It all started so promising for Deco. He moved away from Barcelona for eight million euros, ready to revive his career and chase a third Champions League trophy with his new club, Chelsea.
August 16, 2008. Deco takes to the field against Portsmouth, and in Chelsea’s 4-0 rampage over the Pompey, he scores in the 90th minute with a forty-yard shot.
Seven days later, Chelsea travels to Wigan. In just the second minute, Deco scores a sublime free kick into the top left to gift Chelsea the spoils.
Deco wins the Premier League Player of the Month award for August. He makes his Champions League debut for Chelsea on September 16.
And then it begins. He injures himself in a training session and is ruled out for a month. He returns against Middlesbrough off the bench, and then we come to the Champions League clash against Roma. Deco is sent off, and Chelsea succumbs 3-1 and doubts are cast over Chelsea’s aspirations.
Deco looks like he might spark again when he scores a bicycle kick against Bolton Wanderers. But then Luis Felipe Scolari is sacked and Deco’s Chelsea career goes flying downhill. A string of bad performances keeps him out of Hiddink’s invigorated side, and whilst Hiddink has stated he wants Deco to play in a new creative midfield position, he has appeared intermittently in 2009.
Rumours abound that Deco will move to the Old Lady of Juventus, but he has pledged his skills to Chelsea. But do we really need him?
Our midfield already is extremely strong, with Lampard, Ballack, Essien and Mikel the core of the side. There is no real room for Deco, and even under Scolari he only fitted into a right winger role supporting Nicolas Anelka. With Drogba back in form, Anelka now resides on the right wing, thus there is no room for the Portugese. As stated before, Hiddink said that he wants Deco in a new creative midfield role, but our current set up does not require one.
Father Time is catching up with Deco. At 31, he is one of the oldest people in Chelsea’s squad, and one makes the point that Mikel is his closest rival, and with Abramovich and Hiddink looking to tighten the average age, Mikel, at just 21, seems more likely to be stepping up should Essien, Ballack or Lampard be unavailable.
Money. Whoever Chelsea’s next manager is, he will have to, reportedly, make do with a limited transfer budget compared to what Mourinho was handed. So the moving on of Deco, to Juventus as reported, may generate some income that can be used to strengthen our weak spots.
However, there is a strong case for Deco to stay. If he were to move in, the depth of our midfield would not be the same, and in light of an injury crisis, his services could come in handy. And perhaps, his transfer may not generate enough cash to bring in another younger player. And if he does regain the form that scored him the runners up prize in the 2004 Ballon d’Or, then Chelsea may just take another turn for the better.
I for one would like to see him stay for at least one more season. Give him a chance at Chelsea, he may be reborn again.
Troy Palmer writes on The Chelsea Blue – leave a comment, spark a debate.