Trabzonspor face Northern Irish club Derry City on Thursday night and a familiar face will be present at the fixture. Florent Malouda will certainly be around for the fixture in Trabzon, whether he gets the clearance in time to play in the game is another question entirely but he should be in the crowd at least.
The former Chelsea player signed on the dotted line on Wednesday to complete his move to the very east of Turkey on a free transfer after rejecting the chance to join West Brom.
When Chelsea signed Malouda he cost them £10.5 million and he went on to have an excellent career at Stamford Bridge; even winning Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year in 2010.
But last season things went sour for the 33-year-old and he was treated badly by the club. Discarded to the uder-21 side the former French international was widely praised for the way in which he dealt with the exit and treatment he received from the club.
Now he gets ready to embark on a new career at an exciting project like Trabzonspor; who are desperately trying to catch up with the likes of Galatasaray at the top of the Turkish pyramid.
And that ambition has seen them linked with moves for some big players including a fellow former Chelsea player.
The reports in Turkey suggest that the Super Lig outfit are ready to make a move for Ivory Coast international Salamon Kalou should their bid for Lucas Barrios of Guangzhou Evergrande fall through.
Kalou, much like Malouda, left Chelsea on a Bosman transfer last summer and signed for Lille. He then went on to have an incredible streak at the end of the season and catch the attention of plenty of suitors.
He has mentioned a desire to return to England and considering he has a £3 million release clause in his contract he is certainly not out of the price range of many potential buyers.
Now Trabzonspor want to reunite him with his former team-mate in a very unlikely destination. If he was to make the move and then discover his form for he might just outperform another certain ex-Chelsea Ivorian playing in the Turkish league.
image: © Ben Sutherland