Reports in the Daily Mail suggest that Jose Mourinho has been given permission to sign an additional striker in the January transfer window to ensure that the club’s stuttering title bid does go completely off the rails. The dismal defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday has caused the Blues; Portuguese manager to boil over. As well as lacerating his players for ‘treating the game like a friendly’ and admitting he was ‘angry’ about the performance, the rand total of two league goals from his trio of strikers – one each for Torres and Eto’o – in ten games has forced the realisation that things cannot go on like this. With Chelsea already five points behind leaders Arsenal, the decision to plunge into the market for reinforcements has apparently therefore been made.
Buying in January is never ideal, as at the highest level, many strikers will already have played for their clubs in European competition and hence be cup-tied for that tournament. It would therefore make sense for the Blues to pursue a player without this caveat. There is one outstanding possibility, but prising him from his current club will in all probability be a task too far. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez would e ideal, but the current hottest-shot in the Premier League will certainly not be sold to another English club – if at all, which is in itself highly contentious.
It seems that Mourinho will have to look for a player without European commitments already tagged on, but at a slightly lower level, or be forced to pay top dollar for a player who will be ineligible for a chunk of the club’s games. Should a new striker join the club, it seems possible that room in the squad could be found for him by the removal of Demba Ba. The player, deemed by Mourinho to be of not sufficient quality at the highest level, is the subject of interest from West am United, who are also struggling for goals at the moment. A bid of £8million or so may just secure the deal if Chelsea can get their man.
During the summer, the club was heavily linked with signing Columbian striker Radamel Falcao, before eventually deciding that his game may not be up to the rigours of the Premier League. That may well be the case, but until tested, there’s no way of knowing. Over in France, in what may admittedly be described as a less-competitive league, the striker as already ten goals to his name. If the Blues had someone even half as prolific, they would surely be a lot closer to the Gunners than they are now.