The Transfer Window Closes Soon: What are Chelsea’s Striker Options?

Edinson Cavani - Chelsea Target?With the loan of Lukaku to West Brom and reports heating up over Edinson Cavani, it’s time to look at Chelsea’s current striking options as well as their targets during this summer’s transfer window.

Current Players

Fernando Torres

Strengths: Torres fits into the system RdM is trying to implement. If played correctly, Torres is a world-class striker of unmatched talent. He’s the unquestioned #1 going into the start of the season and he provides tricks, skills and a work rate that are hard to find among other strikers. At his very best Torres is completely unplayable.

Weaknesses: He’s inconsistent. We haven’t seen Torres at his best for whatever reason and he can be hard to watch at times. He will miss chances and give the ball away. He tries to do too much at times. Until he completely proves that he can perform week in and week out for Chelsea, he is not 100% reliable as our #1.

Daniel Sturridge

Strengths: The guy has an incredible left foot. Some of our best goals last season were from Sturridge’s impressive shooting ability. His right foot has even proven to be useful. He’s fast and tall, a prototypical striker with an all-around solid attacking ability. A highly useful set of skills.

Weaknesses: He’s extraordinarily selfish. Like Torres, he tries to do too much by himself and that often leads to careless mistakes and missed chances for players around him. When he does decide to pass, it’s usually pretty poor. He’s one of the weaker passers on our team. He’s versatile but he only wants to play one position. Some might argue that he’s driven by personal glory rather than team glory.

Lucas Piazon

Strengths: Piazon, Chelsea’s Young Player of the Season last year, is a phenomenal talent. He cost as much as Cahill with incentives possibly increasing the amount we pay. The guy is tricky and highly skillful. Great things happen when Piazon is on the ball and he is an excellent passer with great vision. He clearly has an eye for goal and his best attribute is his ability to step up and perform in games that matter most.

Weaknesses: He’s completely inexperienced at the top level. While he’s a great passer he does have a tendency to keep the ball at his feet for far too long. The biggest issue is that he’s not really a natural striker. He’s probably best suited in a second striker role but he spent most of his time last season playing on the left wing. He’s probably our most versatile reserve player but he’s not a true #9.

Patrick Bamford, Islam Feruz and Alex Kiwomya are all still to inexperienced and young to even have an opportunity at this point. Romelu Lukaku and Jhon Pirez were already sent on loans.

Transfer Targets

Hulk

Strengths: Despite what people think they know about him, his actual strengths are his speed, dribbling and crossing. In other words, he’s a true winger. There’s no questioning his ability to put a foot through the ball and his eye for goal. He is a goal threat whenever he touches the ball and he’s a workhorse.

Weaknesses: HE’S NOT A STRIKER. I’ve read a million reports this window calling him a striker but he rarely plays as a striker for Brazil or Porto. He’s most comfortable on the wing. His defense is suspect and he is not really the aerial threat we’d want from a striker. His passing is just okay and he does not always perform. If you really want to know who Hulk is like, think of a bulkier modern-day Robben. He can be brilliant but he can also fire the ball into the stands twenty times in a game. He also goes down extremely easily for a guy his size.

Andre Schurrle

Strengths: The first thing that will catch your eye is his lightning fast first step. It is on par with some of the best in the world. He is quite pacey with good dribbling ability and he won’t go down easily. He’s got a great left foot, making him almost two footed. He has a great work rate at both ends of the pitch. His best quality might be his shooting. Very clinical.

Weaknesses: He’s not a great passer or crosser. You’re also not going to get a lot out of him defensively. He’ll track back but it will be almost as bad as Mata. He’s also not much of an aerial threat and his stamina will not give you a full 90 minutes twice a week. He too is also a natural winger rather than striker.

Edinson Cavani

Strengths: The most deadly player on this list. He gives meaning to the word clinical. He can score every which way possible. Left foot, right foot, head, inside/outside the box, poaching, free kicks, he’s done it. Despite running out of energy against Chelsea, he’s usually tireless. He will run at both ends for 90 minutes. He also has almost every skill a well-rounded striker needs. His goal ratio speaks for itself (33/47 in both years at Napoli).

Weaknesses: While he does work hard on the defensive end, he’s not very good at it. He isn’t strong at defending set pieces and he won’t intercept any passes or make good tackles. His passing ability is not terrific and he isn’t an ideal crosser. His strength is also not world class.

Victor Moses

Strengths: The most important thing about Moses is that RdM wants him and not the board or Abramovich. He is the missing piece to RdM’s puzzle that he is desperately trying to acquire. He is versatile and can play striker. His abilities aren’t exceptional. He’s above average when it comes to acceleration and pace as well as dribbling ability. He does own a nice bag of tricks as well as the great ability to use both feet almost equally.

Weaknesses: He also doesn’t play a lot of striker. Most of his skills are not on par with Chelsea. His crossing, passing, shooting, stamina and defense are all very average. He doesn’t get back a lot on defense, something that’s understandable because that’s his worst trait. There has to be something scouts and pundits don’t see that RdM does. On paper, he’s nothing special.

Fernando Llorente

Strengths: Llorente is a giant. 6’4″ actually. He’s also very strong and an incredible pain to deal with from set pieces. It goes without saying that he can dominate with his head and is one of the best headers in all of Spain (in all fairness, not a lot of 6ft+ players in Spain). He is surprisingly solid with his feet. He maintains good control and great shooting/volleying ability.

Weaknesses: He’s very much like Peter Crouch. He will never win any sprint contests as his speed might be on par with John Terry…..maybe even worse. He will not defend whatsoever and he’s lazy in attack. He stays inside the box and waits for the game to come to him. He’s not a great passer and doesn’t pass often. He rarely plays for Spain because his style of play clashes with their attack. His style of play might have suited a Mourinho-style Chelsea but he is the worst fit on this list for our system.

To sum things up, it looks like Chelsea are exploring many different options when it comes to a potential striker. These players all seem to have very different playing styles. I myself am very impressed with Cavani and a cut-price deal of potentially £20M (with Meireles) sounds like a steal to me. The main issue I have is that his presence might continue to make Torres struggle. Issues about his potential wages have also been brought up and that could be a stumbling block.

Once again, another player might come out of nowhere and become a target. RdM might even decide to risk it with just two strikers and bring in Bamford or Feruz if he desperately needs reinforcements. The seconds are ticking until the window closes.

Image Credit: Total Football Madness

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