Thomas Tuchel completely revamped the Chelsea side despite only coming in mid-season. After successfully taking the uphill journey to the top four, they made history by winning their second-ever Champions League title.
Tuchel is being hailed as one of the best managers in the league for his instant impact and his illustrious CV at all the clubs that he’s managed. But experts feel Chelsea still lacks that cutting edge in the final third that can make the difference in a 38-game long season.
Tuchel’s predecessor Frank Lampard placed his bets on Timo Werner to fill that void and give the team goals in abundance. He couldn’t live up to the expectations and despite winning the Champions League in his first season with Chelsea, he’s widely being considered a flop.
Two days without #Euro2020 action? We've got this.
Relive the 2021 Champions League Final and watch the match in full. 👇
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) June 30, 2021
The Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will want to make the most of FFP relaxations due to the covid situation and get his team the best players in that position to keep the momentum going. And there’s arguably not a hotter prospect on the transfer market than Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland.
The 20-year old lit up the Bundesliga with 49 goal contributions in 40 appearances last season. The Norwegian forward will cost the Chelsea blues a hefty sum in the range of what they received for Eden Hazard.
However, the issue is not only limited to money. Dortmund have recently sold their second-most looked-after forward Jadon Sancho to Manchester United and would want to refrain from giving up two major players in one window, even if it provides them with a good sum of cash.
There is one question revolving in the minds of Chelsea fans — If not Haaland then who?
So we, at FootTheBall, will analyse five potential forward options for the West London club that can do the job if they fail in the pursuit of Haaland.
5. CIRO IMMOBILE
The Italian forward from Lazio has been providing superhumanly numbers for a long time now. He was a key part of the Italy squad that lifted the Euro 2020 trophy and was one of their joint top scorers in the tournament.
In his last five seasons for Lazio, Immobile has scored and assisted 166 goals in 177 league appearances and can be the right mix of experience and finishing that Tuchel might need for a short term for a fee drastically lower than that of Haaland.
Timo Werner is also a young forward and might still prove people wrong after spending some more time in the English game, and buying another €100-150m striker might not be the smartest move at this stage.
👑 @ciroimmobile è il vostro MVP di #LazioBenevento!#CMonEagles 🦅 pic.twitter.com/QgHTU33cww
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) April 21, 2021
Immobile is not particularly a dominating figure in the box but can be a great poacher who drifts into open space between or behind the centre-backs to split open defences. Apart from his renowned finishing ability, the 31-year old also has a great knack for finding his teammates in dangerous positions and linking up with one-twos to create goalscoring chances. For a striker, he has a good amount of speed in him that can be helpful on counter-attacks too.
The player will cost Chelsea in the range of €30-35 million and will be a complete bargain if they pull it off, provided he still has at least three seasons in him.
4. RAUL JIMENEZ
Another viable option that can at least serve them in short term can be the recovered Mexican forward Raul Jimenez. Jimenez spent most of the last season out injured with a fractured skull and has only returned to full training this week. Once you remove the reservations regarding his fitness and once he becomes match-fit, he can fit in any Premier League team as their number nine or its backup.
The 30-year old can provide the required goals from the centre-forward position but is also capable of dropping deep and building up play for the team. His biggest advantage will be the Premier League experience that Werner and any other possible option might lack.
📅 One year on since #RaulSeQueda
Which was your favourite goal from Jimenez's first season at the club?
— Wolves (@Wolves) April 4, 2020
Presently at Wolves, Jimenez scored 30 goals in his first two seasons in the Premier League and won the Wolves Players’ Player of the Year award in the successive years before an injury forced him out. The Mexican forward is also an aerial threat in the box with his commanding presence and heading ability.
He is one of the best finishers in his price band and can be a good choice for Thomas Tuchel to provide the goals that they will need. He’s also a good passer of the ball and likes to lay off and set his teammates up as well, something Tuchel might be needed to properly execute his dynamic philosophy at Chelsea.
The Mexican will cost Chelsea around €35-40m but a good negotiation after his injury can even cut the price a bit more.
