The press is full of stories today that Chelsea are planning on meeting a release clause of £22 million rumoured to be included in Marouane Fellaini’s contract at Goodison Park. Whether anything comes of this story or not remains to be seen but it is no secret that we have been chasing the big Belgian for a while now and his performances so far this season would suggest it could be money well spent. Whilst he has been used in a more advanced role for Everton this season I’d be really surprised if we used him in the same way what with Mata, Oscar and Hazard all playing further up the field. Unless he is utilised as a target man I presume he will slot into the centre of midfield and is this perhaps a sign that John Obi Mikel’s Chelsea career could be coming to an end?Currently away with Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations Mikel has never set Stamford Bridge alight, rather he has tried to replicate the role that Claude Makélélé played so well for us. Never more than a defensive midfielder for us it is always interesting to hear the Nigerian side of things who proclaim that we have ruined one of the greatest number 10s their country has ever produced. This isn’t strictly without evidence as at the 2005 U20 World Cup in Holland Mikel shone in the playmaker role alongside another young number 10 making his name, Lionel Messi. I’m not for one minute saying Mikel could have ended up like Messi but he certainly started his career behind the striker but you wouldn’t have thought it watching him play now. If Mikel were to leave it would be a severe case of mixed emotions for me as I can never fully make my mind up on Mikel. At times he is a fantastic ball winner, breaking up play superbly and then distributing quickly and efficiently. But then at others he is incredibly frustrating losing possession cheaply, tackling poorly and showing a lack of discipline. He clearly has the talent but it is obvious watching him that a lot of it isn’t being fully utilised. Whether this is down to him personally or the position he’s being deployed in I’m not sure.
If Fellaini comes in then I’d be surprised to see Mikel stay beyond this summer. I doubt he’ll move this window due to Romeu’s injury unless we also sign Isco but then there are too many variables. Wherever he goes I’m sure he’ll flourish as I always felt he was just a tiny bit below the standard required for a club like Chelsea and at a smaller club in Europe I’d expect him to do well. As for Fellaini as I said earlier I’d expect him to slot into the centre of midfield maybe the powers that be are thinking of pairing him with Isco. Ironically both of them have been playing as attacking midfielders for their clubs this season but we’ll see what happens I guess. Regardless this story is still very much in the hypothetical stage at the moment and we’ll have to see what happens in the next couple of weeks.
On the Lampard and Cole front I may as well throw my two cents in and I am firmly in the “sign them up camp”. I cannot believe that the club are even thinking of dispensing with them, high wages or not. Frank has demonstrated time and time again this season exactly why we need him and Ashley is still in my opinion one of the best left backs in the world. On the recent team of the year I thought it was slightly ridiculous that in a season where we won the Champions League none of our boys were considered. I would have thought that Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Mata or Drogba at least deserved consideration surely? My only guess is that UEFA and FIFA were angry enough that an English team won let alone that it was us but there you go. One final point on the Capital One Cup semi-final tomorrow with Swansea, I really hope Rafa puts out a strong team. If we don’t Swansea will walk all over us and I personally think we should go for every bit of silverware we can.