6 Reasons Why Radamel Falcao Would Be a Great Fit at Chelsea
Well, this summer could finally end those rumors, with Jose Mourinho apparently admitting his interest in the Colombian in an interview with French TV station Canal+.
As the Daily Mail reported on the back of that interview in February, Mourinho said of Falcao: "I have a team, but no striker. Falcao does not have a team. A player like him can't play in front of 3,000 people. Monaco is a club to end [your career with]."
It's not often Mourinho is so candid about his transfer targets, so with him publicly expressing interest, we can expect the Blues to up the ante come the end of the season.
But what would Falcao give Chelsea that they don't already have? We take a look at six reasons why the Monaco front man would be the ideal fit at Stamford Bridge.
Goals—and Plenty of Them
Why are Chelsea in the market for a striker? Simple—their current front men haven't shown Jose Mourinho they have what it takes to lead the line and consistently find the back of the net at Stamford Bridge.
The trio of Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres have mustered a combined 23 goals in all competitions.
In contrast, Sergio Aguero alone has 26 goals in 2013-14 for Manchester City.
With a truly world-class striker, Chelsea could very well be out of sight in the Premier League title race this term, but they're not.
The Blues are seven points clear, yet their goals scored (56) are significantly lower than Liverpool (73) and Manchester City (69). With those teams having games in hand and Chelsea still traveling to Anfield, goal difference could prove influential in deciding where the Premier League trophy eventually resides come May.
The Blues have addressed other areas where they have been weak, and now it's time for them to sign a 30-goal-per-season forward.
Is Falcao that man? If his past stats are anything to go by, then yes.
Falcao Is a Striker in the Mould of Didier Drogba
Chelsea's style and system have evolved significantly since Didier Drogba first joined the club in 2004. But a player of his ilk is just as important for how they like to play, especially since Jose Mourinho returned last summer.
Falcao is far from a like-for-like fit when it comes to the former Blues front man, but there are similarities in their approaches.
Similar to Drogba, Falcao is a considerable physical presence who can mix things up—bullying defenders or bypassing them with a flash of skill.
With their diminutive attacking midfielders in behind the front man, Chelsea lack a player to take on the physical burden at times. Bringing in Falcao will solve that issue.
Falcao Would Give Chelsea a Plan B
Since they're seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with just one defeat in their last 20 matches in all competitions, it's difficult to criticize Chelsea's style of play too much.
What has got them through some potential sticky situations since Christmas, however, has been the form of Eden Hazard and their other attacking midfielders.
That's all well and good, but there will be times when the opposition works them out and does enough to close games out.
It happened in late January when a resilient West Ham United earned a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, and it will happen again before the season is out.
What Chelsea lack at present is a Plan B. Falcao would give them that.
Moving on from Slide 2, the Colombian's physicality would provide an outlet when Chelsea need one—whether they need to thump it long as the likes of Hazard and Oscar aren't having much joy or simply to alleviate pressure at the back.
Alongside his other attributes, Falcao is a master at holding up play and bringing others into the game. He is also strong in the air and is a handful for defenders in a way that Chelsea's current strikers aren't.
Chelsea Would Have Better Shape in Attack
Unlike Chelsea's current strikers, who often roam for possession and look for a way to work themselves into a game, Falcao is comfortable to wait for the action to come to him.
The Colombian operates predominantly through the middle and is rarely seen out on the flanks getting involved.
Chelsea have Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian to operate in those areas. What they require is a striker who will lead the line and remain central, doing the job he has been bought to do—score goals.
Jose Mourinho's attacking midfielders score enough goals, and the reason is that they're often occupying areas that the striker should.
Sure, there is movement in the process of attacking the opposition, but more often than not, the striker should be latching onto the end of a cross and converting chances.
Deploying Falcao in these areas will mean Chelsea's presence through the middle will be far more consistent. Their attacking formations will carry a better shape as a result.
He May Just Help in Getting the Best out of Fernando Torres
If Falcao joins Chelsea this summer, the impression is that it will mean the end of Fernando Torres' Stamford Bridge career.
It could prove the contrary, however.
The Spaniard's £50 million price tag has been a heavy weight for him to carry, but with another striker with more profile and expectation in the dressing room, he could gain the freedom he has been looking for.
Whenever Chelsea need a goal or have struggled not to score, everyone has looked to Torres for inspiration or to criticize, and he hasn't coped well.
Suddenly Falcao would have to share that burden, and with the focus away from Torres, we might well see his best goalscoring form yet in a Chelsea shirt.
Injury Means Falcao Will Potentially Have a Full Pre-Season with Chelsea
It's touch and go whether Falcao will be fit to compete for Colombia in the World Cup this summer.
He suffered a knee ligament injury while on French Cup duty for Monaco in January, and it was expected he would be unable to return until the new season.
Reports since suggest that may not be the case. BBC Sport quoted his doctor Jose Carlos Noronha as saying, "[Falcao's operation] went well [...] The light at the end of the tunnel isn't small."
It leaves us none the wiser as to whether we'll be seeing Falcao in Brazil, but should he miss out, it will be very much to Chelsea's gain if they sign him.
He will have the entire summer to settle in at Stamford Bridge and familiarize himself with Jose Mourinho and the culture of English football.
The importance of a pre-season can never be underrated, and in a World Cup year, any new signings are going to have to hit the ground running without too much time to settle.
Mourinho's teams are just that—teams, where every player must play his part in delivering success. The sooner that new signings bed in, the stronger they are.
If Falcao misses the World Cup, it will make Chelsea even stronger in the long term.