Chelsea pursuing a move for West Ham attacker Enner Valencia
After reportedly agreeing a fee for Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado, Chelsea, 7/1 with Coral to win the Champions League, are set to make a move for West Ham United forward Enner Valencia, with Jose Mourinho having said to have tabled a £21m bid.
The Ecuador international only made a move to the Hammers last summer off the back of an impressive World Cup campaign, and has been an integral part of the east London side’s remarkable rise up the league.
Although the 25-year-old only has four goals and assists each in 23 appearances across all competitions this season, he is still learning the ways of the Premier League.
Compared to other players, who struggle to adapt to the speed of English football, this doesn’t seem to be Valencia’s problem; he has pace to burn. However, he may be of more use playing on the counter-attack; tactics that Ecuador applied to good effect in Brazil.
Mourinho has no doubt recognised this. With Eden Hazard and Willian, plus Cuadrado if the deal goes through, Chelsea will be a genuine threat breaking at speed, a style of play that Valencia will feel at home with.
Under Sam Allardyce, West Ham have adopted a more aesthetic approach this term, with an emphasis on pass and move in the opposition half, meaning Valencia is often surrounded when he receives the ball.
As the Blues still chase silverware on three fronts, Valencia, who is relatively versatile (he is able to play from wide or through the middle), could be a useful addition to the squad.
Currently the west London club boast Diego Costa, Didier Drogba and Loic Remy as their strikeforce, though Mourinho will be wary of overuse, in what tends to be a long hard season. Ivorian legend Drogba is also thought to be retiring at the end of this season when he will reportedly take up a coaching role.
If Valencia moves, he may become Chelsea’s second signing of the winter window, with Cuadrado expected at Stamford Bridge for a medical imminently.