“We need three strikers to face the season. He is one of them. I like him as a person, I like him as a player”, said Jose Mourinho only two days ago in relation to Fernando Torres. It turns out 48 hours really is a long time in football, as faster than you can say “barn door”, El Nino ended a rather patchy spell at Stamford Bridge and was out on the next plane to Milan.
So, Mourinho said he needs three strikers, and was left with two. While it’s fair to suggest the move has come out of left field – or rather, a field about four miles away – Mourinho has moved quickly to replace Torres, and has signed French international Loïc Rémy from West London rivals QPR, for a fee believed to be £10.5m on a four-year deal.
At 27, we arguably have signed the Frenchman at the peak of his powers, and last season scored 14 goals in 27 appearances for Newcastle on loan. A career record of 91 goals in 238 implies we have a respectable goalscorer on our hands, and though while not perhaps the game changer that Diego Costa or Didier Drogba can be, will prove be a very able third option for Mourinho to have at his disposal.
Magpies aside, his best spell came at Marseille, where two consecutive seasons with a respectable goalscoring record (17 in 41, followed by 20 in 42) convinced Harry Redknapp to bring him to these shores. However, the 6 months prior to QPR signing him he managed only 2 in 12 for L’OM – that being said, injuries did play their part – something I will touch on later.
A knack for scoring late and important goals became evident at QPR, as his 6 goals in 14 games during his 6 month tenure gave QPR constant hope that they could in fact beat the drop – sadly for them however, that was not the case. That fruitful spell at Newcastle followed, and a move to Liverpool was very much on the cards until a problem found at his medical denied him the chance to move to last seasons Premier League runners-up. A similar problem was found before his move to Marseille from OGC Nice, however Marseille went through with the move regardless – a decision which proved very wise indeed, given his aforementioned record at the club.
It can’t really be denied that injuries have dogged a career that could have come to fruition much sooner, however it seems over the past season he has managed to keep himself fit and most crucially scoring at regular intervals. It is hard to see this as a move that will have Diego Costa quaking in his boots and he will rightfully see this move as cover for him, much like the re-signing of the evergreen Didier Drogba, rather than genuine competition. But, in Rémy we have a fast, powerful striker with a decent eye for goal who can no doubt chip in and help us on our quest to reclaim the Premier League trophy.