I’m completely dumbfounded by the transfer news that has broke today, I literally had to sit down whilst reading the Hulk and Witsel to Zenit story. I mean, has this really happened? Have two of the best players in the Portuguese league really decided to go and play in the Russian league? I mean, its hardly renowned for its exciting matches, high class of talent and popularity is it? But Zenit have money, a lot of money. These players are clearly motivated by the wages, I’m unsure of how much they will be earning, but I’d imagine it will be a hell of a lot more than Chelsea were offering.

So I guess when a player is that focused on money, it’s safe to say that Chelsea were better off without him. Well, both of them actually, as we were also keeping a close eye on Axel Witsel too, who is a very decent holding midfielder that most Chelsea fans would welcome in an instant. They won’t now though, thats for sure.

Career ending moves by both of these players? I’d say so, Witsel wasn’t really proven just yet and Hulk will be 27 years old by the time we reach the next summer transfer window. Certainly the most bizarre decisions to be made by such high profile players regarding transfer moves that I have witnessed.

Perhaps maybe Hulk was just that desperate to leave Porto, Chelsea could not afford his fee, but he just wanted out so left anyway? But then surely he’d be better off just hanging it out at Porto for another season, rather than going to the Russian league? But then again, I can’t really say too much, I know nothing about the Russian league, but then that must say something too?

Today is a sad day for me, we have sold Raul Meireles to Fenerbahce for £8 million. I’ve always rated Raul and fully believe that he has been hugely under-rated during his short time with us. It shocked me that he’s left, I was very disappointed in the club for letting him leave. Not just because I rate him, but also it leaves us short in the deeper lying centre midfield role. Meireles started well for us, probably playing the best out of any of them in that position.

We then allow Essien to go on loan to Real Madrid, then Raul goes. So we’re left with Mikel, Lampard, Romeu, Ramires and possibly Oscar. Ok, so on paper that doesn’t look too bad, but it still worries me. Lampard has looked very short on pace and match engine, whilst Ramires has been played on the right wing, Romeu lacks agility and pace and Oscar prefers to play more advanced. So yes, it does worry me.

We were over ran in that position against Athletico Madrid because we lacked pace, recovery runs and agility in those positions. Meireles had that, he is full of running and offers a lot in that role. I really don’t understand the thinking behind this sale.

Unless we have any plans to bring in a free agent, we find ourselves short in that role. Which reminds me, there has been various calls on Twitter to bring back Michael Ballack, who is available as a free agent and we can still sign the 34-year-old now. I believe I have even witnessed a hashtag campaign to bring back Ballack! I’m not so sure that he would be the answer, as much as I have always rated him as a player.

As shocking as today has been, anything can still happen, perhaps we’ll terminate Josh Mceachran’s loan deal from Middlesborough and use his intelligence and energy in there? Who knows, but after today, nothing will shock me now.

Simon Phillips – News Editor

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