LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Salomon Kalou of Chelsea is seen under the Wembley arch as adidas present the Official Match Ball for the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium on March 3, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gary Prior/Getty Images for adidas)
Not everyone is going to be Didier Drogba. Unfortunately for Salomon Kalou, many fans were unable to see past this obvious fact during his 6 seasons as a Chelsea player. Kalou is set to depart Chelsea this summer along with his international teammate, having won a Carling Cup, 4 FA Cups, a Premier League title, and a Champions League title as a member of the squad. All told, Kalou made 244 appearances for Chelsea, scoring an impressive 60 goals and registering 40 assists.
Kalou has increasingly become a scapegoat for Chelsea fans over the past several years, and it's almost criminal that this has been allowed to happen. When brought into the squad, Jose Mourinho praised Kalou for his work ethic, ability to adapt to physical play, and versatility. Over the 6 seasons we were lucky enough to watch Kalou in blue, we'd see those traits displayed basically every time he stepped foot on the pitch. Kalou gave the club value as both a starter and as an impact sub, filling many different roles for many different managers. While filling this less than premier role, you basically never heard a peep out of Kalou. What he lacked in refined finishing for the club, he easily made up for with his willingness to do whatever it took to help the club win.
When people think back to this era of Chelsea squads, very few will think of Kalou right away. We all should though, as the many roles he filled for the club were absolutely vital for a club seeking to be competitive on as many fronts as Chelsea were. He's one of a select group of individuals that have won all of the Carling Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, and Champions League in their career. We'll surely be able to find someone that can replace what Kalou does on the pitch, but finding someone who does so with the grace and dignity displayed throughout his Chelsea career will be next to impossible. Good luck wherever you end up Salomon, you'll be one I truly miss.