What a topsy-turvy place the footballing world is. According to Goal.com Salomon Kalou’s contract talks are being ‘monitored closely’ by ‘more than 12 leading clubs’. Yes this is the man who has scored only 36 goals in 152 appearances for Chelsea – stats that make it difficult to understand the level of interest in the much maligned forward.
He’s mostly been used as a squad-player throughout his Chelsea career (he’s been with the Blues since 2006!) though he’s taken up a more prominent role since Di Matteo took over. Since the little Italian recalled him to the team, he’s been involved in all eight of Chelsea’s Premier League and FA Cup matches as well as featuring in games against Benfica and Barcelona in the Champions League.
Salomon has been remarkably coy over his future and is clearly attempting to keep the door as open as possible. Speaking last month he said: “I enjoy being here. There is no reason why I don’t want to stay. Robbie has come in and given me the chance to play more and I’m very happy with that. I never think there is no way I shouldn’t have a future at the club.”
Kalou’s Chelsea contract will be up at the end of the season so he’ll be available as a free for other clubs to pick up. It’s believed that his agent Jan de Visser will sit down with the Blue’s top brass to discuss signing a new contract. So whilst there’s still the faint chance that he’ll agree new terms with his current club you have to feel that there’s a good reason why a new deal is yet to be arranged.
It seems that Chelsea aren’t willing to stump up the cash needed to tempt Kalou into staying. As a result he’s been linked to the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool who may be tempted by the acquisition of a freebie, experienced squad-player.
Despite this, I believe that both clubs should steer clear. Whilst he has his moments they are too few and far between and if he went to Arsenal he’d just be yet another squad-player picking up a wage that in no way reflects his talent.
Both sides need better quality squad players but the way that this should be achieved is through buying players that are better than members of the first team. This sends talent down the pecking order and provides the club with a roster of decent squad players all highly motivated to win their place back in the starting line-up.
I just don’t see any point in signing players who you know will only ever operate as a squad player – particularly when they’ll cost you a fortune in wages.
Without wanting to stress the point too much, I can’t believe how long Kalou has spent at the very top level of the game. His career may in fact benefit from a small step down to a club where he’s a nailed on starter. Unfortunately these are the clubs that won’t be able to pay him the kind of wages he’s accustomed to. So will sense win out?
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