The Striker Problem At Chelsea This Summer

The striker position at Chelsea will be undergoing monumental changes over the coming summer. Tammy Abraham has been linked with moves away ever since his playing time diminished at the end of the season and Giroud is constantly being approached by AC Milan about a potential deal. If the two of these strikers were to leave, it would leave the striker position relatively empty heading into the 2021/22 season. The Haaland news has dried up as of late as Achraf Hakimi has become the main focus for the Blues. With the lack of world class strikers available on the market this summer and the Haaland deal looking more and more unlikely by the day, Chelsea could be in big trouble heading into a new season with not much back up for Havertz and Werner.

The departure of Giroud and Abraham will leave a big hole in Chelsea fans hearts and in the Chelsea squad. With Giroud about to leave for a small fee (or no fee at all) and the Mirror reporting that Aston Villa are ready to place a bid for Tammy Abraham, we will be left with just a few months to secure one or two replacements for the striker position. Havertz has filled in expertly at the striker position, but a looming possibility of a formation change for Tuchel’s Blues questions whether Havertz will stay as an option up front. Kai could be moved to an attacking midfield role, worryingly leaving just Timo Werner as the only striker option in the Chelsea squad.

The lack of options at striker for Chelsea for the coming season worries me a lot. If Werner cannot discover his goal scoring form of his Lepizig days, we could be in for a low scoring season as a team. The only factor Tuchel can be criticised for so far around his tenure at Chelsea is the lack of goals being scored. Even with around four choices for the striker position, the goals were very low and taking away two of our options from the number nine spot can’t help. A solid backup striker is a staple in a team contending for the League title and if things don’t go our way this summer we could be stuck with very little options. Having different options at striker also helps if there is injury trouble throughout the campaign.

In an era where Chelsea are constantly linked with every striker under the sun during the summer transfer window, this time there is only a handful of names that have come up in regards to suitable striking options. The names that Chelsea fans have become used to hearing about in the last month or so are Erling Haaland, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane.

A few months ago, the optimism for securing at least one of these world class strikers was through the roof and now with each passing day these three become even harder to sign. Lukaku is completely out the picture as he has confirmed his pleasure to stay at Inter Milan. Harry Kane looks destined for Manchester City and the Chelsea links for him have completely dried up since earlier this month. Somehow, one of the hottest prospects in football with the likes of Real Madrid chasing after him seems to be the most likely forward that we could sign this summer. An astronomical fee will be required to secure Haaland, with various trusted sources claiming it could be upwards of £150m to bring the Norwegian in. Apparently the fee could be the least of our worries, as the wage demands are deemed as the biggest issue in the way of a deal happening. No other solid reports of strikers are surfacing from trusted sources and it looks like a world class striker coming to Stamford Bridge this summer is becoming more and more unlikely.

Euro 2020 also effects our chances of signing a striker as negotiations will be harder to complete whilst players are focused on the competition. Any striker at the Euros will be difficult to sign as players will want to be involved in their future. The Euros end on Sunday 11th July and the Premier League transfer window closes on Tuesday August 31st at 11pm. 51 Days to bring in a replacement striker. The Kai Havertz saga last summer felt like it took forever and I can only imagine the time needed to sort out a deal for Haaland who will be at least double his fee. If Chelsea cannot acquire any of the three names mentioned, maybe it is time to look somewhere else, the loan army.

The loan army does contain suitable Premier League strikers and the pre-season period will be extremely important for Thomas Tuchel deciding who to keep in the first team setup. The three loan army members of note that occupy the striker position are Michy Batshuayi, Ike Ugbo and Armando Broja. Chelsea are reportedly working hard to sell Ugbo and Batshuayi, however Broja is currently in talks for a new contract. Leeds were in hot pursuit of Michy but the £15m asking price from the Blues has seen them cool down their chase for the Belgian. The asking price set for Batshuayi seems to be too high for most clubs at the moment, however reports are claiming Bielsa is interested in the 27-year-old as he managed him at Marseille in 2014. Ugbo is coming off of an exceptional loan spell at Cercle Brugge where he bagged 16 goals and three teams are supposedly interested in signing the Englishman. Watford, Frankfurt and Genk are currently battling it out for Ike and it looks like Chelsea are ready to let him go for a small fee. With two of the three loan army strikers gone, it leaves the 19-year-old Albanian Armando Broja.

Sky have reported that Thomas Tuchel is considering including Broja in his Premier League squad for the upcoming season. With good reason comes this thought from Tuchel as Broja helped Vitesse achieving a fourth place finish in the Eredivisie and a KNVB Cup Final visit. The 19-year-old scored 11 goals and got 3 assists in 34 games. These numbers for a first loan are quite good and the standard of the Eredivisie is higher than a lot of people realise. Frank Lampard first introduced Broja to senior football against Everton on the 8th March 2020 and Tuchel has seemingly continued the interest in the Albanian forward. Bringing Broja into the Premier League squad would likely cause a lot of contrasting views from different sections of supporters. Some fans may feel that Broja is too raw at this moment in time and needs another loan to really earn his place in the squad. However, some other types of fans may think that it is worth utilising Broja and his skills rather than splashing the outrageous amounts of cash needed to bring in the likes of Haaland and Kane. My thoughts are that Tuchel should be able to assess Broja in friendlies and in training to judge if he is ready for English football at the highest level. Armando could cause a lot of teams trouble with his lanky frame and eye for goal. Above you can see a perfect example of Broja’s bread and butter. Explosiveness, pace and finishing.

Written by Frankie

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