With their last outing against a gritty Norwich ending with a lame draw, Chelsea are undoubtedly out of the Premier League title race. Andre Villas-Boas should forget about being crowned English champions and start fighting for third place at the best.
With their domestic dreams shattered it is now time for the Blues' to focus solely on their European dreams. The Champions League is the most-awaited and only piece of trophy missing from the Blues' rather illustrious trophy cabinet. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's wish for the coveted prize is well-known publicly and this season might be the best chance for them to try and end their wait.
As Villas-Boas looks ready to reinforce his ailing squad with a few reinforcements, let's take a look into the six signings that could help Villas-Boas clinch the Champions League.
The Serbian, who was Juventus's most influential player last season, has seen himself outcasted from the squad. He has not been handed an appearance in the past two months and this month could very well be his last as a Juve player.
Krasic, who generally plays as a right winger is one of the highly-rated midfielders in the world. His ability to dribble past opposition players and lightning pace has drawn comparison to Serbian great Pavel Nedved.
With Chelsea falling short of strikers—Didier Drogba and Kalou on African Nations Cup duty and Anelka on his way to China—the addition of Krasic would help Villas-Boas use Sturridge at the centre.
The in-form youngster has publicly expressed his displeasure at being denied a striker role. So Krasic on the right wing could help Villas-Boas use Sturridge as an out-and-out striker upfront, which has proved to be his strong point, as well as getting himself more options upfront.
Morevoer, Krasic's additions would help bring that much-needed creative spark in midfield which has looked dull all through this season. The former CSKA Moscow player may have seen his time limited to warming benches over the past few months, but there is no denying his vast talents. Valued at £8 million, Krasic could turn out to be a bargain buy for the Blues.
Italian side Udinese's versatile defender Mehdi Benatia has been in the news recently for his impressive on-field exploits.
Chelsea could really make do with a top quality defender like Benatia. The addition of Gary Cahill has no doubt added steel to the Blues back four, but the right-back position still remains a weak link in their defensive armory. Both Bosingwa and Ivanovic have failed to make the right-back position their own, and Villas-Boas is surely looking for a quality addition to reinforce his defense.
The 24-year-old is gifted with blistering speed, which helps him judge challenges better and allows him to make tackles. It is undoubtedly the reason for him being one of the most disciplined defenders in the Serie A.
His lean frame and pace saw him playing in a more attacking-styled defensive role. Thereafter, he has seen himself play in more deeper defensive positions and has done very well.
Chelsea, who has been a long-term suitor for Benatia, had seen him snub a move to Stamford Bridge for Juventus early on in his career. He cited lack of first-team action as the reason for his decision.
But this time around Chelsea could land him in a bargain deal, as Juventus will try to cash-in on a player who stated this season to be his last for the Old Lady. His addition will add much more depth into our defensive abilities while also providing the much needed versatility.
Michael Essien is back from his long term injury but there are doubts regarding his physical fitness in the long term. The spate of injuries has created doubts about possible negations in his abilities.
The Ghanaian is undoubtedly still one of the best in the business, but Chelsea needs someone who can play day in and day out for them without much injury worries lingering around the corner.
Mikel has been dismal at best, which has seen him give up his spot to youngster Oriol Romeu who has been pretty impressive. But Chelsea cannot depend fully on the inexperienced midfielder while facing tough opponents.
Chelsea are in desperate need for a box-to-box midfielder who can dominate the midfield and dictate the flow of the game while providing defensive cover. Cheick Tiote of Newcastle fits the bill ideally and he could well be the missing block in Chelsea's midfield puzzle.
The Ivorian has been very impressive for the Toons this season; though Newcastle have faltered in the past few weeks, Tiote's displays have been brilliant.
With the Ivorian midfield strongman in his squad, Villas-Boas could feel more secure defensively and try out his beloved attacking tactics in full form.
Fiorentina's 22-year-old highly rated Montenegrin striker is one of the bright prospects who could help Villas-Boas in achieving his European ambitions.
Chelsea have looked short of quality upfront, resulting in many missed chances and points. With Torres yet to get back his scoring prowess, Drogba looking rusty all through the season, Anelka leaving for China and Kalou not being able to impress it is only young Daniel Sturridge who has being of some quality for the Blues this season.
If Villas-Boas wishes to deliver the most coveted trophy in West London, he needs to bring a forward who can score goals instead of waiting for Torres to score. This is where Jovetic fits the picture perfectly.
The highly-rated youngster has recovered from a crucial injury that kept him off action for more than a year. But he has already fought himself back to the starting 11, as well as getting himself a new contract.
With 14 goals scored from 23 appearances so far, Jovetic could very well be the answer to Chelsea's attacking woes. Gifted with brilliant dribbling skills, top class ball control and technical knowledge, the naturally two-footed forward is a joy to watch and has even drawn comparisons with Roberto Baggio.
Standing tall at 6", Jovetic will also add more aerial prowess in set-pieces or corners while his tough figure will help him survive the tough style of play in England. Moreover, the youngster's European experience (not to forget his magical performances in the 2009-10 edition) will also be an added benefit.
Valued at somewhere between £15-20 million, Jovetic could be a bargain buy for Chelsea and help Villas-Boas achieve his Champions League dream.
With young and in-form Daniel Sturridge expressing his wish to play as a centre-forward instead of the wings, Villas-Boas could perhaps sign a winger to free up space for Sturridge upfront.
Werder Bremen's 22-year-old versatile winger could very well be the answer to Villas-Boas's troubles. Chelsea have lacked creativity in the midfield this season and the young German international could just add that missing spark.
He has been impressive for the Bundesliga outfit since his arrival. Marin is equally comfortable playing in both an attacking midfield role as well as a winger. His versatility will also add a lot more dimension to the squad.
Combined with lightening pace, top class dribbling abilities, brilliant vision and an eye for a goal Marin is rightly known as the "German Messi". Villas-Boas has promised to deliver entertaining football at Chelsea, and Marin would play a vital part in the Portuguese tacitician's plans.
Though he lacks physical strength, which could prove to be a major hurdle for him in the Premier League's physical style of play, he makes it up in his skills and technical abilities.
Marin's addition would help add that missing touch of creativity in the Chelsea midfield, and could well help the club to conquer it's European dreams.
Schalke's in-form striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar seems the perfect addition to a squad that has seen itself lacking players with ability to score goals regularly.
The 28-year-old Dutchman has already scored 26 goals in 27 appearances for German side Schalke 04. There is no doubt concerning his goal-scoring abilities or his technical abilities. Even during his uncertain days at AC Milan the highly-rated Dutch striker scored goals whenever given a chance.
Huntelaar is not a player whose main forte is the use of blistering speed to overcome defenders. He likes to keep the ball at his feet and bring in winger and midfielders into the play.
He performs best with wingers and midfielders feeding balls at his feet and has an impressive record in scoring goals from such conditions. Standing tall at 6"1', Huntelaar has also strong aerial abilities which can prove useful during set-pieces and corners.
Villas-Boas is molding his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation to bring the most out of Torres at the tip of his attack. Huntelaar, if he arrives, would thrive under such a formation by being fed balls from the wings and midfield.
He is the "feed him balls and he will score" type of player and will blend very well with Villas-Boas' plans. Moreover, having played for top European clubs like Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan means Huntelaar is sufficiently experienced in the European competitions.
Valued at around £15-17 million, Schalke's goal-scoring machine could well become the ace for Villas-Boas in his quest for European glory.