January Transfers Who Best Fit Chelsea's System
Chelsea have managed a sharp turnaround in form since Rafael Benitez took charge just over a month ago. Although the Premier League title may still be out of reach, recent results against Aston Villa and Norwich City have left them in a good position to take advantage should the Manchester clubs slip up.
To maintain this form throughout the rest of the season, Benitez will look to strengthen his squad with a couple of players in the January transfer window.
Read on for a guide to the players that could move clubs this winter, and who would best fit Chelsea's current setup.
Falcao would certainly fit Chelsea's system, and such a transfer would boost any squad. However, the price tag would be heavy, with a transfer fee looking to be upwards of £40 million.
In the formation currently used by Benitez, there is really only room for one out-and-out striker. If Fernando Torres continues his recent form, any new strikers may struggle to get playing time. As a result, Chelsea may want to look for cheap, reliable options.
One such option would be Demba Ba. The Senegalese striker is in great form for Newcastle, and has a reported £7 million release clause in his contract, according to The Independent.
That's easy money for Chelsea.
Double that, and you have the fee that Chelsea are said to be offering for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo, according to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope (via SportsWorldReport.com). The Spaniard would surely fit in at a Chelsea that has an increasingly strong Spanish influence.
David Villa is another striker that has been linked with a move to Chelsea, but such a move seems unlikely. He would not replace Fernando Torres, and there is little room for him to fit in amongst Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses in midfield.
Another alternative is to recall Romelu Lukaku from his loan at West Bromwich Albion. However, the striker has recently stated that he is happy to stay at the Hawthorns for another year, according to the Daily Mail.
Rafa Benitez has already suggested that Chelsea will be looking to sign a defensive midfielder in January. Such a player is necessary to bolster the 4-2-3-1 formation that has worked so well for Chelsea this season.
The two names most commonly discussed are those of Frenchmen Etienne Capoue and Yann M'Vila. Both are capable young defensive midfielders. Capoue might be the preferred option, as he is arguably the more talented and drama-free, but M'Vila would probably be a cheaper and easier transfer.
Another excellent midfielder is Cheick Tiote of Newcastle. He is an important player for the Magpies, but is unlikely to turn down a move to Stamford Bridge. Any transfer is sure to cost Chelsea upwards of £15 million.
Defenders are probably bottom of the list for transfers. However, with Ashley Cole still waiting on a contract extension, it might be wise to start looking for left-backs.
The Blues have most recently been linked with Leighton Baines (via The Independent). The Everton left-back would be a sufficient replacement should Cole leave. However, Ashley Cole remains the club's best option, as he is one of the best left-backs in the world.