Chelsea FC: 5 Cheaper Attacking Alternatives for Blues to Consider in January
The prospect of seeing Radamel Falcao donning a Chelsea FC uniform is most certainly on top of the Christmas lists of most Blues’ fans. However, the club just might be better off seeking alternative options that are cheaper.
Although, Chelsea could presently use all the help they could get.
Only days after the surprise sacking of manager Roberto Di Matteo, the Blues began the Rafa Benitez era with a disappointing scoreless draw against Manchester City on Sunday.
The draw extended Chelsea’s winless streak in the league to five games. Their last win came just over a month ago on Oct. 20—a 4-2 victory over Tottenham.
With the result, the Blues dropped to fourth in the table and now sit five points behind league-leading Manchester United at 7-2-4.
Much of the reason for the sluggish play can be credited to the club’s recent lack of scoring.
After netting 31 goals in their first 12 fixtures, Chelsea have only managed nine scores in their last eight matches. In fact, the club has been held scoreless in their last two.
A lot of that blame can be shouldered on the recent abysmal form of striker Fernando Torres.
Torres currently leads the team with seven goals. However, the Spanish international has only found the net once in the Blues’ last nine games. A stretch made even worse when you consider the goal was more a result of good fortune, rather than skill.
It’s led to a strong possibility that owner Roman Abramovich might be ready to splurge for a new attacker during the January window.
Earlier, rumors swirled around that Chelsea were closing in on a swoop for Falcao. It would be a move that would have an immediate impact for the club, with the 26-year-old already having netted 13 goals in 12 appearances for Atletico Madrid.
Unfortunately, recent headlines have Falcao perfectly content to remain with the La Liga side.
It begs the question: What now?
Here are five possible options that provide the Blues with scoring relief, as well as a reason to not break the bank for Abramovich.
With Oscar, Ramires, Lucas Piazon and David Luiz, the Blues have had good fortunes with players of Brazilian descent.
So why not try their luck with a fifth?
Internacional’s Leandro Damiao is a more-than-fitting choice.
Only 23 years old, the Brazilian striker is quickly establishing himself as one of the best talents around the world. In 30 appearances for the Red, Damiao has netted 17 goals.
Although his contract with the club runs till 2015, the youngster has made his aspirations to play in the Premier League well-known. More specifically, Damiao would love the opportunity to play alongside fellow countryman Oscar.
If Abramovich could somehow pull off a deal in January for the Brazilian, Chelsea could be set for an immediate season turnaround.
With a bid probably in the range of £20 million, Damiao would come at a far less cost than the expected £48 million Falcao would demand.
Youth isn’t always the answer.
That’s a mantra that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has firmly backed in recent years.
Having recently pushed off negotiations for an extension with Schalke 04 another month, the 29-year-old is open to other options. Arsenal has been linked with the star, according to ESPN FC, but could Chelsea make a push?
Huntelaar burst onto the scene last season by netting 44 goals for the Bundesliga side last season. He currently has tallied nine in nine appearances this season.
While the Dutchman may be on the wrong side of 20, he is currently playing at the pinnacle of his career. More importantly, he would provide the Blues with an experienced finisher in front of net.
Furthermore, Huntelaar desires to win titles in Europe. What better club to make a move to than the defending champions of Europe?
Not to mention, at £6 million the striker comes at a bargain price.
Chelsea fans have been hurting ever since the departure of a particular Ivorian from Stamford Bridge.
However, come January, the club could be welcoming in another Ivorian. One that has all the potential to make the former merely a figment of the past.
Vitesse Arnhem’s Wilfried Bony is that man.
With 15 goals in 14 league matches, the 23-year-old has garnered the attention from several clubs around the world.
His latest success came Sunday during his side’s showdown with Dutch league-leading PSV Eindhoven when Bony netted the late game-winner in a 2-1 victory.
The Ivorian has been enthusiastic about a move to Stamford Bridge, calling it a "great honour.”
At such a young age, Bony has displayed a maturity and poise on the pitch that has him looking ready for the physicality the Premier League has to offer.
A bid would likely cost the Blues £8 million.
The Blues are hoping the third times the charm.
Along with Falcao, Benitez has named the 22-year-old as one of two coveted targets for the club during the January window.
Schurrle is considered one of the top up-and-coming strikers in the game. He’s already netted four goals for the Lions in 14 appearances.
While his price tag isn’t relatively cheap, the youngster is certainly well worth the investment.
With an acrobatic header and one swift kick, Didier Drogba presented Chelsea with their first Champions League trophy. It was a fitting way to ride into the sunset.
However, his story at Stamford Bridge might not be over just yet.
In an attempt to provide himself a few extra matches before the African Cup of Nations, the 34-year-old had sought out special permission to join the Blues on a loan before January.
Unfortunately, FIFA rejected his request.
That doesn’t completely throw a Premier League return completely out of the question.
In 11 appearances for the club, the Ivorian has netted eight goals.
While a move to Chelsea wouldn’t serve as a long-term fix, it would certainly serve as a pivotal short-term boost for a club that is witnessing sinking fan morale with every passing game.
In nine seasons with the club, Drogba has netted 157 goals in 265 appearances.
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