Radamel Falcao is one of the most sought-after strikers in world football and the Colombian could be playing in the Premier League next season.
However, if reports on Goal.com are to be believed, Chelsea are front-runners in the bid to be Falcao’s next employer.
The Atletico Madrid forward has enjoyed two excellent seasons in La Liga and it’s no surprise that he has Premier League sides scrambling for his signature.
This season’s statistics speak for themselves: 26 goals in 31 starts in La Liga, a brace in three Copa del Rey outings, one goal in two appearances in the Europa League and a hat-trick in the UEFA Supercup—against none other than Chelsea (via Transfermarkt).
But would Falcao be a good fit at Stamford Bridge? There are reasons to suggest he would be an overwhelming success, but there are also warning signs that he could be another expensive mistake for the Blues.
Here are the pros and cons about Falcao’s potential move to Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea side.
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Chelsea have everything they need to challenge for Premier League and Champions League glory. Apart from one thing.
A world-class striker.
In Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, Chelsea have one of the most exciting midfields in Europe. This triumvirate of players is often the reason opposition sides come undone, and their attacking style of play is key in Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 formation.
Between them, the trio have 36 assists and 23 goals in the Premier League this season.
Most clubs strive to have one playmaker in their starting XI. Chelsea have three. Imagine the results if they had a lone striker of Falcao’s prowess to lead the line. It’s scary to think what they could achieve.
Chelsea spend above the odds for a star striker with little or no return. Sound familiar?
Shevchenko had scored 175 goals in 296 appearances for the Rossoneri, but he didn't have much luck in his stint at Stamford Bridge, registering just nine goals in 48 games.
Torres had enjoyed his time on Merseyside, where he scored 81 goals in 142 appearances in a Liverpool shirt (via LiverpoolFC.com).
But the Spaniard has only scored 33 in 127 games for the London club (ChelseaFC.com), which works out to have cost the Blues over £1.5 million per goal.
If Chelsea break the bank to sign Falcao for a reported £46 million, they could be gambling on yet another very expensive disappointment.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is one of the world’s wealthiest men. Ranked No. 137 in the Forbes Billionaires List, he’s worth an estimated $10.2 billion.
Abramovich’s yacht is worth $500 million alone—that’s the equivalent of 6.9 Radamel Falcaos.
Even if Falcao comes to Chelsea on £200,000 weekly wages and is a huge flop, Abramovich can certainly afford it.
And, after seeing the Colombian striker score three goals against his side in the 2012 Supercup, the Russian oligarch will be keen to secure his services and prevent him signing for Premier League opposition.
Football is a relatively short career and strikers aren’t known for playing into their 30s.
Falcao is already 27 and has already arguably reached his peak. Anyone with good business sense knows that it’s unlikely that he will retain his sell-on value, which is a financial gamble for the club.
Fernando Torres also joined the Stamford Bridge outfit when he was 27 and struggled to recapture the form he displayed in his earlier years at both Atletico Madrid and Liverpool.
Chelsea already have options at striker in Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba. The 19-year-old Lukaku is set to make a return to the Blues after a successful loan spell at West Bromwich Albion. Ba, who joined from Newcastle in the January transfer window, has already proven himself to be a threat in the Premier League.
At 27, Falcao has a list of European honors to his name.
He won the Europa League in 2011 with FC Porto and repeated the feat in 2012 with current employers Atletico Madrid.
The Colombian forward was also top scorer in both tournaments—propelling himself to second on the competition’s all-time scorers’ list (UEFA.com).
In 2011, he finished fifth in a sports writers’ poll to determine the inaugural Best Player in Europe Award.
Chelsea are currently occupying one of the Champions League qualification berths for the 2013/14 season. With a striker who has shown remarkable form in the Europa league, Chelsea could provide the perfect platform for Falcao to step up and compete for silverware in the Champions League.
Falcao still has three years remaining on his Atletico Madrid contract, hence the sky-high transfer valuation of £46 million.
He has also remarked that he doesn’t want to leave the Estadio Vicente Calderon (via Metro).
There are many other players, however, who are coming toward the end of their contracts and have been linked heavily with moves to the Premier League.
One example is Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski, who has just one year remaining on his current contract.
The 24-year-old, who has scored 23 goals and made seven assists in the Bundesliga this season, would be a great addition to Chelsea. He has reportedly attracted the interest of the Blues (via the Daily Star).