Modric in action against Chelsea last season
Whilst the Croatian is an exceptional player, and enjoyed one of his best campaigns for Spurs in the year gone by, the stats hardly show that Modric set the world alight.
In 47 appearances in 2010-11 for club and country, Modric managed just FOUR goals, and only FIVE assists.
When it comes to an attacking midfielder who can change a game in a flash, or unlock a defence with one pass, these stats don’t highlight the Croatian as Chelsea’s best option.
The Blues are in need of a catalyst at the top of their midfield, to provide the link between the likes of Essien and Lampard, and the front man, be it Drogba or Torres.
If they were going to raid White Hart Lane for someone, it should arguably be Rafael Van Der Vaart that they pursue, as the Dutchman’s link up play throughout the season won his numerous plaudits.
The reason Andre Villas-Boas’ side have been linked with the likes of Neymar, Pastore and Alexis Sanchez is because the side are crying out for that creative spark to open up defences, something they really struggled with at times last season. This, married with a lack of tempo in attack was a huge part of Chelsea’s failure to defend the Premier League title.
The signing of Luka Modric would bring another dimension, but he doesn’t bring the spark the club really needs.
The Blues would be better investing in Javier Pastore on the wing, and adding an attacking right back to replace Jose Bosingwa in order to inject more creativity and pace.
Neymar too would be a better signing for the club, given his outstanding ability and flair. The Brazilian could operate just behind a main striker or possibly start wide and then cut in. Leaving a gap on the flank isn’t an issue at Stamford Bridge, given the attacking nature of the full backs, especially if Villas-Boas looks to bring in a right back to mirror the work of Ashley Cole.
The signing of Modric looks similar to the acquisition of Yossi Benayoun last summer. The Israeli was seen as a potentially useful link up and creative cog in the midfield, and even though injury did devastate his season, he never really proved to be the missing link.
2011-12 is a huge season for Chelsea Football Club.
The pressure is on the new young manager to prove himself at the highest level after all the hype he’s received.
Fernando Torres still has to shake off the £50 million price tag around his neck, and the squad is heading towards a crucial period of transition, with several of the side’s most influential players entering their twilight years.
It is therefore vital that the correct foundations are laid now in order to ensure the same level of success the club has enjoyed in the last eight years.
These foundations should perhaps not contain Luka Modric who, despite a vast array of talent, doesn’t look the right fit for a Chelsea side that already contains Essien and an ever-improving Ramires. Unsettled Samir Nasri could prove to be a better investment.
Chelsea have always been associated with the swagger of the Kings’ Road. The Blues have been regarded as the ‘flashy cockneys’ since the late 1960s, and that is the sort of creative player that’s needed in SW6—someone with that swagger and a flash of brilliance.
Whilst it is true that Modric possess these attributes, in truth he doesn’t execute them often enough to merit the move across London, and the stats seem to back this up.