TRANSFER SPECULATION

By Pete Bull
Jun 18th, 2003

Now that Chelsea have qualified for the Champions League, will we have money to spend for new signings? It’s difficult to say. After the departures of Mark Bosnich and Ed De Goey, it appears that Jurgen Macho from Sunderland and Marco Ambrosio from Italian Serie A side Chievo will be joining us on July 1. It now seems that we have our keeper situation under control.

Our defence could be strengthened, not central defence as that is very strong. We have Robert Huth coming through the ranks and in time will be a fine central defender. The only area that we’re a little under strength now is at right back. We all know we have Mario Melchiot who played the majority of last season due to Albert Ferrer being injured and now that Ferrer has retired it leaves us a little short in the right back department. However we have William Gallas, obviously he’s played at right back and could cover for Mario. I still believe that we need a right back, a player that springs to mind is Geremi. He had an excellent season for Middlesbrough after a season on loan from Real Madrid. The sticking point with a player of his calibre is his price. Real Madrid have quoted ‘Boro a fee of £9.5million. This I’m 100% certain is way too much for Chelsea, in fact its probably way too much for most clubs, however if Real buy David Beckham they may want to recoup some money back and the price on Geremi may possibly fall if they can’t get the quoted price. Geremi is only 25 so he’d be a great prospect for the future.

Midfield is where we need players, we may need a right back, but midfield is far more important now we’ve release Jody. We really need two central midfielders. Obviously if we qualify for the Champions League proper, the likes of Manu and Frank will be playing more games. More games give the higher possibility of injuries and tiredness. I believe we should get a top quality midfielder, it has been touted that we’ve enquired about Joe Cole of West Ham and Simon Davies of Spurs. I’m a little unsure of Joe Cole, maybe I’m the only one that thinks it, but on occasions he can do all the tricky stuff, but is that really what we want in midfield? Maybe I could be persuaded differently if he signed for Chelsea, but for me the jury is out on him at the present time. I’ve spoken to some West Ham fans who believe Cole should stay at West Ham so he can help them back to the Premiership, but I suppose it depends on West Ham’s finances and if they need to sell a player like Cole. Another Englishman at the club would be good news, so if someone can persuade me about Cole, I’d offer £6m.

Simon Davies, is a right midfielder, not certain if we really need a right midfielder as we have Jesper. Over the period of last season Jesper improved a lot. From being a player that wasn’t really a favourite, he’s changed that around by putting in better performances, his crossing could be improved, but his pace is amazing and he has had some good games and they can only improve with time. We also have Mario Stanic, he is always there or thereabouts, he contributed with a few goals last season and is always dangerous at set pieces. If we signed a player like Davies we’d have to let one of Gronkjaer or Stanic go I feel.

Our front line is something of a conundrum. Some people say we should sell Hasselbaink, as I’ve said a few times I believe we should keep Jimmy. A player like Jimmy can score 20+ goals a season as has been proven with Chelsea, Leeds and Athletico Madrid. I hope that Gianfranco signs for another year. The man is quality and is a hero. Franco deserves a crack at Champions League football as he’s a true champion. Eidur is quality, both Eidur and Jimmy missed a lot of pre-season at the start of last season so if they both get fit at the start of this season we could see their 50+ goal partnership rekindled. That leaves Mikael Forssell and the young lion Carlton Cole. Mikael went on loan to Borrusia Moenchengladbach, he helped keep them in the Bundesliga which was a good effort. Borrusia are now asking if they can sign Mikael but I’m sure Chelsea won’t sell a player like him as he has a great future. As for Carlton, he’ll be a legend, he just needs to bide his time, keep plugging away and he’ll get his chance. He’s been described as the new Peter Osgood before he broke his leg. Carlton can use both left and right feet and his head. I believe we don’t need any more strikers. Five is plenty in my opinion.

So, for me if I had funds and were manager of Chelsea I’d do my utmost to sign a right back, a central midfielder, or maybe two. A few additions to the squad will help us not only in the Premiership but the Champions League, if we qualify. Maybe we should buy Joe Cole, but persuade me why people, I have £8million that I can spend (I wish!) do I blow most of it on one player? Do I look for free transfers and higher wages? Football and finance now isn’t like it was four or five years ago, clubs around the world spent way too much then and are paying for it now, its a difficult time, we need to buy the right players. I’m not sure if a recent quote by Trevor Birch was correct, but he said we had to sell before we bought, is there a buyers market out there? Transfers, its easy to speculate, more difficult to achieve. Lets hope as Chelsea fans we do get additions to the team, the right additions. The right additions that make Chelsea more successful each season.

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