As the offseason begins, and we approach the summer transfer window, Chelsea begin their rebuilding process. Given their success this season, I would imagine it wouldn’t be as substantial as seasons past. However, knowing that their competition will be spending large amounts of cash to catch them, could be motivation enough to break the bank.
One of the positions they need to bolster is their forward line. Chelsea have a gem in Diego Costa. When healthy, there isn’t a better striker in the Premier League. Unfortunately for Diego, the first part of that last sentence is more important. Costa has been plagued with injury troubles throughout his time at Chelsea, which kept him out of some vital games in the previous campaign. This made it challenging for Mourinho in big games to score as free flowing as they were in the beginning of the season.
Luckily for the Blues manager, they have Loic Remy. While also suffering from some injury problems of his own, whenever Remy was called upon, he was clinical. I guarantee he will play a larger role in Chelsea’s campaign next season. However, there was a drop off in talent, when Mourinho had to call on Drogba. The Ivorian, while clinical throughout his career, definitely showed his age at times, but still somehow managed to score some important goals for the Blues.
Drogba has announced that he has played his last game for Chelsea, following a sensational career at Stamford Bridge. This means that the Blues need to find a third striker for this coming season. So let’s take a look at a few options.
There have been several reports linking Chelsea with Radamel Falcao, Manchester United’s failure last season. However, should Falcao receive the right coaching from Mourinho, and remain healthy, he could be a steal for the Blues. Two years ago they would have killed to sign Falcao.
Another option is Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke. The Belgian international is teammates with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. Hazard himself has come out to endorse Benteke and his wishes to play alongside him at the club level.
‘If Christian signs with us, I would be the happiest man in the world. I have a great relationship with him and would like nothing better than to play with him. Christian is 25. He is at an age where he has to make a good career choice. Not that Aston Villa is a small club but he has already played many great games and can now play in the Champions League. – Eden Hazard
Benteke would be a great option for Chelsea, and would compete for minutes alongside Remy and Costa. Benteke offers a strong aerial threat, along with a good work ethic. He would compliment a striker like Costa well, and should immediately link up with Hazard nicely.
Another option for the Blues would be to look internally. While many people (myself included), believes that Bamford needs another Premier League loan to continue his progress, Chelsea might have a ready-made third striker in Bertrand Traore. Should the Burkina Faso international be able to secure a work permit (harder than it seems), then Mourinho might have the perfect option.
This would allow him to closely monitor Traore’s progress, giving him the chances when he feels that the player is ready. He will also be able to learn from one of the world’s best strikers in Costa. This idea to me makes sense, if Chelsea are looking to not break the bank. Vitesse coach, Peter Bosz, already commented on the idea. “Jose Mourinho is crazy about him,” Bosz, said. “If the opportunity is there, they prefer to take him back.”
No matter who Chelsea goes after, the player will face competition for minutes with Remy and Costa. Both had a fantastic season last year, but both are also injury prone. This should allow ample opportunities, which might help Chelsea justify spending for a talented third striker. Mourinho himself spoke to this concept.
“We have to buy a striker because we want to have three strikers of a good level. We do not want to have just one [transfer target]. Then you lose a good position on the negotiation table.” – Jose Mourinho
Whoever enters the scene at Stamford Bridge will certainly have the pedigree to back up his purchase, but will still need to prove themself to both Mourinho and Chelsea fans. It will be interesting to see who the boss goes after.
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