There's rumour floating around that one of the players that Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is looking to keep around for the next few years is soon to be out of contract right back Jose Bosingwa, who's seemingly had his bags packed to depart Stamford Bridge ever since picking up a knee injury in October 2009. Since then, he'd barely featured, making a comeback a year later but generally finding himself as second choice behind Branislav Ivanovic due to the Serbian's defensive prowess.
This year, however, Bosingwa has found himself playing in every Premier League and Champions League match of Chelsea's young season. He's also been playing pretty well - he was outstanding against West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City, and although his defensive issues are still clearly alive and kicking, they are perhaps not quite as pronounced as they used to be. So, does the 29-year-old right back deserve to stick around?
There's not much there, to be honest. The most striking difference, and the most statistically meaningful, is the passing - Bosingwa is getting the ball more often, which means more passes. As far as I can tell, that's the only major difference, and that number is also biased by the fast that Bosingwa has had those good games at the start of the year (and has been pretty average after that, if we're being honest).
That's not to say that he hasn't turned a corner, so much as to say that we can't really tell what's going on there. A couple of months isn't enough to judge a player, and I'd hope Chelsea are looking at more that the little renaissance Bosingwa is experiencing before the decide to keep him around for the long haul.
Villas-Boas, of course, has far more to look at that a smattering of statistics and game action, but we still don't know whether or not the Mail's report is true (I mean, it's the Mail). For my part, I'd hope that if Chelsea do end up pursuing a contract extension with Bosingwa, they wait a little while longer to start talks. The more the team gets to see of him, the better, and at the moment, we can afford to play the waiting game.
This isn't a case like Didier Drogba, where Bosingwa can just say that he wants to stay and Chelsea are almost honour-bound to keep him. Re-signing the right back on a long contract would come with a serious financial hit and a commitment to fielding him rather than a younger prospect. There's an opportunity cost here which means that the club should be thinking long and hard before taking action. Fortunately, I don't think they're anywhere near as impulsive as the Mail's implying.
And for the record: No, I don't think it does.