Football

Chelsea title challenge hinges on signing a world-class striker

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Jose Mourinho starts his second spell as Chelsea manager, in a month that marks the 10-year anniversary since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea football club.

Mourinho - 'the Special One' or 'the Happy One' - call him what you will. As he embarks on a second stint with Chelsea, he knows he has areas to address if he is to be as successful the second time around. 

To date Abramovich has spent £700 million on transfers alone - a quite monumental figure. But Chelsea still need a world-class striker to replace Didier Drogba. 

Drogba - who scored 157 goals for Chelsea - has gone down in Chelsea folklore as one of, if not the greatest target man the club has ever seen.spend big. Abramovich needs to do so again.

How many strikers a club needs is dependant upon the system employed by the manager. 

Chelsea have played a 4-2-3-1 formation in recent times, with 'the three amigos', Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar providing the necessary guile and flair to regularly unlock defences and create chances for the Blues' forward line. 

Will Mourinho persist with this formation? 

In his previous tenure at Chelsea he employed a 4-3-3 formation with Damien Duff and Arjen Robben playing either side of Didier Drogba. 

When on the back foot, the two wingers come strikers, would drop back to replicate a 4-5-1 tactic making the team harder to break down. 

For this to work again Chelsea would need to buy a genuine wide men and one striker capable of both holding the ball up, bringing team-mates into play and converting the chances he is given. 

If Mourinho were to go with one striker then in a squad you could get away with only having three forwards to rotate and cover for injuries or suspensions. Normally however, you would prefer to have four strikers. 

Chelsea already have Demba Ba, Romelu Lukaku - fresh from a successful season long loan at West Bromwich Albion, new signing and German international Andre Schurrle and the much beleaguered Fernando Torres at their disposal.

Ba, seen by many as a short-term replacement for Drogba, holds the ball up well but is not a prolific goalscorer.

There has been talk of him leaving the club even though he has not completed a full season for Chelsea yet.

Lukaku, at 20 years old, looks an exciting prospect. Scoring 17 goals for the Baggies last season was no mean feat.

He is a powerful target man who possesses pace, agility and strength and has been compared to Drogba. 

But is he too young, too naive, surely he is not ready yet? Schurrle, recently signed for a fee believed to be around the £18 million mark has undoubted ability and Chelsea fans will be relishing seeing the German in a Blues shirt this season. 

He can play either side of a striker or in the central striker role.

Having reached double figures in the Bundesliga for the last three seasons, he knows where the goal is. Where he will be best utilised remains to be seen. 

Torres - signed for £50 million from Liverpool - is not the striker he once was. His pace, first touch and composure used to set him apart from other strikers.

Once a world beater, he does not look the same player in the blue of Chelsea. 

Whether that is down to injury, lack of confidence, problems with managers or problems behind the scene, how Mourinho deals with Torres will be key to the forthcoming season. 

However, it must be noted that he did score 22 goals in all competitions for Chelsea last season.

Now that isn't a bad return but is it good enough for a team who want to compete for every trophy at the highest level, every single season? 

Chelsea as ever have been linked with almost every striker on the planet. Radamel Falcao, Hulk, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani to name but a few. Luis Suarez and Christian Benteke are the latest two names bandied around footballs' gossip columns.

Mourinho needs to discuss with Roman Abramovich what he feels is best for the team. Lukaku will be persisted with and rightly so. Schurrle, a new signing, is clearly a top player with great potential. As for Torres and Ba, your guess is as good as mine. 

What is abundantly clear is that Abramovich needs to open his cheque book and bring in someone of real quality, not just a world renowned name who has produced in the past. 

But a player with character, ability and potential. A player who, like Drogba once did, can produce on the biggest stage, when the world is watching and when it really matters.

The 'Special One' has a crucial decision to make and the outcome of that decision will have a huge say on whether any silverware comes to Stamford Bridge this season.

 

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Topics:
Football
Didier Drogba
Chelsea

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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