Chelsea misfit in and Chelsea legend out for national team

Salamon Kalou has become an automatic choice for the Ivory Coat; while Didier Drogba is in the wilderness.

When Didier Drogba played the catalyst starring role in the UEFA Champions League final he cemented his place in Chelsea folklore as a legend. His ability to continually perform for the team on the biggest stage was a constant thorn in the side of many a rival.

When they took on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena they played with Salamon Kalou on the right-hand side of midfield and that proved to be his final game for the club. In the summer of 2012 Chelsea decided that the time was up for Kalou. He had tried in vain to win over the hierarchy at the club but when his contract expired in June he was released.

The Ivorian international was signed on a free transfer by Ligue 1 outfit Lille in what was something of a coup by Rudi Garcia and co and after an inconsistent start in recent weeks Kalou has been in a real rich vein of form.

Since bagging a goal against Bordeaux in March he has been banging in the goals; netting 10 in his last 11 games for the club.

Such form has caught the eye in recent weeks and it now seems he has passed his former Chelsea team-mate in the selection of the Ivory Coast national team.

Sabri Lamouchi has decided to leave the veteran Galatasaray striker out of The Elephants squad once again ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers with Gambia and Tanzania in the coming weeks.

Drogba may be a national treasure but after the African Nations Cup in South Africa this year he found himself facing calls to retire and extensive criticism after a poor individual campaign and Kalou’s re-emergence allied with the talents of Wilfried Bony have left him scratching at the ceiling of the Ivory Coast national team.

For Kalou it has been an incredible campaign in which he has managed to silence many doubters of his talents with an excellent season in France.

He recently spoke of an apparent desire to one day play in the Premier League again and while at one point that may not have been considered possible; he might just have earned himself that move one day soon.

What do you make of Salamon Kalou’s excellent season?

image: © manbeastextraordinaire

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