The official storyline behind Chelsea buying Shevchenko has been that Mourinho wanted a player with Champions League experience – a striker who was proven on the European stage and would help Chelsea win the Champions League.
On current evidence, however, Chelsea seem to have missed a trick by not buying Tevez this year.
There are two strikers in the Premiership whom Mourinho would gladly buy – Henry and Rooney. Now it stands to reason that when Chelsea find a striker comparable to the talents of those two they would step up, cough up the big bucks and bring him to Stamford Bridge.
And yet Carlos Tevez is still playing for the Corinthians, and Mourinho’s foray into South America to supposedly watch Tevez play eventually came to no end. Corinthians came out with a statement that denied any Chelsea interest in Tevez – When this happened in May rumours were floating around that Chelsea might yet bid 50 million pounds for the striker (a price more likely set by his club than by Chelsea themselves).
But you only have to watch Tevez play for a few minutes to realise how good he is at both linking up with the midfield and at scoring goals. He has a ferocious shot, and despite not playing as an out-and-out striker (Crespo performs that role for Argentina), he impressed enough to start ahead of Saviola and Messi against Germany in the quarter-final today.
Shevchenko and Tevez are not as different as you might think – both are excellent at creating moves for other team-mates, both have the pace and the tenacity to hunt down long balls and more importantly, they are always in the thick of things.
And yet there is one striking difference: Shevchenko is 30, Tevez is 22. Granted, age is not the only factor but consider that Chelsea would justify the 31 mil pound buy of a striker turning 30 in September (one who will earn over 100,000 pounds a week) by saying that they needed experience.
What about building for the future? What about picking up talented young players and bringing them to Chelsea?
There are rumours that the decision to buy Shevchenko was made by Kenyon and Abramovich rather than Mourinho – either that, or Mourinho apparently decided that the Corinthians were asking for too much money.
Either way, after seeing Tevez in action at the World Cup, it looks like maybe Chelsea have missed a trick. The one time when they really should have used Roman’s money, they end up splashing it on Shevchenko. Not a bad choice mind you. But not the best one either.