Roman Abramovic must be tired of signing strikers at inflated fees who struggle to settle at Stamford Bridge. But maybe, the Russian owner is paying for the wrong kind of striker.
Not since Didier Drogba’s prime years have Chelsea had a consistent performer leading the line. Fernando Torres has made as light improvement from his earlier horror days following a £50 million move from Liverpool, but he probably hasn’t paid back that transfer fee in the way that he would’ve wished.
Meanwhile, the ageing Samuel Eto’o hasn't rolled back the years to the form he was in whilst at Barcelona. Demba Ba’s one good year at Newcastle United is no longer in the back of manager Jose Mourinho’s mind when picking a team.
If the west London club are to reclaim the title, they need more goals from their strikers than what they’re currently receiving; the three mentioned above have eight Premier League goals between them.
That is poor considering Luis Suarez has scored 22 on his own, even Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez has scored nine on his own.
Forget moves for expensive and Premier League shy strikers like Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani and Diego Costa, there’s much better prospects closer to home.
Very close, in fact. Rodriguez’s teammate at Southampton, and England; Rickie Lambert has scored six this season after receiving his first international recognition and scoring success.
It feels as though Lambert has been quieter than last season where he notched 15 efforts. However, it would be prudent to remember that Saints’ much vaunted manager Mauricio Pochettino has got the England star working harder defensively.
However, in the space of a few days, the previously looking sky-is-the-limit future for Southampton has been put in serious jeopardy by backroom dramas.
The resignation of Chairman Nicola Cortese and the subsequent non-committal by Pochettino that he will be in charge at St Mary’s next season means that some of the top clubs are sniffing around their best talent. It’s a dog eat dog market and we all know that the top dogs are relentless when they’ve found something they want.
Nevertheless for Chelsea the turbulence on the south coast could come in handy for them.
Lambert should be a target for Mourinho and Abramovic, he’s a perfect fit for Chelsea and he could fire them to the title.
At 31, the powerful striker would be nowhere near as expensive as those other names. Even so, we know that Chelsea aren’t overly worried about money.
On the field is the best part of the deal, look at the stats; Lambert has six goals already and that is coming from a side that haven’t got multimillion pound creative players like those at the Bridge.
Furthermore, Lambert has a style of play that would suit the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar. It isn’t always apparent on the television but the forward likes to drop deep, dictate play and create chances.
It isn’t a coincidence that Rodriguez and Adam Lallana, two players that play either side of Lambert, have scored so many goals and also attained their first call-ups to England senior duty this past season.
So not only would he be providing service to better players, he would also get the reward of better service from better players in return. He could be approaching the 20 goal-a-season mark at Stamford Bridge.
More impatient or proud fans of Chelsea may not be enthused by the signing of a former Bristol Rovers and Macclesfield star but his meteoric rise is yet to hit its peak.
Lambert should be compared alongside Drogba, they are similar players and Drogba’s best years at Chelsea were in his thirties.
Both are big strong players and look to get on top of defenders by intimidating them. Ba is big and has tried to recreate the success but simply put, he isn’t clinical enough. Lambert’s perfect penalty record alone shows how clinical he can be.
Torres has fits and spurts of being predatory in front of goal but doesn’t have the presence that Drogba had. Eto’o, meanwhile, is neither here nor there.
There wouldn’t be a lot to lose for Chelsea by targeting Rickie Lambert and there could potentially be a Premier League title to gain.
West Ham have been linked with a transfer but he can aim a lot higher than the Hammers.
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