With Chelsea set to serve a two-window transfer ban, we look at the overall striker situation at the club and how it will affect our chances at silverware this season.
Ever since Didier Drogba left Chelsea, there has been a void at the centre- forward position that the club, over all these years has somehow been unable to fill. Also, with the announcement of club legend Frank Lampard as the new manager looking more likely with each passing day, we look at how he can manage the striker situation at the club given the fact that he won’t have the funds to buy players for the next two transfer windows.
Chelsea and stability is something that doesn’t go hand in hand. Various managerial sackings, reports of players’ revolt, panic buys, and what not! Now with Maurizio Sarri having departed for Juventus and Frank Lampard set to take over reigns at one of the most challenging times for the club, he will have his hands full right from the beginning, and his biggest headache will probably be the current striker situation at the club.
With Alvaro Morata making his stand clear that he doesn’t desire a return back to the Stamford Bridge and would like his loan spell at Atletico Madrid to be made permanent, could very well complicate things. With Gonzalo Higuain also leaving the club after Chelsea refused to make his loan spell permanent, Morata is one of the few recognised strikers present in the squad after Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi.
Last season, one of the biggest concerns surrounding the squad were our over-reliance on Eden Hazard in the final third of the season. The finishing was an issue in almost every game. Eden Hazard finished the season as the highest scorer for Chelsea with 16 goals. The distant next was Pedro with just eight goals to his tally. Even in the assists tally, Hazard contributed the most with 15 assists followed next by Willian with only 6. These are alarming stats considering the fact the Hazard is already off to Real Madrid this summer. Forwards have a history of finding things difficult at Chelsea with Drogba being a rare exception.
Eden Hazard 2018-19 | Dribbling Skills & Goals
Shevchenko, Torres, Sturridge, Morata, Batshuayi have all struggled. Yes, Diego Costa was an ideal replacement, but his attitude and desire were always in question. His countless arguments with the managers- be it Jose Mourinho or Antonio Conte, created unrest in the dressing room which brought disastrous results for the team. He is an unbelievable player in front of the goal and bullied defenders with ease on his day but let’s be honest; he was never the guy who would carry forward Drogba’s legacy for years to come.
His temperament and desire to play for the club was then questioned by Antonio Conte who subsequently showed him the exit door in a rather unceremonious manner which eventually led to his relationship also getting strained with the club hierarchy as well.
Morata was the big signing of the 2017 summer with Chelsea splashing a then club record 60 million pounds on him. He took the premier league by storm initially but started fading away after injuries took a toll on him. Giroud was subsequently bought in to fill the role of a target man up front which Morata had failed to do so. Giroud is a world cup winner, and his link-up play is one of the finest in the game, but he is not a striker who can carry a club like Chelsea to major silverware.
Michy Batshuayi was a young and dynamic prospect when he joined the club three years ago, but he was never really given a chance by any of the managers to prove his worth. He was reduced to making substitute appearances or starting berths in only cup competitions. His loan spell at Dortmund proved to be a successful one, but the subsequent outings at Valencia and then Crystal Palace also highlighted his vulnerabilities.
All Michy Batshuayi’s Bundesliga Goals
But one player who would be thrilled in particular will be Tammy Abraham. One of the brightest talents to have come from the Chelsea academy, he has proven himself to be a potent goal scorer in the Championship – first with Bristol City where he scored 23 goals in 41 appearances and then with Aston Villa in the previous where he was instrumental in helping them secure the promotion to the Premier League by notching an impressive tally of 25 goals in 37 games.
Although his Premier League loan spell at Swansea wasn’t a fruitful one, he is someone who will continue to improve with age. Given the fact that Chelsea have to bank on the current squad and with Morata pushing for a move to Atletico, not just Tammy Abraham, but all the young academy graduates will consider this as a golden opportunity for them to shine on the biggest stage.
Tammy Abraham – All 26 Goals For Aston Villa – 2018/19
One can argue that not much should be expected of Chelsea this season in terms of competing for silverware. However, one thing is certain that these are also exciting times for the club who are looking for stability in Frank Lampard and his reputation of getting the best out of the young players, for which Chelsea have never been known for.
As for the striker situation is concerned, Lampard has a huge task in hand in handling this, and we may see a lot of surprises throughout the season since we will be competing on all four fronts. And with realistic targets for our players and our incoming manager, maybe this current situation of ours may indeed prove to be a blessing in disguise. Till then, keep cheering, keep supporting. KTBFFH!!
In other Chelsea news, Chelsea legend Gary Cahill says goodbye to the fans.