Malouda surprised at Cole axe

Blues ace baffled by decision to release England ace

Malouda: Surprised at Cole axe

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Chelsea winger Florent Malouda has expressed his surprise that Joe Cole's seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge ends this summer.

The England international's Blues contract concludes this week after the club previously announced that they would not be extending the 28-year-old's deal.

Cole spent the past few weeks with England at the World Cup in South Africa and it remains to be seen who the ex-West Ham ace will be joining for next season.

Malouda set up Cole to score in their crucial 2-1 success at Manchester United in April and the France international cannot get his head around the fact that his team-mate is leaving.

"Joe has spent so many years at Chelsea that it's really strange," he told Sky Sports.

"I don't know why. I just think everybody enjoyed the way he committed himself to the club."

Turning point

Malouda believes Chelsea's success at Old Trafford was the turning point in the title race as the victory provided them with a one-point advantage they never surrendered.

"(At Manchester United) is where we took the trophy back because after that the one point we had to defend it," he continued.

"To win the league on the last game the way we did it was incredible.

"The key was ambition, hard work every day and commitment. It was an obsession to become champion."

Youth focus

Chelsea have yet to confirm any new signings this summer after announcing the departures of Cole, Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti, but Malouda is not worried by the club's transfer policy.

The former Lyon man believes the club want to give their younger players a chance to shine and that involves developing the likes of Gael Kakuta, Fabio Borini, Jeffrey Bruma and Patrick van Aanholt.

"I think the fans always want big names and that's normal. I think the club has a strategy to improve.

"They are trying to bring on young players like Kakuta, Borini, Bruma and my friend Patrick van Aanholt.

"I hope that they could have the opportunity to wear the shirt."