Chelsea are still in the hunt for a Premier League and Champions League double as the season moves into its final three weeks, but already eyes are being cast across the game on possible summer recruits.
Once the transfer window opens, Chelsea are certainly expected to sign a big-name forward, but other areas of the team also require attention.
Alberto Moreno is a target at left-back, as per the Express, while Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reports that Ezequiel Lavezzi is another under consideration. The Sevilla defender is a great choice for the Blues, but they would do better than to target PSG forward Lavezzi.
Moreno and Cole
Ashley Cole has essentially reached the end of his Chelsea shelf life, having been reduced to a very minor role this term. Right-back Cesar Azpilicueta has taken his place in the team on the left side of defence, though would still be a great asset on the right if a top left-back were to arrive in summer.
That's where Alberto Moreno comes in. An offensive, pacy and direct full-back, Moreno has attracted attention for his exciting displays for Sevilla—in great form in 2014 and fighting for a top-four finish—and has also won himself two caps with the senior Spanish side.
Also capable of playing further forward in midfield, he'd offer Chelsea the chance to double up down the left side when required.
Despite consistently challenging for trophies and having a battalion of attacking players, Chelsea have evolved as a naturally cautious outfit down the years, often seeking to play two full-backs on one side in key matches: Ryan Bertrand ahead of Ashley Cole being one recent example but also Paulo Ferreira ahead of other defenders back in Jose Mourinho's first spell at the club.
If Moreno fills a role and a need at Chelsea perfectly, then Lavezzi seems to merely offer more of what they already have, an unnecessary—though talented—addition to bulk up the squad at great cost.
He has great acceleration, is direct, can run at the ball and work hard, often from a withdrawn forward role or cutting in off the flank. But Chelsea already have Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle who perform very similar roles, while Eden Hazard is not likely to be displaced by anybody soon.
Lavezzi can play as a striker, of course, bringing a much more direct and obvious threat than the current crop does, but he has neither been as regular a goalscorer as Chelsea would want nor is he significantly younger than his rivals: Lavezzi is 29 in a few days, Torres and Eto'o are both past the 30 mark and Demba Ba is 29 later in May.
Slow Change of the Guard
Frank Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole have long been a spine of Chelsea's side, though that is now finally beginning to change. With the possibility that Petr Cech may be usurped by Thibaut Courtois, the departures of Michael Essien and—probably—John Obi Mikel and one or two others, the established, successful face of the side is on the wane.
To replace them as well as Chelsea have with the likes of Courtois, Oscar and others is impressive, but that needs to follow suit in attack too.
Moreno would be an ideal fit this summer, but Lavezzi would not bring anything Chelsea are in dire need of, no matter how high his pedigree and transfer value.