EPL: Will Andriy Shevchenko Ever be the Same Again?

Allen JosephCorrespondent IApril 15, 2008

The second highest goalscorer in the history of European club competition with 60 goals. 

Seven seasons in an Italian club scoring a stunning 173 goals in 296 appearances.

A Ballon D'Or winner, year 2004.

Two seasons in an English club, 68 appearances, 21 goals, constantly languishing on the substitutes' bench.

Of course, to a person seeing this with a little knowledge of football, these are the stats of two very different footballers.

However, the truth is they are the same person. These stats refer to a certain Andriy Shevchenko.

A man who has sunk from being the most lethal player in front of goal to the most expensive substitute in the world of football.

What reasons can be given to this horrific transformation of such a wonderful talent?

Let's start with that ill-fated transfer from AC Milan to Chelsea, close to £30 million involved. 

Even though Chelsea had a manager who was interested in playing a lone striker with two wingers, Shevchenko chose Chelsea as his destination. That was his first major mistake.

Even with the change of managers, he is still sitting on the bench, in spite of putting his best ever performance in a Chelsea shirt in his last full appearance for the club: two goals in that 4-4 draw with Aston Villa.

Recent reports have linked this player with a return to his former club, which is in need of salvation and are fighting for a Champions League spot.

The question, however, that needs to be asked is, "Will he ever be the same Shevchenko again?"

The most honest answer is no.

I hope I am proved wrong, because football cannot afford to lose such a prolific striker.

Let's just hope for the best.