When Avram Grant took over as Chelsea manager in September, he promised to deliver the sort of aggressive, attractive football that owner Roman Abramovich so desperately wanted.
To do so, of course, Grant needed new players—and one name came up almost immediately:
The Brazilian has long been rumoured to be on his way out of Barcelona. Now that the former World Player of the Year has fallen into disfavour at the Catalan club—and given that Abramovich is one of the few men in the world who could afford him—the speculation has reached a fever pitch.
But what would Chelsea really be getting?
Sure, Ronaldinho's highlight tape looks great, but the Blues need only look at their own squad to see the perils of buying so-called “global stars” in their late 20s.
Andrei Shevchenko and Michael Ballack both arrived at Stamford Bridge with impressive records and sterling reputations, but both have struggled in England.
That history, coupled with Ronaldinho's infamously active social life, doesn’t bode well for the Brazilian's potential tenure with the Blues.
Yes, with Didier Drogba out for up to two months thanks to knee surgery and the African Cup of Nations, Grant and Co. need another goal-producer.
But Ronaldinho isn't an out-and-out scorer—he's an architect, a player with the ability to squeeze a pass through the smallest of gaps.
And the club already have plenty of those.
Against Sunderland last weekend, the Blues had all the creativity they needed in the middle third of the pitch. Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou, and Shaun Wright-Phillips have the skill to create chances—the only question is who'll finish the job.
If Abramovich is looking to spend big, he doesn’t need Ronaldinho—he needs someone with a nose for the net.
Or maybe—just maybe—Andrei Shevchenko can save his boss some money and seize the opportunity to silence his critics.