Football

Chelsea should avoid January bid for Benzema

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Jose Mourinho's second stint in charge of Chelsea has, thus far, been somewhat of a damp squib. While there has certainly been no shortage of intriguing talking points off the pitch, on it the Blues have been rather pedestrian and have often flattered to deceive.

Perhaps the most pressing issue facing the popular Portuguese concerns his misfiring collection of strikers. With dominant Belgian starlet Romelu Lukaku inexplicably allowed to depart the club on a season-long loan deal, only the trio of Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba remain as Mourinho's main striking options.

While Spaniard Torres has improved under the tutelage of Mourinho this season, Ba clearly has no future in West London while the ageing Eto'o is yet to make any sort of impact on the Premier League whatsoever.

With not a single one of their strikers having registered on the scoresheet in the Premier League so far this season, it would presumably be accurate to suggest that Chelsea will be in the market for a forward when the transfer window re-opens for business in January.

One frontman who has been heavily linked with a potential move to the club is controversial Real Madrid star Karim Benzema. Although this may appear to be a viable option, in my opinion the Frenchman, who moved to La Liga from Ligue 1 giants Lyon in July 2009, represents far too much of a risk - particularly during mid-season.

While undoubtedly capable of producing the required magic on occasion, Benzema is notoriously inconsistent and, while he would inevitably command a particularly hefty fee, he offers no guarantee whatsoever that he is the right player to remedy Chelsea's woes in the final third.

Although several of them are hardly the most rational of supporters, Benzema's seemingly deep lack of popularity among the Real faithful should be a pressing concern and possibly even act as a warning for Chelsea. Indeed, as well as attracting controversy away from the Santiago Bernabeu, the 25-year-old has been repeatedly barracked by his own fans this season.

Such a reaction would appear to be borne out of utter frustration at Benzema's questionable performances. When a significant proportion of a club's fanbase are willing a manager to replace their supposed star striker with a relatively inexperienced youngster - in this case, 20-year-old Alvaro Morata - then serious thought should be given before lavishing significant sums on such a markedly unpopular figure.

Chelsea need someone to revitalise their ailing striking unit, that much is painfully evident. Benzema, however, represents far too much of a risk at a potentially fragile time and should only be targeted as a very last resort.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Chelsea
Real Madrid

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