Sunday, 5 June 2011

Sensible Transfer Business Please !

By Sushant Sathe

    The transfer window does not open until next month on 1st July 2011 (though players can be signed before it), yet the rumor mills are attaining new levels of craziness and over-excited ness day by day.

    Literally every decent player in Europe, young or old, experienced –not experienced, over-priced- under-priced is being linked with our club. If we try to sign even one third of those it would easily cost us somewhere close to £200m. Yet these media don’t get their minds right.

    The amount of forwards linked makes me wonder, if it’s the only department that needs to be strengthened. The long lists of forwards linked with our club have some established names like Sergio Aguero, Edison Cavani, Carlos Tevez. Then some young but supremely talented like Neymar and Romelu Lukaku.

    Carlo have had enough problem to accommodate Drogba and Torres in the starting 11. Wonder what would happen to our next manager if so many forwards are dumped upon his shoulders and ordered to accommodate them in the squad.

    Polls are taken around various sites asking fans all over the globe, how many signings Chelsea actually need to become major force in England again. Questions also asked about which players would you like to see back off ???

    I have read many articles of some ex-players who now are football pundits with various news channels. Many believe, Chelsea are lacking a Right Back. They might have a point there, but what they don’t release is, if Chelsea do sign a Right Back, players like Branislav Ivanovic and Alex will have to be benched. Ajax’s star player Van Der Wiel being heavily linked with Chelsea but if he do comes, Chelsea’s back four will be made up of Van Der Wiel- Terry –Luiz and Ashley Cole. Alex and Ivanovic will have to be benched. Considering how good they have been for Chelsea for last couple of years, I don’t think they will accept the decision of the manger to put them on bench and use them as substitutes. It may also result in both of them asking for transfer after end of the upcoming season. So I don’t think we need a Right Back. Ivanovic has done well in that role. So Chelsea should forget about strengthening a Right Back position.

    The area which needs strengthening the most is Winger positions. Chelsea has been very narrow playing side since the departure of Arjen Robben who used to bombard down the flanks and create havoc in the opposition’s box with constant crosses and intelligent runs. Chelsea has lacked his kind of player. Florent Malouda and Saloman Kalou are not proper wide players though they are used in wide positions. Both have the tendency to go wide and then drift inside to build the attack. Hate to admit it but Manchester United are the perfect example of how to attack the oppositions. With great wide players like Nani, Valencia, the legendary Giggs at their disposal, they literally bombard the opposition boxes with great crosses which ultimately lead to goals. Chelsea needs to desperately buy an excellent Left Winger and a Right Winger who both can simultaneously bombard the opposition’s box. No doubt we are linked with players like Juan Mata and Shaktar Donestek’s Willian. Both can provide great width from either side which we have seriously lacked in last few years.

    And now coming to the Strikers department. Its quite clear that Chelsea now have to build the team around Fernando Torres; not Drogba. We still don’t know what future has in store for Drogba. He has being heavily linked with Galatarasay, then Tottenham and of course Real Madrid. A contract extension with Chelsea has also been mentioned. But it is absolutely clear that even if Didier stays for next season, it will be his last, so Chelsea have to enter into the market for a striker who would complement Torres.

    The Sergio Aguero story is getting a little annoying now. For last two summers he has been linked with us. This is the third summer since and yet he still is an Athletico Madrid player. I sincerely think he wont be coming to Chelsea. Santos’s Neymar story has also been dragging for quite a while now. But Santos’s asking price of £40m for a 19 year old talented yet unproven player might break down that transfer as well.

    Romelu Lukaku the Anderlecht starlet called as “NEXT DROGBA” is said to be on the verge of Chelsea transfer. So is Kevin Bruyne, 19 year old starlet of Anderlecht’s rival club Genk FC. Some sources in London indicating that Chelsea has agreed a £3.5m deal with Genk and official announcement could be made upcoming week.

    The next department we need to strengthen is the midfield of course. Our midfield has lacked creativity. The likes of Essien, Mikel are strong powerful players. But none of them are great dribblers of ball or one who could provide juicy passes to the forwards. Probably that the reason why Fernando Torres has struggled to find the goals at his new club since his £50m arrival from Liverpool. Also, now the time has arrived when Chelsea has to start thinking about the life after Frank Lampard. Chelsea need to buy a creative midfielder who in next couple of years will be a direct Frank Lampard replacement. But we have to buy him now so that for next couple of years he will get trained under Lampard and will also understand the system of way Chelsea play. Chelsea has been trying to sign that kind of player with latest revelations made by Palermo’s President Mario Zamparini stating that Chelsea had made an official bid for Javier Pastore which was rejected by the club as it fall way below their asking price. Pastore is ludicriously over-priced but we can have other alternatives like Lyon’s Miralem Pjanic or Napoli’s Marek Hamsik. Tottenham’s Luka Modric is also a great option but don’t know if Spurs will sell us because of local rivalry between the two clubs. The best option is Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. It would be an expensive option but I would rather like Chelsea paying £40m for Sneijder than paying similar amount for talented but unproven Javier Pastore.

    Now coming to the players whose time at the club is up are Henrique Hilario, Paulo Ferraira, Bosingwa, Florent Malouda and probably Nicolas Anelka. Its time to freshen up the squad and all the deadwood needs to be taken out to make way for the new wood.
Don’t get me wrong. I have tremendous respect for all these players and I acknowledge the contribution they have made for our club, but I think they should respectfully walk out of the club and make way for others to start a new successful era at Stamford Bridge.

    But the most important thing for the club is now to appoint a Manager as his opinions will also have to be taken before signing any players. As the situation currently stands, Guus Hiddink looks the overwhelming favorite to be installed as the new Chelsea manager. Whoever it is, it has to be now or at maximum till end of upcoming week, so that we can start building the squad for next season and for future as a whole.

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