Marseille’s record signing Lucho Gonzalez is widely believed to be on his way to Chelsea. The Argentine playmaker is mustard but do The Pensioners need another 30 year old?
When rumours of Chelsea’s interested in Argentine midfielder Lucho Gonzalez came to light I was a little surprised. It didn’t quite fit in with the pundits and pub bores perceived wisdom. As the curtain fell on the 2010-2011 Premier League season the consensus was there’s a need for fresh blood at Chelsea. The Pensioners had become an aging side that had gone as far as it could, they needed an injection of youth. The first signs of the youthful revolution came with securing the signature of 17-year-old Brazilian starlet Lucas Piazon. Then for some reason they bombed out their 52 year old manager for a younger model. With that policy in mind Chelsea’s next target raises a few eyebrows. On the face of it their pursuit of Gonzalez doesn’t make sense. Why are they looking to spending around £11.5 million on a 30-year-old midfield engine?
The obvious answer is ‘Michael Essien’. The Ghanaian international’s dodgy knees have let him down again and he’s set to miss the first six months of the season. A quality alternative is needed for the first half of the campaign and perhaps beyond. But even as a replacement for the injured Essien Gonzalez is two years older than the Bison. Is he what Chelsea need right now?
In addition to being really good at football Lucho’s versatile, tenacious, high energy, has an eye for a pass and a Large Hadron Collider of a right foot.
For the manager, definitely. Andre Villa-Boas has been a long time admirer – although Gonzalez has never played for him – ever since the Argentine’s days at Porto. Lucho has all the qualities an incoming manager would want from the heartbeat of their new team. In addition to being really good at football Lucho’s versatile, tenacious, high energy, has an eye for a pass and a Large Hadron Collider of a right foot. But more important than all of these coachable qualities are his leadership skills. They don’t call him El Comandante (the commander) for nothing. Last term Chelsea played too much of their season without their captain, vice captain or top scorer. Subsequently the middle of their campaign collapsed with a slew of unexpected defeats. A strong personality with a winning mentality can be he difference between one and three points. Gonzaalez is a former club captain who’s picked up at least a trophy a year for the last eight seasons.
From a purely playing perspective the move also makes sense. He’s better than what Chelsea already have. Jacob Mellis and Josh McEachran are exciting young midfield talent but aren’t ready; he’s more mobile than John Obi Mikel and has at least one more knee than Michael Essien. Oh, and he takes a mean penalty so when Frank’s not playing there is someone else to take the spot kicks and make Didier Drogba sulk.
At £11.5 million he’s a lot of money but if Lucho Gonzalez’s experience, will to win, leadership qualities and footy skills have the desired effect on Chelsea he’ll be worth every penny.
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