Jose Mourinho must move now in the transfer market for Chelsea
Despite reportedly agreeing a loan deal to sign Monaco centre forward Radamel Falcao, who is recovering from a nasty knee injury, Chelsea, by contrast to this time last year, have been relatively quiet in the transfer market.
The Premier League champion have also just sold Petr Cech to Arsenal after the Czech asked to join in order to guarantee himself first team football.
Chelsea, 6/4 with Coral to retain the Premier League next campaign, are now reportedly lining up Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic as a more than adequate replacement, though it remains to be seen how much game time that he will get.
If the Blues are to once again challenge next season, they do need to upgrade their options. With Didier Drogba having left the club and Loic Remy linked with a move away, another striker will be a priority, even after having securing Falcao on a loan deal. They have previously inquired about West Ham’s Enner Valenica.
They also need more muscle and dynamism in midfield. While Nemanja Matic operates the defensive role of the two-man midfield pivot effortlessly, he needs an all-round box-to-box presence alongside him. Paul Pogba is the latest name to be linked, and he would be the perfect fit.
Juventus have put a £70m price tag on his head, however, they also want Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Oscar, who Mourinho could be prepared to let go, if it secures the signature of Pogba. This would mean that Cesc Fabregas, one of last summer’s arrivals can push forward to operate behind the centre forward, likely to be Diego Costa.
While Eden Hazard will undoubtedly keep his place on the left, it leaves the slot on the right open to interpretation. Since joining in January, Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado has failed to impress and could be given more time next term with opportunities from the substitutes bench.
There is also Willian, who has served the Blues well in his tenure so far, though it may mean that Mourinho brings someone in who can make the requisite impact that he is looking for. Quality right wingers these days, however, are a rare breed.
Once upon a time, that used to be the case with operators on the opposite flank. There are a couple who could do a job there though, including Hoffenheim’s Kevin Volland, who has impressed for Germany while at the Under-21 Championship. He also tracks back, which is a trait which Mourinho values in his players.
Or, if he wants someone who is tried and tested in the Premier League, Everton’s Kevin Mirallas is a proven performer, which would see the Blues playing with a Belgian on either wing, or failing that, Southampton’s Dusan Tadic has excelled since his move last summer and could be a great candidate.
At the back, John Stones has been linked with a move from Everton, though Mourinho could step up his previous pursuit of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, as he looks for the best option to eventually replace long-serving captain John Terry at Stamford Bridge.