Acquiring a lethal and prolific striker after the departure of Didier ‘The King’ Drogba has really become a difficulty, to say the least. The ‘post Drogba’ strikers honestly have not really matched up to the standards that every Chelsea fan will hope to see. Much has been made of the three strikers leading the line for this current Jose Mourinho group. Opinions are divided between sticking with these same strikers, bringing in new strikers in the January transfer window, incorporating young strikers from the Academy into the first team, and even playing Schurrle or Hazard as false number 9. Fernando Torres, Demba Ba, and Samuel Eto’o are all trying to keep up with the task of being a Chelsea striker. Indeed, two of the current strikers have made their presence felt in the ‘big games’ but again, the premiership is not only won with the big ones, the ‘small ones’ too matter! This craves the need for a consistent and lethal striker(s) if any dreams of silverware this season are to be realized.
Jose Mourinho made it quite clear of his interest in Wayne Rooney in the summer (last year) and it will surely be reinvigorated in the summer (this year). His preference for arguably the best striker in England was not just to cause a stir in the camp of his rivals but his urgent need for a goal scorer. After failing to secure the services of Falcao and Cavani, the English striker became Jose’s topmost priority. The decision by Manchester United to hold on to ‘Wazza’ has proved to be a great one as his performances this year have been really admirable. Several questions are asked by most Pensioners’ fans- Should the club dawdle over the signing of Rooney this summer? Is he the sort of striker that Chelsea need for the long term? Is he as lethal as he used to be especially when he is approaching the end of his peak? The answers that come out are as divergent as the questions themselves.
Rooney is a very gifted player who prefers to play along the forward lines with a very good sense of vision. His ability to pick up runs of team mates with incisive passes makes him a very enviable striker. He loves to get into small spaces and does have a powerful shot when he goes for it. Over the years, Wazza has developed the trait of dropping deep to support any striker he plays with and his industry is very much evident in every game he plays. He has risen to legendary status at Manchester United by scoring 200 goals (on September 2013) becoming the club’s 4th highest goalscorer. That speaks volumes of his worth to the side.
Bringing Rooney into the context of Chelsea is what really matters to every Chelsea fan. Having played in the premiership since 2002 (with Everton), Rooney has failed to win the topscorer in the league which brings to question his proficiency as a top striker. One would have expected a striker of such high quality to have at least won the accolade once. The likes of Hasselbaink (1), Anelka (1), and Drogba (2) have each won the accolade for the club which always brings smiles on the face of every fan. Chelsea boasts a rich talent of creative midfielders who can put the ball on the feet of any striker. The striker does not necessarily have to drop deep to get the ball but Rooney is not the sort who fancies that. He barely stays in the 18 yard and his score rate in recent times is not as impressive as ‘eager’ Blues fans will want. He scores really beautiful goals and proves to be a team player but his threat around the box looks quite doubtful.
Is there a need for a ‘creative’ striker or a lethal striker? Rooney belongs to the former but Chelsea certainly needs the latter! Costa, Falcao, Cavani, Suarez, Jackson Martinez, Aguero, Negredo and Klose fit my bill for lethal ones but Rooney is certainly not the Way-ne.