Very few players in the Chelsea squad can look back fondly on their showings throughout 2015-16. Lingering in ninth place and on the back of a 3-2 defeat to Sunderland, it’s certainly been a season to forget.
Consequently, there are a number of players who look set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer. However, for some squad members, it’ll be a case of next season being their last chance or they’ll follow suit out the exit.
Here are three players for whom 2016-17 is make or break for their futures in west London:
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The Serbian has been a stalwart at Stamford Bridge for eight years now, but his performances this season have been extremely poor. It’s been a sudden drop from his steely efficiency of recent years to a far more erratic style.
The 32-year-old is suffering greatly against the swift wingers of the Premier League and his age is beginning to show. Wide men such as Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling have simply been tearing Ivanovic limb from limb.
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While good performances have occasionally arisen and his keen eye for goal remains, Ivanovic has been wildly inconsistent. For the aforementioned reasons, the Serbian’s signing of a new contract in February met great uproar.
Considering everything Ivanovic has done for the club over the years though, selling him this summer would be premature. However, if his poor showings spill over into 2016-17, it may be time to drop the axe.
The 21-year-old has been nothing short of a disappointment for Chelsea this season and has never really settled in at Stamford Bridge. While the youngster is still new to English football, he remains yet to find his feet nine months down the line.
The Blues captured Rahman as a long-term investment but the Ghanaian hasn’t shown any consistent signs of potential all season long. Consequently, even the faltering Ivanovic has been favoured over him in recent weeks.
It just seems a match that’s all wrong and with Chelsea likely to invest in a full-back this summer, proceedings look grim for Rahman. His 12 league appearances can largely be attributed to the Blues’ criminal lack in right and left-backs this year.
Given his age and limited time to adapt, Chelsea should give Rahman the benefit of the doubt ahead of next season. Nonetheless, the Blues may have to accept that he simply isn’t the man if his mistake-prone nature rumbles on.
Another summer signing that has struggled to live up to the hype and excitement. Despite the Spaniard being far from poor, Chelsea would have expected more from a World Cup and Champions League winner.
Eight strikes this season is a satisfactory return, but it proves Pedro’s worst goal tally over a campaign since 2008-09. The 28-year-old, as supplemented recently against Tottenham, has simply been bullied in the Premier League.
In the bigger games, Pedro has proven absent and his constant deployment is largely a consequence of Eden Hazard’s uncharacteristic form. Such patchy showings can’t help but provoke disappointment given he graced the Barcelona first team for seven years.
The potential to perform in a Chelsea jersey is evident and consequently the Blues shouldn’t be too rash in deciding Pedro’s future. However, with his form on the wane, a much-improved 2016-17 will be necessary to save his future in England.
Next season proves a step into the unknown for Chelsea and a pivotal year for the aforementioned players. With success a persistent necessity at Stamford Bridge, the club hasn’t got time to be patient with the squad’s dead wood.
Which of these players do you think Chelsea should axe? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!