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Chelsea FC: Who Will Be Jose Mourinho's First-Choice Striker Next Season?

Rachel BascomContributor IIIMarch 10, 2014

Chelsea FC: Who Will Be Jose Mourinho's First-Choice Striker Next Season?

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    When Chelsea defeated Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, we witnessed the rare sight of not one but three goals from two strikers in blue.

    Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring and won a penalty, and Demba Ba added two goals to make it 4-0 and secure the win.

    Fernando Torres has also shown signs of good form in between injuries, and Chelsea will likely be busy in the summer transfer market.

    This once again begs the question of who will come out on top as Jose Mourinho's first-choice starter next season.

    Let's take a look at some of the likely and not-so-likely candidates.

Fernando Torres

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Fernando Torres has got to be one of the unluckiest players in the Premier League. Every time he starts showing a hint of good form, he is forced out once more with an injury.

    After being inured in the warm-up on Saturday, Torres will once again miss some games, which will once again raise questions about his future at Chelsea.

    But even if Torres returns and scores 20 goals in nine games to round off the season, the real question is whether or not he has a real future as the main man at Chelsea. And the answer, unfortunately, is likely to be no.

Samuel Eto'o

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    Bogdan Maran/Associated Press

    Samuel Eto'o proved a point with his performance against Spurs, and his celebration (pictured) made it clear what point that was—he may be older, but he can still score goals.

    However, even in light of this performance, and a few other crucial ones this season, Eto'o has only ever been a stopgap, a temporary striker brought in until Jose Mourinho receives the go-ahead on a long-term solution to Chelsea's problems up front.

    Whether he is 32, 35, or 39, Eto'o will not be the first-choice striker for Chelsea next season.

Demba Ba

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    Associated Press

    There is not much that can be said in the case for Demba Ba. The Senegalese has struggled to find playing time this season, even with Chelsea's other strikers struggling to score goals.

    Ba might see a small ray of hope after his brace against Tottenham. Despite this, however, a starting role for him next season remains unlikely.

Romelu Lukaku

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    Bogdan Maran/Associated Press

    Lukaku is an interesting conundrum. Having been officially a Chelsea player for almost three years now, he has spent the past two on loan to other Premier League clubs.

    Despite failing to make any impact at Stamford Bridge, Lukaku has looked increasingly impressive on loan and is currently Everton's top scorer with 10 goals.

    However, given that Mourinho opted to draft in Eto'o and once again send Lukaku out on loan before this season—and given that it was an arrangement that Lukaku seemed to be more than OK with—you have to wonder whether Stamford Bridge is the right place for the Belgian after all.

Radamel Falcao

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    You are probably as bored of reading about this man as we are writing about him. However, despite his relatively recent move to Monaco and a serious knee injury, the speculation simply will not die.

    There is an argument for Chelsea potentially swooping in to rescue him from an unhappy situation, but it has to be said that any sort of a deal for Falcao at this point would be risky and expensive.

Mario Mandzukic

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    Alex Grimm/Getty Images

    With Robert Lewandowski on his way to Bayern Munich, it would appear that Mario Mandzukic will soon be on his way out.

    There have been plenty of rumours (including this one in the Guardian) that Chelsea will be the ones to secure his signature in the summer, and he might just be the right man to occupy the centre-forward position at Stamford Bridge.

Mario Balotelli

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    Luca Bruno/Associated Press

    The latest striker to be linked with Chelsea in the never-ending transfer rumour mill, Jose Mourinho recently stated that Mario Balotelli was someone with whom he would like to work again (via Sky Sports).

    Despite his track record off the field, Balotelli remains an excellent striker who would fit well into Chelsea's system.

    He is still young at 23, has worked with Mourinho before and has played in the Premier League before. The Italian might not be the most popular player, but he is certainly one of the best candidates for a starting role at Chelsea.

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