Chelsea Will Rue Not Signing Wayne Rooney This Summer

Rowanne WesthenryFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is challenged by Frank Lampard of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

At the close of business of this summer's transfer window, Chelsea had welcomed four new players into the squad for the 2013/14 season.

Marco van Ginkel, Andre Schurrle, Willian and Samuel Eto'o were the names, while Cristian Cuevas and Christian Atsu were also brought in, but have gone out on loan for their first season as Chelsea players.

According to The TelegraphFinancial Fair Play was cited as the stumbling block between the Blues and the big-money signings of Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani, who ended up at Monaco and PSG respectively. Although the Blues did not get heavily involved in the bidding war for these super-salaried goalscorers, there was no doubt they were in the market for a striker.

Fernando Torres' faltering form and Demba Ba's inability to beat the offside trap are a cause for concern, as is Samuel Eto'o's age and lack of Premier League experience. The decision to send Romelu Lukaku out on loan to Everton on deadline day leaves those three strikers as the only options available until January at the earliest.

Despite bids reported by ESPN to be more than £30 million, Chelsea failed to capture the signature of Wayne Rooney.

Mourinho made no secret of the fact that Rooney was his main target, and the public acknowledgement of that fact may well have deterred other decent strikers from joining the club.

The 4-3-4 formation deployed at Old Trafford, with no recognised striker in the attacking four, highlighted Chelsea's need for a world-class finisher. They are blessed with one of the best attacking midfields in the league, but if their playmakers have nobody to pass to in the box, they become impotent.

Per the Guardian, the Special One has asked for patience as he builds a team of youngsters with the long-term future in mind. Whilst bringing in Eto'o has added a proven goalscorer to the ranks, losing Lukaku in the same window seems to undermine this youth-centred ideal.

Rooney presented the happy medium between youth and experience.

At the age of 27, he is entering the prime of his career, and his ability to drop back and get involved with the build up to goal-scoring chances would have fit in perfectly with Chelsea's current system. His attitude was a barrier for many supporters, but if anyone could have knocked that out of him, it would have been Mourinho.

The Blues will now have to face the long season ahead with a striker who is the butt of jokes by pundits and bookmakers alike, a striker who was caught offside six times in the first half against Aston Villa, and a 32-year-old who has spent the last two years in Russia.

With at least 23 fixtures between now and the January window, fingers will be crossed that Mourinho's faith in the strikers that he has inherited—plus one he had worked with previously—does not prove to be horribly misplaced.