Much has been said about Chelsea’s lack of a top quality centre forward this season. Despite having three who have scored goals at previous clubs and on the international stage in Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba, the London club have struggled for goals and this is widely believed to be the reason for their failure both domestically and in Europe this season.
All 3 strikers have been in and out of the team, none of them really managing consistent performances; their stats suggest they have all had a poor season.
Fernando Torres has failed to live up to his £50 million transfer from Liverpool in 2011, and it doesn’t look likely he ever will. His stats this season show that again, with just 5 goals in 28 games (12 from the bench) in the Premier League, or a goal every 314.2 minutes.
Samuel Eto’o had a slightly better season, with 9 goals in 21 league appearances (5 from the bench), and a goal every 145.1 minutes. Not a bad return for a 33 year old, but not going to win you the league and certainly not a long term option
Demba Ba managed 5 goals in 19 league games (14 from the bench) and a goal every 132.2 minutes. Had a fantastic return at Newcastle but has never managed to hit the same heights of those days.
Mourinho has expressed his desire to bring in a new striker next season, although many believe they don’t need to, as they have Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku available after another successful loan at Everton last season. The 21 year old striker managed an impressive 15 goals from 29 starts and 2 sub appearances for the Merseyside club, with a goal coming every 171 minutes, this return would surely be better in a more creative side like Chelsea. Mourinho, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem a big fan of Romelu, despite it being suggested he is the missing piece for Chelsea due to his size and physicality, it seems as though Mourinho has his eyes set firmly on another player…
The Atletico striker managed a spectacular 27 goals in 34 games in La Liga and has the physical prowess and exceptional work rate required to fit into the English game. It has been reported in recent days that Chelsea have activated the £32 million release clause and the signing is set to be announced in early June, when the Spanish giants’ campaign is over, with 2 massive games coming up in the title decider versus Barcelona and the Champions League final against city rivals, Real Madrid. Mourinho feels Costa has the necessary ability and physicality, something he wants out of his centre forward.
Another possible target for Chelsea could be Real and French forward, Karim Benzema. It’s likely he is to leave Madrid this summer as Los Blancos plan to fund a move for Liverpool star Luis Suarez. Benzema also possesses a goal scoring threat with a decent return of 17 goals from 34 games in La Liga. He certainly could keep up with the physical battle but he can often go missing in big games and his touch can often be his downfall, and he did initially struggle when first signing for Real.
A final option for Mourinho could be Bayern Munich’s Croatian forward, Mario Mandzukic, another physical centre forward who would fit Mourinho’s side, scoring 18 goals in 30 games for Bayern in the Bundesliga. After the arrival of Robert Lewandowski from the Bavarian clubs rivals, Borussia Dortmund, it is expected for Mandzukic to drop down the order, and as a striker in his prime he would want game time. His target man style would have been a great asset to a Chelsea squad that has plenty of creativity. However, it looks like Mourinho is to choose Diego Costa to lead the line next season and fire the Blues towards a title and European challenge. But if you were in charge, who would you pick?