Football

Radamel Falcao would be perfect for Chelsea

Falcao is one of the best strikers in the world (©GettyImages)
Falcao is one of the best strikers in the world (©GettyImages).

It has been approximately a week since reports first arose of the possibility of Colombian forward Radamel Falcao leaving AS Monaco just over two months after he joined the newly-promoted Ligue 1 club for a reported £51 million.

After being promoted to the top division of French club football, Monaco embarked on an unprecedented spending spree, signing the likes of Falcao, Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez, Ricardo Carvalho, Eric Abidal, Jeremy Toulalan and other high-profile names.

They offered these players mammoth contracts under the assumption that the club's location in the European tax haven of Monte Carlo would automatically exempt it from the Ligue 1's jurisdiction regarding the matter of players having to pay taxes on their salaries.

However, with the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP)'s refusal to give in to Rybolovlev's demands for said tax exemption, it looks very likely that the Monaco players will have to pay the top tax rate of 75% like the rest of the league's players.

The burden of this extra payment will most likely be transferred to the club's owner, which would represent an additional expense to the 100-million-euro fine that is likely to be slapped on the club.

This development has led to widespread rumours that Monaco are looking to trim the wage bill by cutting loose several of the squad's highest paid players, including the likes of Rodriguez, Moutinho and Falcao, who only just joined the club.

These include the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. While there have been no subsequent reports of interest in the player from any of these clubs, the Falcao's future is far from certain.

Were the player to end up seeking a move away from Monaco, he would likely command a substantial transfer fee that would probably have to eclipse the amount the French side paid Atletico for him in May for the club to seriously considering selling him.

It is quite fair to say that Manchester United would not be willing to fork out a fee of that size for the striker, not least because the club already has Robin van Persie to lead the line, but also because David Moyes seems to be focusing all his attention on strengthening his midfield in the time that is left of the transfer window.

Manchester City already have four excellent strikers to choose from, two of them having been signed in the summer, while Real Madrid will look to the likes of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez to supply Carlo Ancelotti with a regular flow of goals.

The only other clubs that could possibly afford Falcao, these being Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, already have two irreplaceable goal-scorers each, with enough support from the bench.

This leaves Chelsea. One might question the sense in Chelsea signing a striker when Mourinho already has Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, and Demba Ba to choose from but it is fair to say that none of the three strikers have convincingly staked a claim to the striker's berth in the starting XI. 

Torres was given the chance to prove his worth to Mourinho with a start against Hull City Tigers in the opening game of the Premier League season, but did nothing to inspire a great deal of confidence in Chelsea fans.

If Chelsea are to succeed in winning their first league title in three years, they will need a 25-to 30-goal-a-season striker, and Torres does not look like he is up to the task.

Lukaku impressed during his time at West Bromwich Albion last season, and has been touted in many quarters as the next Didier Drogba.

However, at 20, the Belgian striker still has a long way to go before he can call himself the first-choice striker at Stamford Bridge. Demba Ba is a proven goal-scorer, but has been linked with a move to Italian side AS Roma.

Chelsea have played some fantastic football on their way to winning their first two games of the league season, but for all the intricate combination play between the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Lampard, they have sorely lacked the presence up front of a striker who can be trusted to put the ball into the back of the net.

Falcao is arguably the best striker in the world today, bar none. The deadliest finisher in the modern game, Falcao possesses all the attributes that you'd want in a striker.

Completely two-footed and blessed with the ability to beat defenders on the run and score from anywhere in the penalty area, Falcao is, pure and simple, a goal-scoring machine.

An unnaturally accomplished header of the ball for someone his height and excellent at holding up the ball under pressure, he can play as a target man as well as drift wide or deep and support his team-mates.

Falcao may not be the fastest around the block, but his ethereal finishing abilities and knack of finding space to work with in the penalty area make him the perfect goal-poacher.

Falcao works best when played as the lone striker in front of a three-man attacking midfield; he provides an immense target in the penalty area for crosses, either from midfield or the touchline, but is equally adept at feeding off passes made on the ground.

He can always create the extra yard of space in a crowded penalty area, enabling him to twist, turn and either run at defenders or shoot from distance.

He offers immense tactical versatility, and his track record at Porto and Atletico suggests that he can score goals in any team and in any league.

Falcao is also a man for the big occasion, and his most spectacular goals and performances usually grace the most important of games against the biggest teams.

His two goals in the final of the 2011-12 Europa League final against Athletic Bilbao and his awe-inspiring hat-trick against Chelsea in the UEFA Supercup in the summer of 2012 just about perfectly demonstrated the immense quality of his finishing on the big stage.

Chelsea's current side boasts a rock-solid defence and a midfield that possesses the perfect combination of workmanlike defensive players and those more inclined towards attacking football.

The only question that one can ask of Mourinho's squad concerns his options up front, and Chelsea's narrow 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in a game that saw them create many half chances that were squandered by Ba and Lukaku highlighted the club's need for a striker capable of converting those chances.

Mourinho has so far utilised the 4-2-3-1 system at Stamford Bridge, with his wingers cutting in from the flanks and looking to link up with the central striker.

The Portuguese manager also relies on his centre-backs and defensive midfielders to launch long-balls from the Chelsea half, with the central attacking midfielder feeding off loose balls on the edge of the penalty area.

With the range of options he has in midfield, Mourinho can choose from several different tactics during the course of a game, and needs a striker who can get him 25-30 goals a season irrespective of the way the team is sent out to play. 

Chelsea need a hint of Drogba-esque ruthlessness to go with the champagne football being played by Oscar, Hazard and Co.

And there is but one striker in the modern game who can offer them that, and that striker is Falcao.

Chelsea would do well to coax the Colombian into joining Mourinho's talented squad; the sight of Hazard, Oscar and Mata playing behind Falcao would be enough to put the fear of God in the strongest of defences.

It would be extremely difficult to look past Chelsea while selecting possible candidates for the Premier League title if they had a player of the quality of Falcao on board.

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea

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