Radamel Falcao: Why He'd Be a Great Tactical Fit at Chelsea

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 11, 2012

Radamel Falcao has been linked to Chelsea football club for some time now. Here's an example of one of those links from The Mirror.

While it's well established the London outfit are checking in on him, and that the fans crave his signature, let's talk about why he is genuinely the right choice in January.


Pure poacher

For all of Chelsea's impressive firepower, it's fair to say the goals aren't flying in as we expected them to.

While they have scored the fourth-most goals in the English Premier League, they're only one or two ahead of a closing pack containing Fulham, West Brom and Swansea. Manchester United, meanwhile, are 12 ahead.

What do all these teams surrounding them, that are either streets ahead or punching above their weight, share in common?

They have a recognised goalscorer.

Fernando Torres has scored six EPL goals this season, yet he's probably more proud of his single assist.

Radamel Falcao has scored 21 goals in 17 starts for Atletico Madrid. He's also got one assist.


Perfect fit or perfect change?

The worst thing you can do is just replace a forward with someone else and not look at why the current one isn't scoring goals.

When Torres was at Liverpool, 69 percent (56) of his goals came from defence-splitting through-balls (via LFCHistory.net). These were the days when Xabi Alonso was around to put them on a six-pence for the Spaniard.

At Chelsea, they have no such player. Frank Lampard used to be it, but he can't be relied upon to play 50 games in a season. Ramires is a shuttler, while John Obi Mikel hasn't mastered any of the midfield aspects.

Without that killer ball he thrives on, he's trying to do too much creative work around the edge of the box, but that's also what Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar are doing.

So lacking the necessary midfielder is stunting Torres' goal tally, while the Spaniard's subsequent focus on creativity is stunting his colleagues effectiveness in and around the box.



Chelsea need one of two things in January—a deep-lying playmaker in the Alonso mould who can feed Torres, or a new striker whose sole job is to finish off the chances "Matazar" create.

Falcao is the expensive option, as the Colombian is likely to cost around £50 million, but midfielders like Alonso and Andrea Pirlo don't exactly grow on trees either.

What an expensive problem.