Chelsea may have a 10 point cushion at the top of the Premier League following this weekend’s 1-0 win over Manchester United but there is, however, some dead wood lurking in Mourinho’s squad. Here are five players that the Chelsea boss needs to move on this summer if he wants the side to stay at the head of the Premier League markets.
The Dutch defender has been on the Chelsea books for a few years now without any signs of breaking into the starting XI. Rafael Benitez gave Ake a taste of first team football during his brief tenure but Mourinho has not been so trustworthy, given what he has seen from the 20 year-old.
Ake played in the FA Cup against Shrewsbury earlier this season and his only noticeable impression were a few wild challenges and a yellow card. He has recently joined Reading for a brief one month loan spell, but he really should have had a whole season of first team football under his belt if he wanted to progress.
Ake has been likened to former Chelsea icon Ruud Gullit but it’s only his dreadlocks that are comparable.
John Obi Mikel
The Nigerian has become part of the furniture at Stamford Bridge since his protracted transfer but it’s time both Mikel and Chelsea freshened things up and went their separate ways. Mikel is reliable and steady, but he has fallen way down the pecking order and made just 14 league appearances this term – his lowest ever for Chelsea.
And with Nemanja Matic a far more dynamic option as the midfielder destroyer and Kurt Zouma as backup, there is no longer the need to stockpile any more defensive midfielders, especially ones who must be on a hefty wage after almost a decade of West London life.
Chelsea signed Salah from under the noses of Liverpool last summer, but the Egyptian attacking midfielder is a level below what the Blues need if they are to compete with the European elite.
A decent player, yes, but Salah has failed to live up to expectations when given the opportunity by Mourinho. It’s also hard to envisage him displacing anyone of Fabregas, Willian, Hazard, Oscar or Cuadrado. Furthermore, at just 22 years of age and after an impressive loan spell at Fiorentina where he has netted four goals in eight games, Chelsea should be able to broker a decent fee that will help keep them on the right side of the FFP rules.
Brazilian defenders are renowned for their attacking prowess over their defensive stability, but Filipe Luis appears to have neither. The Brazilian left back represents one of Mourinho’s worst forays in the transfer market in recent seasons.
The former Atletico Madrid full back cost over £15m and has rarely looked assured in the blue of Chelsea. You would expect an experienced defender that has won La Liga and been a key member of a Diego Simeone side could establish himself as a first choice left back in West London – as his number 3 shirt would indicate – but it’s been clear from the outset that the 29-year-old is a backup player at best.
The 37 year-old owes nothing to Mourinho and Chelsea, but this summer would be the perfect time to end their relationship – his influence in the dressing room can only have a positive impact and Mourinho would be reluctant to lose one of this trusted lieutenants – but just three league goals in 24 appearances proves his worth on the pitch.
Drogba, if he was to leave in the summer, can walk away with his head held high and most probably with a Premier League winner’s medal for his endeavours.
Meanwhile, Mourinho can inject some youthful exuberance into his striking options, perhaps giving young Patrick Bamford, who has almost single-handedly fired Middlesbrough into the Premier League, a more prominent role in the team for next season.