing a World Cup call up, would have been better off in North London, or even abroad, as he's finding it hard to settle at Stamford Bridge.

Demba Ba:

The Senegalese striker have suffered the same fate as Fernando Torres, since joining from Newcastle last January. It hasn't really kicked off for the 28-year-old, and again, he must regret leaving St. James Park, where the £7 million man was proving an ideal replacement for a forgotten Andy Carroll.

It's the same story for the number 19, again it's hard to see the reason for his transfer to Chelsea, maybe at the time with one striker in Torres at the club, it could be justified, but Ba has been a real outcast this year. With only two league goals to his name and Lukaku's imminent return next year, it's time to wave good-bye to Ba.

Michael Essien:

It's hard to dislike Michael Essien, he's been extremely loyal to Chelsea since 2005, making the Ghanaian one of the longest-serving players at the Bridge, but his injury before the start if the 2011-12 season dealt a huge blow in his career.

After being loaned out last season, we've only seen Essien appear in League Cup games, and it's a shame because he's been a great servant over the years. Surely he hasn't succumbed to becoming the new Paulo Ferreira at Chelsea, and being another player with World Cup selection on his mind, he has to act fairly soon.

If he wants to maintain his loyalty, maybe 'The Bison' should consider another loan, abroad preferably.

John Obi Mikel:

The Nigerian is also a long-time Chelsea player, who's transfer from Lyn in 2006, snubbing Manchester United in the process has proved quite successful for Mikel. Champions League and Premier League medals have rewarded the defensive midfielder for his consistency in the middle of the park, but if your honest, will you remember him in 20 years time?

Jose Mourinho has obviously forgotten about the 26-year-old since his absence, resulting in Makelele's replacement appearing in only six league games this season, where he's been in and out of the Chelsea team.

Again, with Brazil in mind, could it be time for Mikel to leave?

Ryan Bertrand:

Ryan Bertrand has been Ashley Cole's understudy for way too long.

And he'll have to wait even longer to oust the England superstar, as the left-back's Chelsea career is still awaiting lift-off.

At 24 years old, Bertrand must have been expecting a regular starting spot by now, and although he's been a fantastic deputy to Cole for a number of years, a World Cup place is light-years away at this moment in time.

Maybe Chelsea still see a future for him, so maybe another loan would satisfy both parties, even so, 28 Chelsea appearances in eight years is not good enough.

Do you think these players are heading for the exit door? Who would you add to this list?

Comment below! 

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