Four senior Chelsea players say goodbye

Christof Koepsel

Chelsea have announced the departures of a four long-term senior players. Leaving the Bridge are Florent Malouda, Ross Turnbull, Yossi Benayoun and Paulo Ferreira*. While it's difficult to imagine people missing Turnbull and Benayoun too much -- they probably played about the same number of games at each other, which is to say not many at all -- Malouda and Ferreira have been long-term servants of the club and both deserve remembering fondly.

*Who each get a tribute longer than the one to Roberto di Matteo.

So, thanks Malouda, for that crazy form you showed in our double season. I was never really convinced by you until then, but for a crucial period in our history you looked like one of the best footballers Chelsea had ever seen. Nevermind what happened last year. You'll live.

As for you, Paulo, you are the epitome of professionalism and, for a long time, a very decent player on top of that. It's difficult to argue with three Premier League winners' medals, and I hope that your example gets passed along to the younger players. Maybe a coaching spell is in order?

And finally, we should mention that Henrique Hilario has not been mentioned despite his contract theoretically expiring as well. If he's been re-signed, I don't really like it at all -- a backup goalkeeper taking up an international spot is a very silly thing, and if we had to pick between him and Turnbull it's Turnbull every time for me.

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