Conte’s continuing dilemna- What striker to buy?
Posted by Daniele Accurso | Published on July 24, 2016
After the signings of N’Golo Kante for £32 million and Michy Batshuayi for £33 million, Antonio Conte looks set to to bolster his squad with one more mega signing. With the blues looking set to play a 4-4-2 or a variation on that, Chelsea played a 4-2-4 in their second pre-season friendly, Conte wants to buy another forward to add to his list of star studded strikers.
Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi will head the attack at present, with Loic Remy and Bertrand Traore set to be on the bench. However, Conte wants to add another striker to partner Costa upfront instead of Batshuayi, with PSG man Edinson Cavani the prime target. Cavani will head the Parisians attacking line up this season alongside Ben Arfa but the lure of Chelsea may turn his head. PSG have welcomed talks in previous seasons, with Arsenal being linked with him several times in the past few windows, so there’s a good chance of the Uruguayan leaving PSG. Cavani and Costa upfront would bully defenders and is the cheapest of the three options on Conte’s shortlist. At the age of 29, valued at £42 million, that money could be spent on an up and coming player and should be in my opinion. His style is similar to that of Costa and at 29 years old, Chelsea need young players and look to the future instead of a short term fix.
The second option for Antonio Conte is in the form of Spaniard Alvaro Morata. Having been bought back by Real Madrid with the Spanish club looking to sell him on immediately, Morata is being linked with several clubs across Europe. Having performed for Juventus adequately, with their run to the Champions League final in 2015 down to Morata’s brilliance in the competition, this may attract Conte who’ll look to bring Chelsea back in the competition next season. At £50 million however, this price tag for a man who was pushed aside by Paulo Dybala last season may be a deterrent but the combination of Costa and Morata, the two Spaniards, could prove substantial in keeping Costa at the club. Morata’s record is respectable, with 50 goals and 30 assists in his entire club playing career spanning 163 games whilst having netted 6 times in 13 caps for Spain. Goals in Serie A, La Liga, the Champions League and the Euros show that Morata’s game can adapt to the pace and style of the English league.
Finally the third and most expensive option is that of ex Chelsea man Romelu Lukaku. It seems to be a summer of players arriving back at old clubs for huge fee’s; Pogba’s ongoing saga the main headline. Lukaku seems to be following a similar pattern to that of the Frenchman. Romelu wants champions League football and at the age of 23, he has matured in the league having played in it for 3 years straight now. The Belgian has netted 60 times in the Barclays Premier League in 119 games, and could prove a huge addition to Chelsea’s strike force. Not only would they buy a great striker, but they’ll be stopping a fellow English clubs buying him. However having had his time at the club before, some feel it’s time to move on and just cut ties with the Belgian man mountain, and is one I agree with. He is a similar player to Costa and valued at £60 million, that money could be spent more wisely elsewhere, mainly at the back or the centre of midfield. At a similar age to fellow signing Michy Batshuayi, he’ll be hampering Michy’s progression as Lukaku would be a starter alongside Diego Costa. Lukaku keeps Batshuayi out of the Belgium team so his arrival would be a nightmare scenario to his fellow countrymen. More importantly as mentioned above, his style is similar to Costa’s, picking the ball up from deep and running at defences which could cause Chelsea’s attack to stagnate at times next season. Batshuayi’s pace on the other hand provides a different option and would suit Chelsea, with Costa being the target man whilst Michy runs in behind, a role Lukaku may not be suited for.
As it seems, all three targets have pros and cons associated with them and in my opinion, Conte should stay clear of them. Morata is the only one I would personally go with as he’s younger than Cavani and has a different style to that of Lukaku, Cavani and Diego Costa. Chelsea have Batshuayi who I rate highly but if there was a striker who I would go for, it would be Carlos Bacca. At 29, he is an older option but has alerted the services of both Napoli and West Ham and would be cheaper than the other three at around £30 million. I mention Bacca for the sheer fact that it would allow Batshuayi to start and provides a ready made back up. Traore still lacks experience whilst Bacca is an overall better player than Remy. His recent stats show he is a goal machine who would benefit Chelsea’s squad. 18 goals in 36 games for AC Milan and 34 in 58 for Sevilla in Serie A and La Liga respectively show he has an eye for goal. With strikers costing so much nowadays, I think Chelsea should wait another season till splashing out big on a striker. The four strikers at the club right now; Costa, Batshuayi, Traore and Remy are good enough to achieve a top 4 finish and with no European competitions, it’s not like Chelsea need a huge squad this year. For now, stick with those four and Conte will still have an abundance of talent at his disposal and should be able to guide the blues to a top 4 finish! #ForzaConte