3. GERARD MORENO
The Spaniard got limelight this season with Villarreal and jumped to the Spain squad for Euro 2020, playing his first major international tournament. He made 30 goal contributions in La Liga and helped his side win their first trophy in its history by defeating Manchester United in the Europa League final.
Best forward in 2020/21 Europa League? ⚽️🤔
📺 All 7 of Gerard Moreno's goals in this season's competition @VillarrealCF | #UEL pic.twitter.com/GzzGxidKAt
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) June 3, 2021
A dynamic forward, Moreno can play all around the attacking line and even behind the striker. He can still make his mark with his brilliant work rate, speed, and hunger. This trait can be the x-factor that Tuchel might be looking for to help the team gegenpress its opponents. He’s also a brilliant poacher and finds himself in dangerous positions.
His passing and through balls add to his overall game. He can cut inside from wide areas and find shooting spaces in and around the box as well to hurt the opponents.
The 29-year old is not particularly tall to become a target-man but that won’t be a problem for Chelsea considering they prefer to attack the opponent from central zones more.
Villarreal might consider a price tag of €35-40 to sell their star man to the European Champions.
2. HARRY KANE
Kane is the best English forward by far and one of the most sought-after men in the football world after his post-season comments hinting towards a move away from his lifelong club Tottenham Hotspur. The 27-year old forward had one of his best individual seasons with 37 goal contributions in the Premier League in 35 appearances and also scored four goals in the knockouts of Euro 2020 for the national side.
For no particular reason…
🎥 5:17 of Harry Kane scoring goals at Wembley. pic.twitter.com/cpBLiY6Scy
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 10, 2021
Kane is undoubtedly a complete package of a striker who can help his team in many ways. Recently, a new dimension has been added to his game by dropping deep and drawing defenders out of position. He then gets on the ball and sets up one of his pacy teammates with a through pass and set him through on goal. He registered 14 assists (1st) in the league with this technique while also winning the golden boot with 23 goals.
Kane is a force to reckon with in the box and a key figure while attacking and defending set-pieces with his brilliant heading ability. Many teams like Manchester City, PSG among others are chasing the England captain who is still under contract with Spurs.
Despite all his talent and skillset, Kane is yet to win a major trophy in his senior career and is on the lookout for clubs that can fulfil his potential. He can turn out to be a great long-term prospect for Chelsea being still in his prime with age still on his hand.
Kane will cost in the region €100-120 million but Tottenham will be reluctant in selling to a direct rival that too from London itself.
1. ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
It’s a bit far-fetching but if Chelsea can manage to broker a deal for the Polish captain from Bayern Munich it can send shockwaves across the Premier League. He is one of the most prolific goalscorers across the globe and has the ability to turn games on his own. He scored a total of 75 goals in the last two seasons and won the European golden boot this season for his 41. He is one of the biggest contenders for this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Bayern Munich are looking to sign a replacement for 32-year-old Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who may be interested in moving to another club next summer. Referring to the BBC, Lewandowski is still thinking and dreaming of joining Real Madrid even at the end of his career. pic.twitter.com/a91zfxe5oE
— Mighty Tips (@MightyTips) July 14, 2021
Arguably the most complete striker in the world, Lewandowski can finish with either foot, score headed goals, dribble past opponents and strike from long range. However difficult it may sound to steal Bayern’s best player, nothing is impossible in football and his 32-year old age might make Bayern look for opportunities.
Lewandowski couldn’t perform well at the Euros this year and saw his side crash out in the group stage, but one still can’t doubt his capabilities. Tuchel has managed in Germany before and very well knows the impact Lewandowski can have on any team in the world. A possible union between the two can rip the Premier League apart and bring back the dominating era of the mid-2000s.
FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY: Robert Lewandowski did the unthinkable and scored FIVE goals in just 9 minutes against Wolfsburg! 🖐
Absolutely OBSCENE. 🔥🔥🔥
📹 @Bundesliga_EN pic.twitter.com/xcwKFXUNpw
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) September 22, 2020
Bayern will want to milk the most out of his transfer and wouldn’t accept anything under €80-100 million.