Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole is out of contract this summer and it is rumoured that he will leave Stamford Bridge with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and West Ham just some of his potential destinations.
It has been reported that Blues owner Roman Abramovich is furious over the wage demands the midfielder is making. Cole is alleged to have asked for £120,000-a-week in wages, although it pains me to say it as he is something of a fan favourite at Chelsea he should leave if that’s what he is after.
He has recently lost his place in the Chelsea XI to Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou, who scored an impressive hat-trick against Stoke at home and impressively gave makeshift right-back Javier Mascherano an major headache during Chelsea’s win against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea ended up paying big money to keep stars such as Frank Lampard (140,000-a-week) and John Terry (150,000-a-week), but Joe Cole is not in the same bracket as the pair and does not even start regularly enough to warrant such money. Joe Cole has also been fairly injury prone and has not been his old self since the 2007/08 when he was awarded the Chelsea Fans’ Player of the Season after scoring 10 goals in all competitions.
Cruciate ligament problems in Cole’s knee kept him out for large periods of the 2008/09 season and the early part of the current campaign. Since returning from injury the England international has struggled to make an impact for Chelsea and this has also lessened his hopes of going to South Africa with England for the World Cup this summer.
I would like to think that boyhood Chelsea fan Cole will sign for his love of the club, but I’m resigned to the fact we will lose him once his contract expires this summer.
Nobody likes to see their favourite players leave but perhaps a parting of the ways will benefit both the player and Chelsea. Carlo Ancelotti plans to promote five of the academy players, which will most likely be Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Bruma, Nemanja Matic and Fabio Borini. Also, Miroslav Stoch has impressed on loan at FC Twente whilst helping the club win their first ever Eredivisie title. With Abramovich keen to cut the Chelsea wage bill the west Londoners will be better of having their youngsters as fringe players at the expense of Cole, Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti, Paulo Ferreira and maybe even Ricardo Carvalho who are on much more money, surely?
I understand why some Chelsea fans may find it hard to let Joe Cole go and I won’t enjoy the sight of seeing him play in the colours of a rival, but I just do not think he has done enough to earn a new deal. Deco has been panned by his critics in his time at Chelsea and so has Ballack, but both have performed much better and are more deserving of new deals than the 28-year-old this term. Cole has made 37 appearances (15 as a sub) this season, so has had plenty of time to rediscover his form in my opinion. However, he has only scored two goals and despite the odd moments (such as the all important goal against Man United) he has had a rather lacklustre season.
Sometimes I feel that Cole is beyond criticism amongst fan and the press because he is English, would he receive harsher criticism if he was a foreign player holding out for more cash? Cole is a wonderful player and I hope he stays, but I don’t think he deserves what he has (reportedly) been asking.
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