Chelsea FC: 5 Reasons Raul Meireles Can Be the Difference for Blues This Season

Ryan RodgersContributor ISeptember 13, 2011

Chelsea FC: 5 Reasons Raul Meireles Can Be the Difference for Blues This Season

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    Raul Meireles debuted in his first game in Chelsea colors against Sunderland this past weekend.

    Blues fans got see their newest signing in action and should be pleased with what they saw.

    Meireles looks to be the final piece of Andre Villas-Boas's new-look Chelsea squad, and will ultimately prove to be one of the most pivotal signings of AVB's reign.

    Here are the top five reasons Meireles could prove to be the difference for Chelsea.

He Can Bring Torres Back to Life

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    With Raul Meireles supporting the attack, Fernando Torres scored nine times for Liverpool

    Torres would love to be scoring anywhere near nine goals, and Meireles could be the signing that jump-starts Torres's career.

    Meireles has spent time playing with Torres and reads his playing style exceptionally well.  Torres needs to be freed into space in order to be dangerous, and Meireles is the player who can do this. 

    As demonstrated by his masterful pass that lead to Daniel Sturridge's fantastic back-heel goal, Meireles has a deadly range of passing. 

    His vision will be crucial in freeing Torres into space where the Spaniard can be in dangerous goal-scoring positions.

He Is AVB'S Maestro

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    For some unexplained reason, when AVB arrived at Porto, Meireles was sold to Liverpool.

    Given the fact that AVB has signed Meireles at Chelsea, it can be said that the decision to sell Meireles most likely came from some one in a higher pay grade than AVB.

    At Porto, Meireles was the maestro in their attacking free-flowing 4-3-3 formation.  Playing as the center midfielder, Meireles was the team's heartbeat.

    Meireles is comfortable and confident in a 4-3-3 and knows how to play the attractive and attacking football that has been associated with Porto.

    Meireles understands AVB's tactics and will come in already knowing how to play in the new system.

AVB Is Known to Make Tough Choices, but This One Will Be Easy

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    By refusing to use Fernando Torres and issuing statements like this, AVB is making a point that he will pick the team, not any of the Chelsea higher-ups.

    The current midfield is the same midfield that saw Carlo Ancelotti fired, and the same one that has lacked any cutting or creative edge.

    Lampard has always been considered an automatic starter for Chelsea, even though his performances have been nowhere near deserving of a starting spot.  AVB will not care about his legend status he had, rather it'll be about the performances he delivers now. 

    Ramires is far from impressive and anything he does bring to the game, Meireles can do better.  Although recently fans have gotten behind the Brazilian, his hustle is not enough to make him a Chelsea starter.

    Mikel is no Essien, but has done a fine job at deputizing Chelsea's defensive midfielder.

    In a 4-3-3 under AVB, Chelsea's midfield will likely end up looking somewhat like this:

    Mikel: Holding

    Meireles: Above Mikel

    McEachran/Romeu: Aside Meireles

    AVB is clearly going to be looking to shake up Chelsea's stagnant midfield.  Given the managers commitment to youth and Meireles's experience, young players McEachran and Romeu will be given valuable time to develop.

Just as Talented as Modric

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    At £28 million more, Chelsea could have had Luka Modric, who's two years younger than Meireles.

    But is Luka Modric more valuable than Meireles?

    I think not.

    Modric is certainly a talent; his stats, versatility and talent, though, aren't superior to those of Meireles's.

    For the amount of money Chelsea would have spent on one player, they have added two players. Mata and Meireles will ultimately prove to be smarter, and better, buys than splurging on Modric.

Meireles Is Entering the Pinnacle of His Career

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    At 28, Meireles is entering the best years of his football.

    Now fully accustomed to the speed of the English game and surrounded by talented players, Meireles is likely to reach another level.

    Surrounded by Portuguese speakers and a Portuguese manager, Meireles will have no trouble fitting into the dressing room.

    Chelsea fans will be excited by the prospect of Meireles giving them up to five years of quality football.