has promised to stay and fight for his place at Chelsea for the final year of his contract despite being increasingly shunted to the background at Stamford Bridge. He was only used as an injury-time substitute during Chelsea’s FA Cup final win over Liverpool and came on in the second half for Ryan Bertrand
in the Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich.
The news that Roberto Di Matteo
has been appointed for a further two years may alter his view, given that Di Matteo gave him only limited playing time during his time as interim coach. When Malouda scored in the 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley it was only his second goal of the season for the Blues and there has been speculation that he could leave the Bridge this summer to rejoin Carlo Ancelotti
at PSG. He admits that there have been discussions but intends to keep the results private and, for the moment, is adamant that he has a future with Chelsea.
Although there is more to Malouda than scoring goals, he contributed 12 in 2009-10 and 13 the following season. The fact that his goalscoring has dropped so markedly tells its own story. His role last season was almost exclusively as a substitute to add a bit of pace and width against tiring opponents. Despite failing to keep a regular first team spot with Chelsea, Malouda has been part of the France team competing in the European championships. However, he did not cut much ice in the game against England. With Chelsea in the market for new players and Di Matteo settling into his two-year contract, Malouda will want to know whether he is likely to feature in the Italians plans. He has openly stated that he is not happy as a fringe player in Chelsea’s talented squad but will need to recapture his old form if he is to earn a regular starting place.
Chelsea’s squad is already undergoing a revamp with Marko Marin, Eden Hazard
and Kevin De Bruyne
on their books for 2012-13. With Drogba, Kalou and Bosingwa already packing their bags, Malouda is in something of a no-man’s land. At his best he offers Chelsea pace and a wide attacking threat but he can also be frustrating and wasteful in front of goal. He joined Chelsea for around £13 million from Lyon in 2007 and has never quite lived up to his billing. At the age of 32 it is most unlikely that he has more than a year or two remaining at his best and, with Chelsea moving towards a different style of football with younger players, you have to question Malouda’s value to the squad.