Florent Malouda has not had a first-team role at Chelsea this season
Florent Malouda has accused Chelsea of pettiness and attempting to “break me mentally” by excluding him from the first team this season.
Despite helping Chelsea to win the Champions League, the Premier League and three FA Cups during five years at the club, Malouda has not featured even as a substitute in a single first-team match this season, reports The Telegraph.
In September, he posted a photograph on Twitter of a sign at the club’s Cobham training complex that read: ‘Under 21s. Players and staff only.’ He then added the following message: “This is where I’ll train for my last season with the blues!”
Malouda, 31, elaborated on the situation in an interview on Monday with France-Guyane, a newspaper based in French Guyana. “If you’re excluded for a whole year, it’s very, very long,” he said. “You have to be ready mentally. All of this is being done to break me mentally. In reality, it motivates me hugely.”
Malouda is on £80,000 a week but appeared to deny suspicions that this stand-off has been caused by a refusal to take a pay cut and move to another club.
“The details, I’m going to expose when I’m free, but the strategy employed is to make me look like a player who is seeking substantial remuneration,” he said. “It’s petty, but it makes me smile more than anything else because it shows how much esteem those people have for me.
"Naturally, I have a duty of confidentiality. I’ve respected that up to now, and so I’ll continue to do so.”
Another player facing an uncertain future is Frank Lampard, who admitted yesterday that he had been benefitting from recent regular first-team football. His opportunities have been enhanced by the absence of both John-Obi Mikel and Victor Moses to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Having been part of Nigeria’s winning team, Mikel and Moses are expected to return for the FA Cup replay against Brentford on Sunday.