2017 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HOTELS, CARDIFF June 3RD & KIEV 2018 - CLICK HERE to BOOK HOTELS PACKAGES Raul Meireles to Fenerbahce: A Questionable Transfer

Raul Meireles to Fenerbahce: A Questionable Transfer

Meireles to Fenerbahce: Questions Unanswered

When I heard rumours that Raul Meireles was in Turkey having a medical ahead of a proposed move to Fenerbahce, I dismissed it as speculative nonsense. I figured the club surely wouldn’t let go of another central midfielder after both Michael Essien & Yossi Benayoun were carted out on loan to Real Madrid & West Ham respectively. So when the move was announced by both Fenerbahce & Chelsea, I was as surprised as anyone.

With Essien, Benayoun & now Meireles having left the club in quick succession, Chelsea look a bit short in the CM department. At the moment we have Frank Lampard, Oscar, Jon Obi Mikel, Oriol Romeu & Ramires who can play in the double pivot. It sounds good enough on paper. The reality, however, is far less flattering.

Frank Lampard has started the season on an indifferent note & is yet to find the form that he produced to help Chelsea lift the FA Cup & Champions League last season. Oscar has yet to start a game for Chelsea, having only come off the bench till date. And while he can play as a CM, it may not be the wisest move to throw him into the first team on a regular basis so quickly. Mikel has been inconsistent so far this season, playing very well in one game & very badly in the next. Romeu is yet to make an appearance for Chelsea this season & barely played during the 2nd half of last season. Ramires has only played on the right wing this season, where he has failed to impress. And while I can still justify the club loaning Essien & Benayoun (Essien has been off form for a while now & it was known that Benayoun wouldn’t feature in Di Matteo’s plans), the decision to release Meireles is indeed a baffling one.

Meireles may not have been seen as the most prolific of signings by certain fans (me included) but I never thought he was a bad player. He had a decent 2010/11 season at Liverpool & did well at Chelsea when he arrived. Truth be told, he performed better than Lampard at times under AVB. This shouldn’t be seen as an insult to Lamps, but as a compliment to Raul. And while he was erratic at times under Robbie & mostly used as a bit-part player, his performances at times weren’t as bad as people thought they were. He mostly did a decent job when given a chance. No one will forget that last-minute goal against Benfica in the Champions League Q/F’s. He never even voiced his displeasure at a lack of game time, which made him the ideal squad player: someone who didn’t mind being benched on a regular basis but who could do a job whenever called upon. Which leads me right back to the exact same question: why exactly was Meireles sold?

It’s fair to say the fans deserve an answer from Ron Gourlay, Bruce Buck & Co. about how the affair was handled.

Shayne Dias

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  1. By Paul