Top Nine Stricker’s Chelsea Could Sign In The January Transfer Window
Administrator Dec 15, 2023 at 06:26 PM 0 0 410
Top Nine Stricker’s Chelsea Could Sign In The January Transfer Window
The Blues continue to face a significant need for a highly effective goal-scorer in their forward line, and it wouldn't be unexpected to witness them making substantial investments to secure one in the new year.
It's an open secret in football that Chelsea is actively seeking a new, ideally prolific striker at the earliest opportunity. The club, having overlooked the chance during the summer transfer window, is now gearing up for the upcoming January window to address their pressing need for an elite frontman. Traditionally, the mid-season transfer window is marked by caution and a reluctance to disrupt squad dynamics, but in 2023, Chelsea defied these norms, making seven permanent signings totaling over £320 million ($405 million) and securing Joao Felix on loan.
Given this recent history, it wouldn't be surprising if Chelsea's owners once again dig deep into their seemingly limitless funds. Head coach Mauricio Pochettino reportedly desires three reinforcements, with a striker being a top priority. As the January transfer window approaches, the question remains: who could realistically be signed to fill this crucial role for the Blues?
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
The idea of splurging on a record fee during the January transfer window might typically seem implausible, but Chelsea's unprecedented spending spree in the winter of 2023 suggests that anticipating the unexpected is now the norm. Osimhen appears to be the top candidate on the Blues' shortlist, and they are reportedly ready to once again break the bank to secure his services, whether immediately or in the summer.
The deteriorating relationship between the Nigerian striker and Napoli, amid a contract standoff, could work in Chelsea's favor. However, caution is advised. Osimhen is not the same prolific frontman who led his team to the Scudetto in 2022-23. Injuries, off-field issues, a decline in form from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, and managerial mismatches have all contributed to his altered performance.
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
If Chelsea is in search of a proven Premier League goal-scorer in the mold of Didier Drogba and Diego Costa, Ivan Toney stands out as an excellent choice. Since Brentford's promotion in 2021, Toney has excelled and appeared poised for his best season yet, having reached the 20-goal milestone in the previous campaign.
However, his last seven months have been marked by a significant absence due to severe penalties for betting breaches in May. The 27-year-old has not participated in competitive matches since then and wasn't even permitted to train with his club until September. His return is scheduled for mid-January, with additional time needed to regain match sharpness.
Despite Toney's established Premier League credentials, investing over £60 million ($75 million) in a player who has been sidelined for an extended period poses a considerable risk, especially for Chelsea, who cannot afford another unsuccessful transfer.
Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord)
Emerging as a wildcard option, Gimenez has been showcasing an impressive goal-scoring prowess in the Eredivisie, notching memorable performances like a pair of hat-tricks against Ajax and Excelsior. Approaching the midpoint of the season, he boasts an impressive tally of 20 goals in 19 games.
Notably, Chelsea, ever watchful, has turned its attention to the Mexican striker as a potential alternative if other choices, such as Osimhen, prove financially prohibitive. There's always a degree of risk associated with signing players excelling outside Europe's top-five leagues, as some have struggled to replicate their form from the Netherlands in the Premier League. However, with a relatively modest price tag of £35 million ($44 million) excluding add-ons, Gimenez could present a calculated mid-season gamble that might be worth considering.
Viktor Gyokeres (Sporting CP)
Brighton is known for making savvy decisions in the transfer window, but the sale of Gyokeres to Coventry in 2021 might be one they come to regret. After two highly successful seasons in the Championship, the Swedish striker has now moved to Sporting CP, where he has impressively scored 13 goals in 18 games across all competitions. Despite his role as a striker, Gyokeres has also contributed seven assists.
Acknowledging a desire to enhance the overall height of his squad, Pochettino has expressed interest in the 6'2" Gyokeres as a potential fit. Although he is the latest name linked with Chelsea, the presence of an £87 million ($109 million) release clause is likely to pose a significant obstacle, especially considering his recent move to Portugal.
Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)
Despite expressing a desire to remain in Turin, Vlahovic became a focal point in Chelsea's attempts to part ways with Romelu Lukaku during the summer, with negotiations exploring the possibility of an unlikely swap deal. Juventus openly stated their willingness to engage in a deal if their valuation was met to balance the books, but the exchange faltered due to the Bianconeri's asking price being double what Chelsea was willing to pay.
Whether Chelsea still holds an interest in Vlahovic remains uncertain. Despite Juventus's overall improvement this season, the Serbian striker hasn't been particularly prolific, scoring only once in his last nine games. Reports from the summer suggested Pochettino had reservations about his suitability for the team.
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
With Ollie Watkins currently enjoying the pinnacle of his career and Aston Villa soaring, orchestrating a deal for him would be an exceptionally challenging endeavor. Nevertheless, Chelsea, known for their shrewd negotiating tactics, might bank on the possibility of the England international taking a gamble on long-term success at Stamford Bridge. The 27-year-old has seamlessly carried over his outstanding form from the previous season into the current one, boasting 21 goal involvements in 23 games and a proven track record in the Premier League. The debate lingers on whether Chelsea would be willing to invest significantly in a player who may not be classified as an 'elite' striker.
Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig)
Chelsea has consistently been linked with towering striker Sesko, among other top European clubs. Despite choosing to remain within the Red Bull group by joining Leipzig from Salzburg in the summer, the 20-year-old has struggled to secure a starting role, settling for brief appearances off the bench. Chelsea may seize the opportunity to lure Sesko away with the promise of regular playing time, and given his youth, he could offer a solution both in the present and future.
Serhou Guirassy (Stuttgart)
Emerging as one of Europe's deadliest marksmen this season, Guirassy is spearheading Stuttgart's surprising Champions League pursuit in the Bundesliga, trailing only behind Harry Kane in the scoring charts. The Guinean striker has consistently been a reliable goal-scorer, but this season, he has elevated his game with an impressive tally of 18 goals in just 14 appearances in all competitions. Despite rejecting a move to Chelsea in 2020, the Blues may view him as a lower priority this time around, considering past Bundesliga transfer setbacks and competition from Manchester United, despite his attractive cut-price of €20 million (£17 million/$22 million).
Jonas Wind (Wolfsburg)
A wildcard option, Jonas Wind has adapted well to the challenges of the Bundesliga after a somewhat indifferent first full season with Wolfsburg. While his recent form has slowed down in a struggling team, the 24-year-old Dane commenced the season with seven goals in six Bundesliga games and has accumulated a total of 10 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions as the season approaches its midpoint. Although not categorized as an elite striker, Wind, at 24, aligns with Chelsea's under-25 policy and, standing at 6'2", brings the height desired by Pochettino. With Nkunku nearing his return from injury, Wind could represent an ideal, cost-effective, and low-risk alternative, mindful of Financial Fair Play considerations.