Former Chelsea star returns to Ligue 1 after seven years

Florent Malouda For Chelsea

After Trabzonspor cancelled his contract, Florent Malouda decided to make his return to Ligue 1 with Metz.

Former Chelsea stat Florent Malouda has signed for Ligue 1 side FC Metz until the end of the season. The French international has signed up until the end of the season and the deal has the option that Metz could extend the 34-year-old’s deal for another year if it is a success.

Seven years have passed since the former Chateauroux and Guingamp man played in Ligue 1, winning four league titles with Olympique Lyonnais between 2004 and 2007.

Malouda played 138 times for Lyon over four seasons, scoring 25 goals as the side from the Rhone Valley dominated French football.

He then made the move to Chelsea, linking up again with Didier Drogba; the two had combined for great effect when they both played for Guingamp. It has been said by both players that they have a telepathic understanding, the left winger knowing exactly where and when to put the ball for the striker.

Malouda and Drogba combined to help Chelsea win the 2012 Champions League trophy, the former coming on during the second half as the London club defied the odds to beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the Allianz Arena.

After that triumph, Malouda moved to Turkish side Trabzonspor and after his first season it all went slightly wrong. Following a bust up with new boss Vahid Halilhodzic, Malouda’s contract was cancelled and allowed to leave the club on a free.

Metz had been linked with making the move on deadline day, but with no rush, they have waited until after the international break to announce the deal.

His impact will depend on his fitness and ability, but he will add more off the pitch than he likely will off it. Metz have an excellent group of young players, some of them have helped the side progress from the third division all the way to Ligue 1.

Malouda will help players like Yeni N’Gbakoto, Gaetan Bussmann and Bouna Sarr progress and will help someone like new signing Sergey Krivets take his game to another level.

At 34, Malouda could still have some impact on the pitch, but with his experience and previous time in Ligue 1, it is a signing that could just help newly promoted Metz win their place in Ligue 1 for next season.

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