Chelsea have started the 2012/13 season in spectacular fashion. A few bad results aside, the team has generally played well and the team’s attacking style of play has earned them praise from one and all. But one thing is still missing in this ‘new’ Chelsea: a world-class striker. Torres’ form has been mixed so far and Sturridge hasn’t been given enough chances (nor has he done enough so far in his Chelsea career) to show that he is ready to lead Chelsea’s line week-in and week-out.
I am not going to tell you which striker I think we should sign (check out our “Striker Target Evaluation” series if you want an in-depth analysis on the strikers who would fit in at Chelsea), but rather I want to take a look at the qualities Chelsea should try and consider while buying a new striker. This is because a lot of names have been linked to Chelsea and each name offers some pros and cons. These qualities I am about to mention are based on the assumption that at least one of Torres or Sturridge won’t leave the club in January. While Torres’ form could be the reason Chelsea decide to sell him, Sturridge is in the last year of his contract and is refusing to sign an extension.
The things we must keep in mind while signing a new striker are:-
1) Age– The striker we sign should not be a young prospect, but a player who is around 25-27 and already in his prime. The reason I am against us signing a young striker is because we already have players like Sturridge, Lukaku and Feruz at the club. It would be silly to sign someone young and not give our own players a chance of making the first-team. All of them are talented young strikers and deserve their opportunity instead of being sidelined by a young striker signed from another club.
2) Price– I can’t underestimate the importance of not over-paying for whoever we may buy. The club has been guilty of doing that on a few occasions and will be keen to avoid such a situation again. Although Chelsea have no shortage of funds, the club will want to ensure that we don’t end up paying more than what the player is worth. Ideally, anyone we target should be somewhere between the range of £30-40 million. Anything more than that will be a rip-off.
3) Marketability– You can’t ignore the business side of football. Any player we buy should be a marketable one i.e. the club shouldn’t have a problem selling shirts with his name on it. While spending £50M on Fernando Torres was a case of over-spending, the club would have made back a lot of that money through shirt sales. Torres has a massive fan-base (he’s obviously popular among the ladies) so even though he can be labeled a “flop” in footballing terms, he certainly didn’t harm the clubs coffers as much as the media thinks he did.
4) Compatibility– Whoever we sign should be able to fit into Chelsea’s new system perfectly. It’d make no sense for the club to sign someone who doesn’t fit the club’s style of play. Ideally, the striker should be a prolific goal-scorer who likes running latching on to passes that will come in abundance from our attacking trio of Mata-Oscar-Hazard, not a target-man who requires long balls to be at his absolute best.
With the criteria I mentioned above, who do you think would be perfectly suited to Chelsea? Do let me know!