Huge boost for Tuchel as Chelsea could sign their own Edison Cavani
Rumours have been suggesting that Thomas Tuchel wants to find a backup striker to Romelu Lukaku in January. Here are three potential solutions that Chelsea could look at the provide that added bit of quality.
As is always the case, strength and depth are the driving forces behind sustainable success. Couple this with the elite managerial ability and you have the perfect recipe for challenging domestically and internationally for every possible trophy.
This has been the way Chelsea have opted to do things over the past two decades, but the key to that has always been a collection of squad players who, when selected, can provide that cutting edge to push the side over the line. This often coalesces in the form of a second striker who can come off the bench with an instant impact.
Olivier Giroud most recently was that player for Chelsea. Not only was he, and continues to be, clinical in front of goal, but stylistically his qualities allowed Chelsea to switch stance and play a more direct style of football.
However, the list of second strikers at Chelsea in the last fifteen years has been remarkable. Demba Ba, Loic Remy, Samuel Eto’o, Michy Batshuayi, and to some extent Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka too. These players have been catalytic in Chelsea’s long term success with almost every player in this list owning a major moment in a Chelsea season.
Yet, with the sale of Olivier Giroud to Serie A leaders AC Milan, Chelsea are left without a player in what is clearly a key role in the side. Kai Havertz, whilst being an exceptionally talented young player, is yet to find consistent form in front of goal. Romelu Lukaku will occupy the central striker role, but when he is missing due to injury or Chelsea need to rotate, a quality second striker is needed.
Manchester United are the envy of the Premier League when it comes to this position. Edinson Cavani is without doubt the most perfect second striker in the league. A player who understands his role in the side is to not always start, but conceivably quite easily could. His finishing is simply extraordinary and he is a focal point for a changing dynamic when he enters the pitch.
Thomas Tuchel, Marina Granovskaia, and Chelsea need to find their own Edinson Cavani in order to sustain an assault on every competition and to reduce the burden on Romelu Lukaku. Also, competition for places is healthy and might provide Lukaku with a bit of pressure that could see his performances return to their peak.
Duvan Zapata has been truly exceptional for Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta since joining the club in 2018. The Colombian international has registered a staggering 109 G/A’s in 143 games for the La Dea, and at 30 years of age, is not slowing down. Zapata already has 12 G/A’s in 13 appearances so far this season.
Standing at 6’2ft with an ability to act as both the creator and goal scorer, Zapata’s profile seems to tick all the boxes. If he were to make a switch to Chelsea, it would be under the assumption that he would not be a guaranteed starter, but would provide ample competition for Lukaku and would hugely benefit the team when on the pitch.
However, being a regular starter for an exciting Atalanta team that often feature in the Champions League, it might be tricky to convince Duvan Zapata to leave North Italy for West London.
Wout Weghorst has been one of the most underrated strikers in Europe over the last two seasons. His consistently excellent performances for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga have seen him be welcomed into the Dutch national team, and he was central to Wolfsburg’s Champions League qualification last season.
The 29-year-old Dutch striker joined Wolfsburg following a productive stint at AZ Alkmaar where he managed to rack up an impressive 58 G/A’s in 86 appearances. This form has continued at the Volkswagen Arena, where he has 89 G/A’s in 132 games.
Standing at close to 6’5ft, the physicality of the Premier League would not be of concern. Additionally, Wolfsburg is in somewhat of a crisis at current, and a move to the European Champions could be an enticing prospect. Despite his importance to his team, his age profile and Wolfsburg’s need to generate some income post-pandemic could see Chelsea pick him up for a fairly decent price.