Since the departure of Didier Drogba, Chelsea have failed to fill the sizeable void with a world class striker. This scenario has become a trait at the Bridge and needs to be addressed urgently to ensure Chelsea are able to challenge on all fronts next season.
Drogba a Chelsea legend left the club on the perfect stage having just slotted home the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Following his departure there have been several strikers that have been asked to step up to the plate and take on the role as match winner. Thus far, you could argue, none have succeeded.
First came Fernando Torres. Since Drogba's departure he has cut a forlorn figure at times and with a return of only 12 league goals in 61 appearances and 31 goals total from 100 matches there are not many who would argue Torres has taken on the mantle vacated by Drogba. He has never quite regained the form that made him one of the most feared and dangerous strikers in the world as seen during his time at Liverpool F.C.
The next challenger albeit it briefly was Daniel Sturridge. Never given a fair chance, often asked to play on the wing, Sturridge scored one league goal for Chelsea before departing in the January transfer window to join Liverpool where he has gone on to show his class. 34 goals in all competitions from a mere 46 appearances suggest Chelsea made a grave error not giving Sturridge the opportunity he craved and playing him as the focal point of attack.
Next followed Demba Ba, in great goal scoring form at Newcastle United, Ba seemed a great deal in the January transfer window. A player with proven goalscoring record at Premier League level. But again, similar to Sturridge, Ba has never really been given the opportunity to showcase his talents and is likely to depart in the summer. A return of 13 goals in 47 appearances is not the greatest and indicates perhaps a top half club rather than title challenger would be a better fit for Ba.
With the return of Jose Mourinho many thought the issues up front for Chelsea would be resolved. It was made quite clear with a very public pursuit of Wayne Rooney, that Mourinho wanted to invest in the striking department, recognising it as Chelsea's weakest link. Ultimately this failed and Eto'o was brought in from the Russian league, whilst Romelu Lukaku was again loaned out to a Premier League club, namely Everton.
Many thought this would benefit Chelsea, a proven goalscorer in Eto'o and a chance for Lukaku to develop his game further. However looking at the statistics, the reverse seems to have occurred.
Whilst Eto'o has been the best of the three strikers currently at club with a return of 13 goals in 33 appearances for the club, you need look no further than Lukaku who since Drogba has departed has scored 17 goals in 38 games for West Bromwich Albion and 14 goals in 29 appearances thus far for Everton - a near one in two ratio in his only two full seasons in the top flight. At the tender age of just 20, Lukaku looks the most able to take over from Drogba and play for many years to come.
However following a disagreement with Mourinho and a lack of opportunity likely, Lukaku may look to pastures new to further his career leaving Chelsea once again in the hunt for a world class striker.
Will Diego Costa be the answer; or could he be another expensive failure if Chelsea are successful in capturing the Spaniard come Brazilians signature this summer.
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