With Chelsea’s season nose-diving ever further, the majority of fans are looking to the future and are eager to turn their back on an anarchic campaign. While there seems more places in which to improve than not, perhaps the most prominent area screaming out for improvement is the striker position.
Since the arrival of Guus Hiddink, the Blues have become unhealthily reliant on Diego Costa. Alternative forwards Radamel Falcao, Loic Remy and Alexandre Pato possess a combined league tally of just three- a whimsical return.
As a result, the Stamford Bridge side must invest in a striker this summer to alleviate the burden from Costa. With Antonio Conte’s arrival confirmed and a return to the Champions League feverishly desired, there will undoubtedly be the money to secure a top quality forward.
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Here are four strikers that Chelsea should attempt to sign this summer to ensure the goals return to west London in 2016-17:
Since his surprising departure from Real Madrid in 2014, Los Blancos have been left kicking themselves after a rich vein of form with Juventus.
While his goal return of 25 goals in 88 appearances with the Old Lady isn’t the most impressive record across the continent, at just 23-years-old, Morata is far from his peak. As a result, not only would the Spaniard prove a long-term investment but the Blues would be in possession of the forward as he reaches his best.
Furthermore, his experience at two huge clubs in Juventus and Real Madrid albeit his age suggests dealing with the pressure of the Premier League would be far from a problem. His strike against Barcelona in last year’s Champions League final accentuates his thirst for the big stage.
While his and Conte’s Juventus tenures narrowly missed each other, this common link would also likely prove a pull factor for Morata. The Spaniard also has experience in the Spanish national team and could consequently strike up a lethal partnership with fellow countryman Costa.
The Argentinean forward is another ex-Real Madrid star on Chelsea’s radar and a proven goal scorer across Europe. While his links to Conte are more tenuous, their common experience in Serie A could see the Italian manager allured by the forward.
At 28-years-old, Higuain would not be a long-term solution for the Blues but after such a dismal season, the club is crying out for resurgence and as soon as possible.
The main pull factor of the Napoli star undoubtedly proves his astonishing finishing record. With 32 goals in just 38 appearances this season, the Argentinean is lethal in the penalty area and would bring goals to Stamford Bridge if nothing else.
However, without the offer of Champions League football, Chelsea may struggle to fight off the plethora of lurking buyers for the player this summer.
The Frenchman has been linked with a move to Chelsea for a number of seasons now and it remains hypothesised that he will follow Pedro in swapping La Liga for the Premier League.
Albeit not an out-and-out striker, the Atletico Madrid man has a rich goal record. 54 strikes in 98 caps for Atleti is certainly an appetising return and with five assists this campaign, his creativity is evident also.
There is no clear link between Griezmann and Conte but the Frenchman will at least be interested if such a high-class manager tests the water with the red side of Madrid. His ability out wide would also potentially see him as a replacement for Eden Hazard who is heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, Chelsea will have to fork out a considerable amount of money for the 25-year-old and the man himself would be unlikely to relinquish the privilege of Champions League football.
Yes, you read that right. The Fulham striker has been attracting a variety of interest from European juggernauts amid his performances in the Championship.
The Daily Mail has linked the Frenchman with a move to Stamford Bridge and if any transfer was to go through, it would prove a long-term investment. At 19-years-old, Dembele wouldn’t be an instant impact but could see the Blues laughing five years down the line.
Chelsea will once again have a fight on their hands though with Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma and Juventus also linked with the youngster. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be hard to pry him from Fulham who are unlikely to turn down any big-money fees that come their way.
Despite his age though, an admirable 2015-16 record of 16 goals in 41 appearances would appear to make him a solid deputy for Costa.
Whoever Chelsea do decide to invest in this summer, there can be no denying their need for another forward to return to winning ways. If Abramovich opens his wallet and Conte spies a buy, it could be a refreshingly exciting summer in west London.
Which striker do you think Chelsea should sign this summer? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!