Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against West Ham at Stamford Bridge was yet another reminder to Jose Mourinho of the need to sign a world-class striker as soon as possible.
The last few days of this transfer window could, barring any unexpected developments, come too soon so any hope of pursuing names such as Radamel Falcao, Edison Cavani and Diego Costa will have to wait until the summer.
But the situation could have been so different had the club been successful in their bid to sign Wayne Rooney during pre-season.
Manchester United’s defiance last summer irritated Mourinho. He tried his utmost in luring the England striker to the club.
And given his form this season, the failure to capture him could prevent the Blues winning the Premier League title.
Whilst rivals Manchester City have Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, Chelsea boast just Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o.
The Torres of old would have compensated for not signing Rooney. Yet unfortunately, despite improving, he still looks a far cry from the player that terrorised defences during his time at Liverpool.
The decision to loan Romelu Lukaku at Everton was baffling, with the Belgian having scored more league goals than the other three strikers combined.
Rooney has been a rare bright spot in a troubling season for United.
With nine goals in 18 league games this season, he has been a constant reminder to Mourinho of just what could have been.
The Portuguese would have relished stealing him from a rival, whilst utilising his offensive and defensive qualities to suit the club. His thirst for the big games would also have made him the true heir to Didier Drogba’s throne.
Instead, Rooney is set to sign a new deal at Manchester United that could see him stay at the club for life.
For Chelsea, they will have to hope one of the current three forwards can emerge from mediocrity to sustain their title challenge.
But chances look slim, and unless Mourinho can weave his magic, the title looks destined for the Etihad or Emirates.
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