Football

Mourinho's transfer strategy could cost Chelsea dearly

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Mourinho is running out of time (©GettyImages)
Mourinho is running out of time (©GettyImages).

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho demonstrated once again his ability to tactically navigate his way through a tricky away trip.

You may accuse him of being boring, but there's no doubt the 'Special One' knows what it takes to structure his team to grind out a result - witness Old Trafford on Monday night.

But is the Chelsea boss guilty of a tactical error in the transfer market? The Blues' transfer window so far has been a mess.

For a start, how many attacking midfielders does the club need? Kevin De Bruyne is back from his loan spell, Oscar and Eden Hazard are poised for big second seasons, Andre Schurrle is in, Victor Moses is out.

Then there's Willian. What was the point? £32m to be spent on a talented playmaker, but in a position that Chelsea so clearly don't need.

And that's surely the end for Juan Mata. The Spaniard is struggling to get into the Chelsea team anyway. Enter Willian and that's another place gone.

The £32m could have been spent on Gonzalo Higuain - signed by Napoli for a similar fee - or any other striker that would inevitably improve on Chelsea's current stock of strikers.

Romelu Lukaku, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba are yet to find the net between them through three Premier League games. Before the season started, Chelsea's obvious weak point was attack.

Torres didn't reach double figures in the league last term - all of his damage was in Europe - Lukaku impressed on loan but Mourinho hasn't given him a start yet and Ba just isn't a top level Premier League/Champions League-calibre striker.

But rather than improve an area of weakness, Mourinho has opted to buy two attacking midfielders (Schurrle and Willian), a young central midfielder to one day replace Frank Lampard (Van Ginkel) and a couple of long-term projects (Stipe Perica and Cristian Cuevas).

What's the plan? Where's the strategy? The only consequence of Chelsea's transfer efforts so far has been to bench their two-time club player of the year.

Juan Mata was sensational last season. You only have to ask a Manchester United fan if they'd consider swapping Mata for Rooney to get how highly he's rated by even rival supporters.

The Blues have missed an opportunity this summer to sign a world-class striker. Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani were both available, as was Higuain.

It's not like the club was afraid to spend big money - Willian's transfer fee is massively overvalued and at £32m is only just short of Higuain. And do you not think Chelsea could have stretched to another £18m, forgot Willian, and signed Falcao if they really wanted to?

No, instead they've dropped their best player from the starting line-up and parked an attacking midfielder up front for the biggest game of the season so far.

There's a week to go in the transfer window, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Chelsea sign a big-money striker before the deadline. But it looks like they've now missed out on their self-proclaimed top striker target as well.

As Mourinho said himself - Rooney or bust. At the moment, it looks like bust.

Topics:
Premier League
Football
Chelsea
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