Chelsea FC: 5 Players Chelsea Must Sign Next Window and Why
Chelsea have had the most mixed of seasons: struggling to finish in fourth and to qualify for the Champions League next season, yet also FA Cup and Champions League finalists this season. These are two very different ends of the spectrum.
Throw in the departure of a young manager who just never seemed to find his feet and a squad that is in desperate need of some quality youth, and Chelsea find themselves in very much the crunch period.
They must win at least one of their finals to have had some success, but more importantly, they need to win the Champions League if they fail to qualify. They will need Champions League football to attract the players they need to stay there and new players to replace some of the aging faces who will be on the way out.
Here are five players that Chelsea should sign during the summer transfer window. While some of them will most certainly not happen and are more the dream of a fan, these are players that could bring quality to the squad and lower the average age.
1. Luka Modric
The little Croatian has fallen off the pace recently as Tottenham have been in a truly rotten run of form with only one win in their last nine.
However, we all know the quality of the diminutive playmaker as he truly makes the Spurs' midfield tick. This is exactly what Chelsea are in need of: a midfield linchpin that can move the ball, control the game, create chances and support the attack.
While Frank Lampard has filled this role for many years, he is in the twilight of his career, and having Modric sit in the heart of the midfield will allow Chelsea to create more opportunities in attack and bring about a more fluid style of football.
At 26 years of age, Modric still has his best football ahead of him, and if there was anyone who could bring a new engine to Chelsea, it is little Luka.
With Chelsea failing in a bid to sign Modric last summer, here's hoping they make a more successful attempt this time around.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Now this is but a dream. Chelsea will not sign Ronaldo. As much as I would love to see it, it just won't happen. But there is still a case to be made for it.
There has been talk about the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, but under certain circumstances. One of those was the signing of Ronaldo. A cool 120 million pounds should do it.
Again, while this won't happen, he would be a perfect signing for Chelsea.
With Drogba on his way out and Torres struggling for goals, the prolific Ronaldo would guarantee a deluge of goals and assists.
Arguably the best player on the planet, CR7 can run with the ball, scores in every way possible, is great in the air, can make splitting passes, creates countless chances and would always draw extra defenders.
He can do it all and would most certainly open space and create plenty of opportunities for Torres to rediscover his confidence. Imagine Torres and Ronaldo hitting you on the break. Scary stuff.
He could play on either wing, through the middle and up front, and would truly give Chelsea flexibility in attack and a great way to unlock stubborn defenses.
The thing of dreams, sure, but you can't argue that he wouldn't be a dream signing for Chelsea. They would be wise to break the bank for the 27-year-old Portuguese star.
3. Eden Hazard
The Belgian international is going to be hot property this summer. He has been linked to any number of major European clubs and will most certainly be making a switch come August. Here's hoping the rumored link to Chelsea turns out to be true.
He has said that he will only move to a team competing in the Champions League, so qualification via a top-four finish or winning the competition is vital. Considering he has shown a desire to move to England, this takes on further importance in keeping up with the Manchester contingent of the Premier League.
With the ability to play as either an attacking midfielder or a winger, Hazard would give Chelsea the spark they desperately need. Switching flanks with Ronaldo and cutting inside for Modric sounds like a combination that could destroy the staunchest of defenses.
He has creativity, is great on the ball, can use both feet and has increased his scoring rate. He would be a great addition to a flagging midfield, and at 21 years of age, he will have the footballing world at his feet for many more years to come.
Again, with great versatility and a creative spark, at only age 21, Hazard answers many of Chelsea's current issues and would represent a fantastic signing.
4. Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels is a proven monster in defense and, at 23, is a perfect defensive reinforcement for Chelsea.
With 13 international caps for Germany, his second Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund and Champions League matches under his belt, he has a wealth of experience to marry his youth and undoubted skill.
With John Terry in decline, Mats Hummels is the perfect man to step in as his successor. At 6'3", he is dominant in the air and represents a threat on all set pieces. He also has fantastic positioning, great timing and an eye for heroic tackles: the perfect Terry understudy.
Having won two titles with Dortmund, Hummels may want to take on a new challenge. The English Premier League would be just that. Again, to tempt him to leave Dortmund and guaranteed Champions League football, Chelsea must to qualify for the competition themselves.
There is no doubt with addition of Hummels to Terry, Cahill, Cole, Ivanovic and a much improved David Luiz, Chelsea would have a defensive unit all European teams would envy.
5. Edinson Cavani
Although not wearing his scoring boots of late, Cavani has been a revelation in recent months.
Heavily linked with Chelsea and Manchester City, Cavani is one of the hottest strikers currently entrenched in the rumor mill.
He has become a constant threat in both Serie A and in the European competitions and has taken his game to another level this season.
With silky-smooth skills and standing at 6'2", Cavani could provide the perfect foil for a rejuvenated Torres and could form another deadly striking partnership with the Spaniard, much like his tandem act with Ezequiel Lavezz at Napoli.
Adding a focal point in front of players like Modric and Hazard, the big Uruguayan would slot right into the English game and could well become Chelsea's new talisman as Drogba moves for the riches of China.
Should Chelsea qualify for the Champions League and Napoli miss out, the opportunity to move for Cavani will have presented itself. Although he has stated his desire to remain with Napoli, the bright lights of Europe and a padded bank account could tempt any ambitious footballer.
While these are only a few suggestions, most of which will not come close to happening, I feel these players would greatly improve the Chelsea squad and would make intelligent, not just expensive, signings.
With many other great players and options out there, I would love to hear your ideas and ask you to keep your eyes open, as I plan on suggesting five more players in the near future.
Thanks for reading.