Aside from the obvious disappointment at seeing a real chance of more domestic silverware slip from their grasp, Chelsea's disappointing last-gasp defeat to Sunderland in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening served to further highlight the club's extensive problems in the final third.

While the Blues undoubtedly boast a number of impressive attacking midfield playmakers such as Belgian sensation Eden Hazard, Brazilian starlet Oscar and Juan Mata, in attack they have been embarrassingly blunt so far this season.

Spanish World Cup winner Fernando Torres is yet to show consistent signs that he is finally ready to offer a significant return on the £50 million that Chelsea paid Liverpool for his services almost three years ago with just six goals to his name so far this season.

Demba Ba, who was brought to Stamford Bridge in January by the unpopular figure of former interim manager Rafael Benitez, has had few chances to impress and as such has notched on just three occasions.

Meanwhile, summer signing Samuel Eto'o, who moved to West London from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala during the summer, has also failed to impress and has registered just four goals in 15 appearances to date.

Despite such a paltry return from their frontmen, however, Chelsea remain just two points adrift of leaders Arsenal in the Premier League. If they are to sustain a genuine title push under the returning Jose Mourinho, though, they will need to sign a talented striker in January.

Here, we look at five top strikers - one of which Chelsea simply must sign when the transfer market re-opens in the new year:

Radamel Falcao

While it was only this summer that the prolific Colombian completed a big-money move to Monaco, there have already been more than a few rumblings speculating that Falcao could be leaving the Stade Louis II.

Given the exorbitant fee that the wealthy Ligue 1 outfit paid to bring him in from Atletico Madrid, it is surely likely that Falcao would command an enormous price if he were to move once again in January.

However, his record across Europe is simply superb and he could well be worth the money for Chelsea in the long-term.

Karim Benzema

No matter what he does, Benzema just does not appear able to gain any sort of popularity among the crowd at Real Madrid.

The controversial French international, who joined the La Liga giants from Lyon back in 2009, has long been linked with a switch away from Real and would surely be attainable at a more modest price for Jose Mourinho.

Diego Costa

Few strikers across the world can boast a more formidable goal tally than Costa this season. The Atletico Madrid forward, who did not feature in La Liga during a previous spell at the club, has simply wowed fans at the Vicente Calderon with 17 goals in 16 La Liga games.

With Diego Simeone's men currently tied with Barcelona at the very summit of the La Liga standings, it is extremely doubtful that they will be content with losing arguably their most-prized asset.

However, as we have seen frequently throughout owner Roman Abramovich's spell at the club, Chelsea do have money to spend on such deals. 

Robert Lewandowski

Although it has been frequently speculated that Polish marksman Lewandowski has his eyes set on following in the footsteps of Mario Gotze and hotfooting it from Dortmund over to domestic rivals Bayern Munich, he presumably could still be persuaded to abandon such thoughts and come to the Premier League.

While there is sure to be fierce competition for his signature, Chelsea should not give up on a potential move for a striker who has all the attributes to flourish on these shores.

Edinson Cavani

Another striker enticed to France by a wealthy club, this time champions Paris Saint-Germain, Uruguayan striker Cavani could possibly defy expectation and move on swiftly this winter.

Again, his reputation and recent transfer status makes him a pricy target, but he is also a man who would surely stand the pace and the physicality of the Premier League.

Admittedly, these are five very high-profile targets, each of which would presumably be difficult to obtain. However, the trio of Ba, Eto'o and Torres simply are not good enough at this stage and Chelsea require an immediate high-caliber replacement if they are to be successful in the near future.

Topics:
#Edinson Cavani
#Premier League
#Chelsea
#Robert Lewandowski
Flag article