Chelsea’s Champions League success in 2011-12 has given the club a real boost, with Roman Abramovich looking to bolster his squad to challenge on all fronts next term. Despite the enterprise and talent of new midfielders Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Marko Marin, with Didier Drogba’s departure a new top-class striker replacement is needed. But who?
Initially the frontrunner to be the Ivorian’s successor, a big-money move from Porto looked all-but sewn up a couple of weeks ago. However negotiations appear to have broken down, and the Portuguese champions’ astronomical fee demands seem to have put a dampener on Chelsea’s early enthusiasm. Although the Brazilian is burly and strong, he tends to drop deep or wide to pick up the ball, and as such may not be the targetman/centre forward the Blues need.
The Colombian marksman has shown his calibre in Europe for both Porto and now Atletico Madrid, with back-to-back Europa League successes a testament to his goalscoring ability. With the Vicente Calderon side missing out on Champions League football for next term, one feels a concerted Chelsea effort could bring the South American to Stamford Bridge.
One of the most predatory finishers in world football, Cavani has been the spearhead for a mightily-impressive San Paolo attack over the last two years, terrorising defences across Italy and into Europe. The Serie A side will not want to sell, but with Juventus also circling and strike partner Ezequiel Lavezzi leaving this summer already, Cavani is by no means unattainable.
Mobile, skilful and with an eye for goal, the Montenegro international has improved markedly over the last two years in a mediocre Fiorentina side. A move to a bigger club looks almost certain, but whether or not Jovetic is ready to make the switch from a big fish in a small pond to Didier Drogba’s replacement is unclear.
Part of a breed of exciting young German attackers, Schurrle is Bayer Leverkusen’s prize asset and involvement in Joachim Low’s Germany squad at Euro 2012 is no mean feat. The Blues are said to have had a bid already rejected for Schurrle, but with additional pressure the BayArena side could be convinced to sell. However, as gifted as he is, Schurrle’s ability to replace Drogba through the middle is questionable, as his style is different to his potential predecessor.
With Abramovich’s multi-millions ready to be spent, any of these five could be acquired if Chelsea really wanted. However, with a new-look talented team in need of an out-an-out centre forward to score chances, Cavani or Falcao look the most relevant targets.