The transfer window, whether it be in January or in the summer is always a very exciting time for football fans and the footballing world as a whole. The period is full of rumours flying around linking lots of players to lots of different clubs, some realistic, some extraordinary whilst some are just plain silly.
Chelsea are a club that in recent years have been central to such speculation and rumours and will forever be involved due to the money Roman Abramovich has brought to the West London club. The January transfer window which is currently upon us has seen Chelsea make a great deal of signings in recent history with the most notable of these January deals being the huge £50 million acquisition of Fernando Torres, a player who has been hit and miss to say the least since his move south from Liverpool in 2011.
The January window is widely considered to be a bad time to bring in new players with it being labelled a ‘sellers market’, but despite that, what do Chelsea need to do in this current window to bolster their title chances?
The majority of players that Chelsea are being linked with this year are central midfielders, even though the squad is currently packed to overflowing with attacking midfield options, some of whom are amongst the best in the league. When a player of the quality of Juan Mata is struggling for time on the pitch, that tells you all you need to know about the attacking midfield options currently available to Jose Mourinho.
The defensive side of their central midfield is also strong but admittedly could benefit from being strengthened further. John Obi Mikel is a very reliable player who you can be certain will perform a solid defensive duty although it appears as though Jose Mourinho does not have complete faith in him, starting David Luiz in the holding role in recent games against Hull and Liverpool. This suggests that he will be looking to bring in a new face in this position instead of playing a defender out of place. Ramires and Frank Lampard are both strong and reliable performers in the box to box role, but Lampard cannot play every game these days due to his age. Other midfield options for Chelsea are Michael Essien who is past his best and struggles to compete at the top level these days and is a man who has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. With him not being cup tied in the Champions League, expect a number of European clubs to be looking to secure his services for the remainder of the season.
Marco Van Ginkel, Chelsea’s summer signing from Vitesse is out for the season after suffering a knee injury very early on this campaign, so chelsea are left with four main deeper central midfield options, who are more than capable of seeing the season out but at the same time they could still benefit from adding an extra name to bolster the options. After evaluating the options Chelsea have, it is understandable that they are being linked with players such as Freddy Guarin of Inter Milan and former Chelsea player Nemanja Matic of Benfica. Neither of these are players that Chelsea cannot do without at this point in time but if Mourinho were to make a move for either, it would be a significant statement of intent as Chelsea look to regain the Premier League.
Chelsea would be more suited to make a move for such a player in the summer as they are more than capable right now and January is never the best time to make a signing unless it is absolutely necessary. That said however, the Claude Makelele void has never properly been filled. John Obi Mikel has done well in the defensive role in recent times with arguably his best performance coming in the famous Champions League final. The problem being that he hasn’t had enough of that type of performance to dispel the notion that Mourinho needs to add to his options. Matic is a tall, strong and dynamic player who would be ideally suited to such a role, breaking up play and initiating attacks from deep. He is being heavily linked to Chelsea in a £21 million deal from Benfica, which is a move which is very exciting and could develop further. He is a player who has blossomed in Portugal ever since he moved in the opposite direction as part of the deal which saw David Luiz arrive at Stamford Bridge in 2011.
As much as the midfield could do with an addition, most Chelsea fans will agree that the area which urgently requires strengthening is the Striker position. The three current strikers, Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba, are currently incapable of doing the job properly and scoring goals on a regular basis which has been costing Chelsea of late. Chelsea require a marquee signing such as Diego Costa in order to boost their chances of winning the Barclays Premier League, not to mention the Champions League. Despite this Jose Mourinho has ruled out signing a striker during the window and says that he is happy with his squad and it’s unlikely that he’ll make a signing at all. Deep down however, I can only imagine that he would love to have the power of Romelu Lukaku as an option going into the second half of the campaign.
One departure from the Bridge that is all but confirmed is that of Kevin de Bruyne, who is believed to be heading back to the Bundesliga to join Wolfsburg. This is a move that is both good for the player, as he needs game time in order to assure his World Cup spot for Belguim, and for Chelsea too since they will be receiving an estimated £18 million or his services. There is no doubt that De Bruyne is a top talent and as nice as it would be to see him succeed at Chelsea, he is currently too far down the pecking order to get a look in so a move away will do him a great deal of good.
Regardless of what Jose Mourinho is saying publically in regard to incoming transfers, I would imagine he would love to add anther top-quality piece or two to his puzzle before the transfer window shuts for the final time this season.
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