In effect, Chelsea’s transfer window started all the way back in April. The news broke late in the month that the Blues had confirmed the signing of Marko Marin from Werder Bremen for an undisclosed fee (believed to be around €8m). The Champions League win over Bayern Munich in May further contributed to two major movements at Stamford Bridge – the departure of Didier Drogba and the arrival of Eden Hazard.
Both confirmed that the win at the Allianz Arena had swayed their respective decision regarding their futures; Drogba moving to Shanghai Shenhua and Hazard arriving from Lille, despite interest from Manchester United and Manchester City. Unsurprisingly, Chelsea’s summer spending spree is unlikely to halt following the arrivals of Hazard and Marin.
The Blues have been linked with a host name of big name players, with Brazilian duo Maicon and Hulk, from Inter Milan and FC Porto respectively, both mooted as possible arrivals. Whilst both may be good acquisitions, Chelsea can do better than targeting the pair with the following three players the West Londoners should be looking to bring to Stamford Bridge this transfer window.
Mathieu Debuchy – Lille and France
The French right-back has been heavily linked with a Lille exit for months now. Mathieu Debuchy previously admitted that should Hazard leave, he would be quick to follow, citing a lack of ambition as his reasoning. Excellent going forward and defensively astute, the 26-year-old’s value would have shot up following Euro 2012.
Newcastle United have been heavily linked with a move for Debuchy, whilst Valencia have also shown a strong interest in the Les Dogues full-back. However, with Chelsea believed to be in the market for a new right-back following the release of Jose Bosingwa and the expected exit of Paulo Ferreira, they could do a lot worse than moving for the France international.
Very similar to Ashley Cole in respects to defensive and attacking capability, the Blues would possess another attacking outlet if they were to move for Debuchy. Chelsea have been linked with a big money move for Maicon, who in turn have looked to the Lille star as a replacement, but the Champions League holders would be far better suited moving for the Frenchman.
Younger than his Brazilian counterpart and showing plenty of signs of improving with age, unlike Maicon who has begun to show chinks in his armour, Chelsea would be wise to move for Debuchy. His showing against Spain is unlikely to have thrown off potential suitors, with Lille anticipating bids anything from £12m upwards for one of their prized assets.
Edinson Cavani – Napoli and Uruguay
Interest is believed to be high in Edinson Cavani after yet another prolific season for Napoli. The Uruguayan ended the campaign with 33 goals from 47 games, a strike ratio of one goal, one average, every 135 minutes. Manchester City have been strongly linked with his signature, and could well move for him should they fail to land Arsenal’s Robin van Persie.
However, Chelsea would be wise to move for the 25-year-old. Replacing Drogba will be an easier-said-than-done task for the Blues. At 6ft 2in, Cavani would be the ideal man to lead the front-line. His never-say-die attitude is reminiscent to that of Carlos Tevez and he has been exceptional leading the Napoli front-line over the past two seasons.
As mentioned, Chelsea have been linked with Hulk, who could be viewed as the more expensive alternative. Furthermore, Cavani’s commitment and work-rate could work in the Blues favour. With the Uruguay international chasing down and harassing opposition defenders, it would leave the likes of Marin, Hazard and Juan Mata the opportunity to push further forward and capitalise on any mistakes.
The Uruguayan ended the campaign with 33 goals from 47 games, a strike ratio of one goal, one average, every 135 minutes.
Yet, Napoli would be, understandably, apprehensive about selling one of their prized assets. The Serie A giants recently released Ezequiel Lavezzi to Paris St. Germain for a fee of around £25m, thus breaking up the scalpel sharp trident. However, he is viewed as a cheaper, and in some quarters better, alternative to Hulk and could be the perfect front-man to lead the Chelsea line next season.
Cheick Tiote – Newcastle United and Ivory Coast
With John Obi Mikel failing to live up to his early potential and Oriel Romeu still young, a move for Cheick Tiote could be viable for Chelsea. The all action midfielder arrived at Newcastle United in 2010 and has made an immediate impact at St. James’ Park. The excellent scouting of Graham Carr convinced owner Mike Ashley to part with £3.5m two years ago and the Magpies are beginning to reap the rewards.
The Blues are likely to be in the market for defensive recruitments this summer, especially with the expected sale of Michael Essien this summer. His action packed displays for Newcastle has certainly seen interest in him rise significantly. Manchester United are thought to be interested, with the Tyneside outfit certainly able to command a big fee for him.
Nevertheless, it should be Chelsea that could move for the 26-year-old. With attacking recruits high on the agenda, it is important that the Blues think towards a midfielder that is comfortable with sitting back and breaking up play. If Roberto Di Matteo is to operate with a 4-2-3-1 formation next season, his arrival could be just what they need.
His ability to sit-back will allow the three ahead of him to push forward, whilst if paired with Ramires or Frank Lampard, it would see his midfield partner to support the attack. Furthermore, he would provide cover for the two full-backs to push further up the field and with his energy and work-rate; help break-down any possible counter-attacks that Chelsea could find themselves susceptible to.
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