Chelsea must keep Loic Remy

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This week speculation about Radamel Falcao's loan move to Chelsea has been rife. Consequently, so have rumours about the future of one of Chelsea's current strikers, Loic Remy.

The Frenchman is, at 28, in the prime years of his career and quite rightly doesn't seem keen on playing back up to the incoming Falcao and current incumbent Diego Costa. As a result it is believed he is seeking a move and has been linked with Crystal Palace, managed by Remy's former boss at Newcastle Alan Pardew.

The deal is far from certain, particularly as Palace are unlikely to be able to meet the Frenchman's wage demands - he is rumoured to earn £80,000-per-week - and may also be unwilling to spend Chelsea's rumoured asking price of £15million, almost double what they paid for him last year, on a single player.

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Although it is easy to understand why Palace are keen to pursue the French international, I am baffled by the notion that Chelsea may be willing to sell a striker of such pedigree. Admittedly he is unlikely to ever be first choice with Diego Costa ruling the roost, but with Costa's intermittent injury niggles he is sure to be afforded a number of first-team opportunities over the length of the season - indeed, he made 19 appearances for the Blues in the Premier League last season.

With Costa's regular absences Chelsea needed proven, top-class back up and Remy helped to provide this, with an impressive nine goals, including seven in the Premier League, as well as laying on two assists. Admittedly not outstanding, but pretty good going for a second choice. His impact became obvious when he was injured, leaving only Didier Drogba. Although the Ivorian still showed glimpses of excellence his performances were largely laboured and a class below Remy.

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Records compared 

His record also provides a stark contrast with the man set to replace him. Radamel Falcao played a similar role to Remy at Manchester United, acting largely as back up to Wayne Rooney. However, despite making more appearances (26 in the Premier League), Falcao managed just four goals. 

Further to this, Remy offers the additional advantage of being able to play in either of the wide positions if required, something he did with great effect on occasion for the Blues last season. As for the injury problems Remy himself suffered, Falcao appeared to be no better on that front, with United boss Louis van Gaal constantly lamenting his lack of full fitness. 

As much as it would delight me to see both men at Stamford Bridge next season to create some genuinely intense competition for the role of both first choice and back up striker, it is unlikely that any of the three strikers would be content with being third choice.

This, for me, makes it a no-brainer. Falcao has an excellent past record and if anyone is likely to help him regain his fearsome form that saw him tear Chelsea apart for Atletico Madrid in 2013 it is Jose Mourinho (actually, Diego Simeone, Atletico manager, would probably be the ideal coach at the ideal destination for Falcao, but that's an argument for another day...). But there is still too much of an element of risk. 

The Colombian simply looked a shadow of his former self in the Premier League last season, offering little hope that he could return to his world-beating best. With Costa unlikely to play every game of the season Chelsea need proven back up, and Remy has proven himself in the Premier League over a number of seasons.

Furthermore, Remy offers something different, with more pace to his game, giving Chelsea a different tool in their attacking armoury. All this, in addition to his versatility and the fact that he is already settled in the squad, makes it seem obvious to me that Loic Remy should remain at Chelsea, and that Mourinho should end his interest in Radamel Falcao.

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Crystal Palace
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