Could Edin Dzeko and Fernando Torres Play on the Same Chelsea Team?

Joe Krishnan@joekrishnanContributor IJune 13, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25:  Edin Dzeko #10 of Manchester City tries to keep the ball as Andreas Christensen #32 of Chelsea slides at Yankee Stadium on May 25, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Manchester City defeated Chelsea 5-3.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The role of a striker is a unique one on the football pitch, and Edin Dzeko likes to carry the responsibility that comes with that role. He relishes the pressure that is placed on his shoulders to score goals, and to be fair to the Bosnian international, he usually comes up with the goods.

Perhaps it's also fair to say he's never been given a proper chance to impress since moving from Wolfsburg in January 2011 for £27 million. Under Roberto Mancini, he was used predominantly in a bit-part role, thrown on when his side were in need of a late goal.

But other than simply being a "super-sub," Dzeko has displayed his composure in front of goal and is regarded as one of the best finishers in European football. His 14 goals last season highlighted that, as he was Manchester City's top scorer in the Premier League.

So to hear of Chelsea's reported interest, per The Telegraph, is far from being a shock. It would be a surprise to the Blues' top scorer last season, though, and that man is Fernando Torres.

The 29-year-old has endured a similar feat as Dzeko, having joined Chelsea in the same month. The former Liverpool star was forced into the limelight after his £50 million switch became a British transfer record, but for all the wrong reasons.

Almost identically to Dzeko, Torres struggled to adapt to his new surroundings, scoring just once in 14 appearances in his first season. As they began to settle in, the goals started to come for both strikers, but the criticism continued as their inflated fees took their toll.

Torres, in particular, has made a massive improvement last season as a player, showing an improved level of fitness and work rate. As well as enhancing his physical presence, he scored 23 goals in all competitions, and his goal in the Europa League final suggests that the Spaniard is finally producing some of his best form.

The similarity between the two strikers is that they both rely on confidence to score their goals, and when their self-esteem is low, so is their goal tally. Both strikers operate in the same manner, playing off the shoulder of the last man, hoping to pounce on a mistake.

When all things are considered, signing Dzeko to play alongside Torres would be odd decision from Mourinho. The Portuguese tactician prefers to set up his teams up in either a 4-3-3 formation with wingers, or a more balanced 4-2-3-1 lineup, which he used often at Real Madrid.

To play the two strikers together, albeit resulting in a dangerous partnership, would mean a 4-4-2 would need to be implemented. And that would mean ripping up Mourinho's masterguide to coaching success, as it's simply not in his nature to adopt a formation with a lack of fluidity.

In addition, as two out-and-out strikers, Dzeko and Torres require a trequartista to play off of them. Sergio Aguero combines his goalscoring exploits with providing chances for his striker partner, and playmaking genius David Silva pitches in a with a few through balls.

For Torres, it's an almost identical situation. Playing as the main target man, he has Juan Mata as the main supply line, with Eden Hazard and Oscar providing offensive support.

On a few occasions last season, Rafa Benitez placed Demba Ba alongside the Spain international up front; the tactical gamble did not pay off. Torres has adapted his game at Chelsea from being a striker partner to the main man, and to change that now could have disastrous consequences.

In which case, signing Dzeko would possibly mean rotating between himself and Torres, which is again something that Mourinho likes to do with his strikers. 

As seen during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, the former Porto coach liked Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema because they are both powerful and prolific frontmen. Playing with one main striker, the 50-year-old opted to use both on a rotational basis, and it worked a treat, with Benzema scoring 21 times and Higuain netting 19 last season.

Even so, there are no guarantees that Torres could be at Stamford Bridge next season, with The Mirror reporting that La Liga champions Barcelona are sizing up a £17 million offer for the forward. 

If true, it could well be a case of one in, one out for Jose Mourinho.


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