Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Which Playmaker Would Be the Ideal Signing?
With a new manager and new team of backroom staff finally in place, Chelsea Football Club on July 6th, began with preseason preparations at Cobham.
Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas has said there is no rush to move in the transfer market, as he wants to assess the current Chelsea squad before adding any new faces. That is the sensible way to go about, even when it is known that major reinforcements are required in certain positions.
One such position is the center of midfield, where many believe the West Londoners are missing a creative influence. Last season served as evidence of this, particularly in matches where the Blues would find themselves trailing by one goal early on.
No doubt what was missing was someone with a wide range of passing and ability to unlock defenses. Someone who could produce a moment of magic from the middle of the pitch, be it a spectacular volley or a beautifully threaded through ball for the strikers to finish off.
Unfortunately, the current Chelsea midfield lacks a quality playmaker. It would be fair to say that Josh McEachran, who has displayed exceptional ability on the ball, at 18 years of age, is still too young to take the responsibility of creativity on his shoulders alone.
Villas-Boas' priority in this summer transfer window thus has to be signing a player who is capable of pulling the strings in midfield for his team, someone who can bring the best out of £50 million man Fernando Torres.
Here are the options the Chelsea gaffer has.
Modric is just what Chelsea need, someone who can dictate play in the middle of the park and help stamp authority on the game, no matter who the opposition is.
Since his move to White Hart Lane in 2008, he has gone on to become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. Luka has quick feet, good ball control, is a brilliant distributor and possesses excellent vision.
He is also one who doesn't shy away from his defensive duties, something that is as a very desirable quality in a midfielder. Being only 25, he has many years of service to offer at the very highest level.
He has expressed a desire to move to Chelsea, making them front-runners for his signature ahead of the Manchester duo. A £22 million bid was recently turned down by Tottenham, who will definitely not be willing to part company with their midfield kingpin so easily.
His manager Harry Redknapp has stressed that Luka will not be sold for any price. Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy has reiterated the same.
However, I wouldn't be surprised if the Blues were to test their fellow Londoners' resolve with an improved bid for the Croatian.
The Dutchman had his best year in 2010, where he showed his class with both club and country. He is undoubtedly one of the best passers of the ball at present, right up there with Xavi and Iniesta.
This man has to be an attractive option for Chelsea, as he scores his fair share of goals too. He is a dead-ball specialist.
Like Modric, he too has a low center of gravity, is comfortable playing with both feet and can play a long pass as well as anyone can. His speed, sublime control and eye for a pass make him difficult to deal with.
He is a player who rises to the big occasion. At 27, the Dutchman still has some of his best years to come.
Chelsea are certainly interested, since he could go on to form an explosive combination with Fernando Torres and help him recapture his old form. But will they move for him? Time will tell.
Nasri can play both wide and in the center, as he is extremely versatile. He likes taking defenders on and makes a nuisance of himself, as he is very unpredictable.
He hardly ever plays solo, and his game is characterized by a lot of neat passing and ball retention. He is a master on the ball, possessing tremendous technical ability. His shooting is top-notch.
A big plus point of acquiring him is that he contributes with both goals and assists. The Frenchman of Algerian descent enjoyed his most prolific season with Arsenal in 2010-11, bagging 15 goals and five assists.
Being 24 years of age, his best years are still ahead of him. He knows the English game well, having now completed three seasons at Arsenal.
It's funny how the same three clubs—Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City—are battling it out for Nasri, just like Modric and Sneijder.
Samir has stated that he may move this summer, and with just one year left to run on his contract, Arsene Wenger may just decide to cash in on him. At £20-£25 million, he'd be a bargain buy.
The 22-year-old Argentine is one of European football's most sought after young players, which is hardly a surprise. He has just enjoyed a stellar season with Palermo, scoring 14 times and grabbing six assists.
He has a sweet right foot and can pick out teammates with ease. He can add creativity and flair to any team.
He is expected to make a move to a bigger club this summer. According to his club president, Maurizo Zamparini, Chelsea and Real Madrid lead the race for Pastore.
Zamparini has, in the past, said that Pastore will not leave for less than €60 million, which is ridiculous for a player who still has a long way to go to prove himself.
There are quite a few people who believe he could find it difficult to adjust to the Premier League. So, Chelsea should move for him only if they can get him for a reasonable price, like €3 0million.
But if he does settle into the English game quickly, then he and Torres could destroy oppositions together.
Moutinho, aged 24, is not as well known as the others on the list. However, he is not short of talent.
He is known for his excellent passing and ability to spread play. He is a set-piece specialist, and his shooting is very good, so it's no coincidence that a large chunk of his goals come from long range shots.
His sublime touch and his versatility make him one of the best young Portuguese midfielders. He was one of FC Porto's most important figures last season, one in which they won a domestic double and the Europa League.
With Andre Villas-Boas moving from Porto to Chelsea, Moutinho has also been linked with a switch to the British capital. But he insists he is happy at Porto and intends to stay on.
His buyout clause stands at €40 million, so Chelsea may decide against moving for him. But crazier things have happened before, and I wouldn't rule out a reunion with his former manager.
Chelsea FC needs a new creative midfielder, there is no doubt about that.
Frank Lampard is now 33, so the club needs to look at long term solutions for the lack of creativity.
I expect the Pensioners to sign at least one of the the five players in my list. It is my personal opinion that signing both Luka Modric and Samir Nasri would be the ideal situation, but you may think differently. I'd be glad to know your opinion.