Four fringe players Chelsea could cut loose in January

Jose Mourinho recently told reporters that nobody will go in or out of Stamford Bridge this January, viewing such a scenario as a ‘perfect situation‘ for Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Yet, the Blues boss is known for the occasional fib, a professional white lie for the sake of business, so we at Football Fancast have our doubts over the Portuguese’s recent claim.

Not only have Chelsea been linked to some top names, such as Raphael Varane, Marco Reus and Juan Cuadrado, but there’s also a couple of fringe players amongst the Stamford Bridge ranks that could be cut loose in the New Year.

Some are surplus to requirements, others want more first team football and a few need a loan move to aid their development.

[ffc-gallery]CLICK ON MOURINHO TO REVEAL

Jose Mourinho[/ffc-gallery]

PETR CECH


The sheer presence of Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer behind Thibaut Courtois blesses Chelsea with the most formidable goalkeeping department in world football, so Jose Mourinho certainly won’t be actively looking to offload the Czech international in January. In fact, the Chelsea gaffer told reporters this week; “we like him, we respect him and we need him.

But arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history, with Peter Schmeichel the only genuine competitor to that unofficial crown, and still in his prime at 32 years of age, Cech can’t be happy about sitting on the bench every week, out of favour to a goalkeeper ten years his junior.

Even performances in the auxiliary tournaments have been hard to come by for the Blues’ decade-spanning servant. Mourinho’s granted him just two Champions League outings out of a possible five, two Capital One Cup appearances and 66 minutes in the Premiership – when Courtois came off with a head injury against Arsenal.

There’s plenty of suitors out there for the Czech centurion, including Liverpool and Roma:

But Cech wants to join a top club that can challenge for domestic and European titles, so the Premier League veteran is likely to wait until the summer, when it’s alleged the likes of PSG, Monaco and Real Madrid could become involved:

MOHAMED SALAH

Chelsea v Arsenal - Barclays Premier League
If you had to bet your mortgage on one player leaving Stamford Bridge this January, my advice would be Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian international, who joined the Premier League leaders just twelve months ago, was only ever purchased as a prospect Chelsea could add value to and sell for profit when ample opportunity arises – like the vast majority of the Blues’ £5million-£15million youthful acquisitions.

The 22 year-old’s been given more first team opportunities than most but he’s never really taken them. It appears Jose Mourinho has now lost his patience, issuing Salah just 16 minutes’ worth of action in the Premier League this year.

No doubt, the speedy winger’s a promising talent, having scored two goals in ten Premier League appearances at the end of last season – here’s a clip of him in action:

But he’s still way behind the standard of the rest of the squad and amongst the biggest culprits of the Chelsea gaffer’s public tirade after the Blues limped their way past Shrewsbury in the Capital One Cup in October.

With their original £11million investment unlikely to be reimbursed or improved upon however, a loan move in January is a more realistic scenario. Inter Milan have been mooted as potential suitors:

But The Express claim Premier League foursome Everton, QPR, Stoke and Sunderland are keen on the young Egyptian too.

ANDRE SCHURRLE

Andre Schurrle
Highly versatile and absolutely clinical when in top form, Andre Schurrle is the kind of player whose benefit is seen over the course of an entire season.

Take last term for example, where the German international had netted only three times before March but finished it with nine goals across all competitions. Here’s the highlights of the winger’s inaugural campaign at Stamford Bridge:

He’s netted twice already this year, including a vital strike against Manchester City, but the 24 year-old’s overall performances leave a lot to be desired, as shown below:

Schurrle

Of course, the winger-forward is still an integral presence in terms of squad depth, but if rumours linking Chelsea with a £20million January bid for Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus prove to be true, don’t be surprised if Schurrle goes the other way:

Ahh, the old German international for German international switcheroo.

Lewis Baker (loan)

Lewis Baker
Having won the Young Player of the Year and the Goal of the Year awards at Stamford Bridge last season – the latter for this incredible strike against Arsenal’s youth team:

…many expected midfielder Lewis Baker to play some sort of first team role for the Premier League leaders this year.

He’s training with the senior squad and has made it onto the bench on a few occasions but is yet to bag an actual appearance in any competition this season, including in the Capital One Cup which presented a fantastic opportunity for some first team exposure against League Two side Shrewsbury City.

The 19 year-old is clearly talented enough to be playing regularly at a competitive level – just take a quick look at him in action:

And with news that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be making his debut against Sporting Lisbon this evening, suggesting Jose Mourinho has further plans for the youngster between now and the end of May, a little reading between the lines suggests Baker will be sent out on loan in the New Year.

Sunderland were briefly linked to his services during the summer and could revive their interest:

As could Championship side and fellow suitors Middlesbrough, which would see Baker link up with fellow Chelsea youngster Patrick Bamford.

 


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