Is There Place For A Fourth Striker At Chelsea?
After a mere glorified friendly where Chelsea looked rusty (=preseason) and lost to Arsenal who deployed the same tactics that Wenger once deplored for Chelsea; there are people who want the Blues to go into the market and bring in Charlie Austin of QPR fame.
It would have been a perfectly weighed move had it come in stead of Radamel Falcao, though now the Colombian is here it makes little sense. If Mourinho had not believed either of Loic Remy and Falcao to deputise in the absence of last season’s Talisman, he would have sold the Frenchman and denied the Colombian. If he has decided to keep them both in his squad, Mourinho must believe that they will come good when the chips are down in the strike department.
Besides, it makes little sense to have four capable strikers at Chelsea. Let’s be clear that Mourinho is not Rafa Benitez and he will rarely have enough minutes for four strikers, even if there is the possibility of playing two strikers up front this season:
“We can create problems for the opposition when they play against us. We can play with two strikers or one, so we have more options.”
So if someone else is to come into the squad, one of the current strikers has to leave. Costa is untouchable for some time now and Falcao will get at least a few months to prove himself to Mourinho, leaving Remy as the odd one out. Even last season, the special one had benched Remy and started Drogba, an ageing striker. His goal return for minutes played was exemplary but it gave a feeling that Mourinho didn’t favour the Frenchman.
Even then, If Mourinho had to make such an addition to his squad, we would have seen him making his moves, as has been the case with John Stones of Everton. He likes to have a team that goes into the season with some rhythm to it and adding a striker at the last minute hardly does that. Ironically, that is how Remy arrived last year.
Another questionable metric is whether the Englishman is a better fit than Remy himself. Given that Remy is more acquainted with the style of play. Perhaps the answer to that hypothetical transfer lies in the question itself. Charlie Austin would be one of the homegrown players at the club, which Remy is not.
At the moment however, it is safe to assume that of all the transfers that can happen with regards to Chelsea, strikers moving in any direction is the least likely if not impossible.
Common sense should prevail and people should understand that it has only been 4 games into the preseason, that too in far and away places. It takes time for players to settle and find full match fitness, even more to find form. In all likelihood Mourinho is more active in solving this puzzle than anyone else and Chelsea should appear much more closer to a solution when they face Fiorentina for the first game at the Bridge in some time.
Falcao is to start the game against the men from Florence, who have made a rock-star out of
nothing Salah. If he is to make himself second choice, it is the perfect opportunity to make his case in front of the home crowd. Besides, it is also time Oscar begins to show his true colours and for the long run this time.
If all the team can take the leap individually that Mourinho trusts them to take this season, all should be fine. Hazard for instance is expected to contribute more in terms of goals. Fabregas should sustain his miraculous assists while Willian contributes more creatively. It is yet to be clear what becomes of the mess that has been another Colombian in the team.
We will see if he really was the signing for next season or if he was brought to just trip every time he saw the ball. The two Colombians have the most to prove this season, and they can’t do it too soon. Charlie Austin would be a quality addition, but we know that scoring for a small team and a big team are two very different things.
So after giving due thought to all the possibilities, it seems unlikely Chelsea will bring a striker to the team. But in the transfer window, anything is possible. So let’s see what the Special One has been hiding down in his cellar that makes him so inactive in the window this time around.
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