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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 5, 2007

Malouda out to make place on wing his own

Chelsea's most expensive summer import Florent Malouda insists he has not joined the club to spend his time sitting on the bench.

Malouda arrived from Lyon for £13.5 million and the winger has already made it clear he fully intends to play a major part in the club's season on the pitch - not off it.

The 27-year-old is also hoping to rekindle his partnership with Chelsea striker Didier Drogba after the pair played together for two years at Guingamp and gained an almost telepathic understanding.

Malouda said: 'I'm here to play every game. It was the same when I arrived in Lyon. There were a lot of people, international players, world champions, ahead of me and they told me the same thing.

'But in every club I have been at I have proved that I can play every game. It's on the pitch where you have to do it. At Chelsea I will show on the pitch that I can do it.

'I have known Didier a long time. We played together for two years at Guingamp. When we played together, I got to know the other side of the player, the outside. I got to know his family and he met my family.

'From that moment we started to be close as friends. We supported each other in good times and also in bad moments. We have the same vision of life.

'I think he has got a lot stronger. When he started in France they always said he can't play a `war' match and last the whole game.

'But now even if he plays alone up front in attack he is always a danger for the entire match. He is a big problem for defences.

'And now last season he scored a lot of goals, it was impressive. A player like that, even when the team doesn't play well, can score a goal any time.

'We have the same vision of football. I know which balls he likes to touch. Everybody knows the way he plays with his head but I know he also likes to touch the ball with his feet. And I know how to serve it for him.

'For me, when you have a striker like him in front of you all the defenders are on him. For a player like me it creates more space and I try to take benefit.'

Malouda had many options to come to England before deciding on Chelsea - including Liverpool.

But the French star felt that, while Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez wanted him, others at the club were not so keen.

Malouda added: 'I had a lot of options but for me I chose Chelsea not only because of Didier but because from the moment he played here I used to watch Chelsea games and it's a team I really appreciate.

'I didn't meet Rafa. I spoke with him many times. I hesitate because I have a lot of respect for Rafa Benitez, the way he speaks to me I know he appreciates me. He knows me from all my career not only for what I did in Lyon. He knows what I have done.

'But in Liverpool I didn't feel everyone in the club was like Rafa Benitez and wanted me. That's why I chose Chelsea.'