With Jose Mourinho having been back in charge at Stamford Bridge for a year now, expectations amongst Chelsea fans and Betfair punters alike will be high that 2014/15 will make up for last season’s failure to deliver any silverware.
With a number of high profile departures already announced and several more seeming likely over the coming months, Mourinho will have some real work to do to ensure that his squad is able to compete next season. Below are five signings that could make a significant difference.
First, with the departure of Frank Lampard, Mourinho must look to strengthen in midfield. As well as the goals that Lampard brought to the team, his experience will also be missed and his reliability in playing the right pass at the right time. Former Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas could go some way to filling the hole left by Lampard, he may only be 27, but the Barcelona midfielder has been playing at the highest level for 10 years and he has vast experience of playing in successful domestic and international sides.
If Fabregas could begin to replace Lampard’s experience then his goal threat could be replicated by Everton’s Ross Barkley. The 20-year-old England man scored 6 goals in his breakthrough season for Everton with is creativity earning comparisons with a young Paul Gascoigne. As well as flair, Barkley also boasts great strength and an ability to play ‘box to box’ in a style reminiscent of Lampard. Barkley may not be the finished article yet, but Mourinho could be just the man to make him a star at Chelsea.
With Ashley Cole looking likely to leave Stamford Bridge and Branislav Ivanovic reportedly eyeing the exit, Mourinho must act quickly to strengthen his defence. Having seen the success that Gary Cahill has become at Chelsea, Mourinho should take note and look to bring in young English talent with Premier League experience. Two players who could make a real difference at Chelsea are Luke Shaw whose Southampton form earned him a call up to England’s World Cup squad and Steven Caulker who was outstanding in Cardiff City’s efforts to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Lastly, Mourinho must look to bring in a world-class, proven striker. With none of the club’s front men finding real form last season, and Mourinho still seemingly unconvinced by Romelu Lukaku, this is the area of the team which requires most immediate attention.
One star name who would seemingly be available at the right price is Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid, who scored 36 goals in 50 club appearances last season including a penalty in the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea. Costa, who, similarly to former Mourinho favourite Didier Drogba, is a big, physical player with great feet, could compliment Chelsea’s more diminutive forward players and help to bring the best out of the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar.
So here’s the five players Chelsea should sign in the summer:
- Luke Shaw
- Steven Caulker
- Cesc Fabregas
- Ross Barkley
- Diego Costa
Guest article by Celia Roche of OMRUK.