Following a clash of interests in September last year, the rift between Chelsea and Florent Malouda is yet to be resolved. As the French winger’s contract runs down, the player and his employers will be relieved to finally go their separate ways.
The final chance for the Londoners to cash in on their unwanted star passed as the winter transfer closed last January, thus confining the veteran to the club's Under 21 squad for the remainder of his Blues career.
Chelsea will be frustrated not have to offloaded the £80,000-a-week veteran, who, after failing to secure a move elsewhere, will now allow his contract to expire and leave Stamford Bridge as a free agent without earning the club a penny through his sale.
Due to the out-of-favour Chelsea man’s substantial wage demands, reported interest from Arsenal, Juventus, Santos, Anzhi Makhachkala and former club Lyon have merely resulted in collapsed deals.
Once part of a clinical French-speaking trio with ex-teammates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in Chelsea’s attack, the 32-year-old must now consider how to revitalize his career after a long spell of dormancy.
Chelsea’s 2009/10 Player of the Year will definitely lack the fitness and sharpness required to stroll into the starting eleven of any club boasting a similar pedigree to his current employers. With this in mind, Malouda must scope out a move that will offer an important role at his new club in addition to maximum game time. However, he will certainly have to lower his lucrative salary demands to achieve this.
His expulsion from first-team action at Chelsea and consequent lack of exposure makes it difficult for potential suitors to gauge the ability the midfielder possesses in his advanced age.
However, whether or not his performances dating back a season or more will tempt clubs, The Blues’ number 15 has undoubtedly experienced periods of outstanding form during his time at The Bridge.
Although not recognised as a prolific goal-scorer, ‘Flo’ has scored 44 goals in 226 appearances for the European Champions – an impressive return for a midfielder. Perhaps a more advanced role at his next club could see him build on his goal-scoring reputation.
Aside from numerical assessments, the 32-year-old displays an admirable work-rate in all areas of the pitch. It was his willingness to track back that granted Ashley Cole the freedom to bomb forward from left-back in Chelsea’s double winning 2009/10 season. His defensive instincts as a winger are rare in the modern game and would be an asset to any team.
Malouda’s solid and adaptable all-round game could see him succeed in any league across the globe.
At a glance, clubs of a similar stature and financial capacity to Zenit, Fiorentina, Newcastle or Swansea could be a good fit for the Frenchman – but the expensive veteran will have to take a more cooperative approach regarding personal terms before clubs will be willing to snap him up on a short-term deal.
It would be a shame if Florent Malouda’s dispute with Chelsea destroyed his future career aspirations. Where do you think is the perfect move for ‘Flo’? Leave a comment below!
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