Speculation is rife surrounding the ins and outs at Stamford Bridge this summer. Are Chelsea in the market for another striker?
So the merry-go-round continues. A topsy-turvy season from Antonio Conte’s Chelsea has left questions over the squad’s depth and competence, with the transfer window allowing the powers that be at Stamford Bridge the chance to rebuild.
The Blues have struggled in all departments of the pitch at some point this season, however, once again Chelsea’s frontline have failed to deliver the kind of season that could translate into title-winning form.
Diego Costa left a huge hole in the squad after his departure last summer; Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi have struggled to fill that void, with Olivier Giroud salvaging some form after a January arrival.
After a blistering season in Italy, attention is turning to Argentine striker Mauro Icardi and a possible move to the Premier League.
With reports surfacing that Inter Milan may be looking to sell the 25-year-old striker in order to balance the books this summer, Chelsea will keep a close eye on the movements of the striker.
The Blues spent a record £58 million on Alvaro Morata last summer, however, the Spanish striker has struggled to nail down his place in Conte’s side after mixed form since the turn of the year.
Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud will be options for Chelsea ahead of the next campaign; whether Chelsea’s board will be willing to spend big on another striker is the biggest stumbling block regarding Icardi’s potential arrival at Stamford Bridge next year.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Icardi stated “If it’s good for the team that I stay, then I’ll stay, otherwise I will leave. I always do what is best for the club and the team. When the season ends, we’ll talk to the club and see what is best for them.”
With 28 league goals in Serie A this campaign, Icardi has shown his capabilities in front of goal; with his Inter side unlikely to reach the Champions League next season it may make sense for ‘El niño del partido’ to move on.
If so, what would Icardi bring to the Premier League?
1 Clinical finisher
With 28 goals in 33 matches, Icardi has showed his capabilities in front of goal against the highest level of opposition.
With goals against Juventus, Roma, Milan, and Fiorentina, the 25-year-old has blitzed certain opposition with a cool head under pressure; his hat-trick against Milan at the San Siro turned many heads in Serie A.
With Morata struggling in one-on-one situations this season, Icardi’s composure will tick a big box for the powers that be at Stamford Bridge, as the Blues search for Diego Costa-esque qualities once again.
2 Good in the air
If Icardi is to replace Morata as Chelsea’s main man, his ability in the air has to be up to scratch with the Spanish number nine.
Thankfully, it is, with the Argentine scoring four times with his head this campaign.
He may not possess the ability the hang in the air quite like Morata does, but with fantastic positional awareness, Mauro can often find the right spaces in the oppositions box to take advantage of any delivery.
Despite skepticism from fans and former players, Icardi has shown his leadership qualities this season after taking the captain’s armband in the second half of the season.
Speaking to Football Italia, he emphasized the importance placed on leading out Inter.
”Receiving Javier Zanetti’s armband gave me so much as a player and a man, I’m proud to represent the team and the fans and I try to do my best. Love is the essence of this club, we all love each other in the way a family does. We work together for the good of everyone, and that’s Inter.”
With a lack of spine and leadership cited for Chelsea’s shortcomings this season, a player with captains experience at such historic club may be just the answer the Blues need to regain Champions League football next season.
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Do you think Icardi will end up at Stamford Bridge next season?