Date:Wednesday August 28 2013
To those who feel this piece may come across as hypercritical please accept my apologies in advance but i am seriously perpleexed at this point.
Most of us here on VC and in virtually every other substantive Blue tinted blogosphere forum i have frequented this summer are almost unanimous in agreeing that our priority needs going into this transfer window were;
1. A solid no 2 goal keeper (now sorted with the Schwarzer signing; A + grade for our transfer team)
2. A top level striker (we are still whiffing in the dark on this with less than a week left in the window)
3. A commanding DM (it appears now that despite all the initial noise about a possible move for Danielle De Rossi or Xabi Alonso or Sammy Khadera our braintrust had decide to put their trust in Mikel, and Essien with MVG and Ramires who are by trade B2B players first to make up the difference with the hope that in a season or 2 at the most Nate Chalobah and Nathan Ake would be available to step up and make this position theirs (the wisdom of this decision will be apparent by season's end).
Some others would insist that we also needed to get
4. A Deep lying Central playmaker. No attempt has been made to even try to address this. No one remotely close to this job description has been targeted and right now it appears lamps will be used in this position which he is not great at especially with his advancing years. Maybe we may have to revisit trying David Luiz here or even dropping Oscar back to play this role but right now we have no one that truly meets this job description and even the most optimistic of us realize that Josh McCechran wont be available to lay claim to this position in the first team for at least 1-2 more seasons.
5. A quality right favoring winger; presumably this was what was behind the signing of Andre Schurrle (decent signing though some would argue that there was better value for money with some other options available in the market)
6. One more Center Back in view of the increasing age and reducing mobility of JT as well as the possibility of David Luiz being moved further up the pitch to solve our DLP needs if only at least temporarily. There has been no activity nor credible links in this regard but it could be rightly argued that this is because we have in Tomas Kalas and Kenneth Omeruo options in this regard and so don`t need to go buying again.
With this said we have continued to see the trend of buying a host of youngsters who can clearly offer us nothing in the first team for now and yet it appears that whoever runs our transfer policy has no intention of stopping to add to this number while leaving real needs and holes in the first team unattended.
By my count using the official Chelsea FC website and other sources (since the Website sometimes lags behind in updating player status) we have at least 19 players currently confirmed out on loan, at least 24 players in the academy bunch and at least 14 in the main under 21 squad. We all know we have a glut of CAMs and we have already discussed the Willian signing with many of us (myself included) still left wondering what exactly we hoped to achieve by that signing at the price we paid.
However it now appears our transfer team have seen it fit to add to the number of our CAM brigade by apparently signing another 21yr old; a certain Christian Atsu who is a 21yr old Ghanaian CAM/winger with a preference for left wing play. The initial reports I have seen suggest we are getting him from Porto for a fee of ~ 3.5mill pounds. Needless to say if confirmed this guy has virtually zero chance of joining the first team at this time. He will probably join the loan brigade as I am not certain he would even qualify for the U-21 group. Roman is incredibly wealthy but one needs to ask does that mean we should just be wasteful of his resources? Do we really need this guy now given the overwhelming excess of young talent we have already stockpiled that we are hardly using? How does this signing at this cost remotely make any sense?
If we were visiting with Porto would it not have made far more sense to spend some of the money we were planning to spend on Rooney (but which clearly wont happen now) and save this ~ 3mill pounds to instead get someone who can actually join and contribute right now to our first team?
Porto does have this guy called Jackson Martinez whose story seems kind of familiar; he hails from Colombia, led the Colombian National league in scoring a few years back, is a relative late bloomer (presently 26yrs old ) and was then scouted by that legendary Porto scouting unit and Porto got him on the cheap for ~ 11mill (these were the same guys who made household names of Lisandro Lopez, El tigre and Hulk). He is now a national team player for his country with ~ 18 caps and ~ 8 goals scored. In his first season with Porto, just last season he scored an amazing 28 goals in 32 appearances and so far this season has bagged another 3 in 3 games. It is true he is not your Suarez type dribbling forward, is not built in the mold of Rooney nor apparently as versatile, nor is he your Pippo Inzaghi type 18 yard box poacher but the guy is a natural and potent goal scorer who is currently clearly in thee ascendancy and not yet at his peak.
The big kicker however is that right now he has a release clause that is actually within the realms of reason (reported to be between 30-40mill euros). If this story sounds familiar it is because it is. This was the same sort of story we had with that other great Colombian striker; El Tigre, Radamel falcao. When AVB came to join us the guy had just come of one great scoring season where he led the Europa league and the Portuguese league in scoring. AVB wanted him, the guy was publicly begging us to come get him and at that time he had a manageable and certainly affordable (by our standards) release clause. We dithered and decided to stick with El nino and the rest as the saying goes is history. He moved to Atletico Madrid, replicated his form from Porto and his cost Ballooned overnight and then we were prized out of even being able to bid for him.
The point is, if there were ever a chance to get a quality goal scorer it has to be before every one of the big pocket, glamour teams take notice of the player and it has to be before their cost hits stratospheric levels. Rest assured if Jackson Martinez replicates the sort of season he had last year with Porto before season's end Pinto Da Costa will certainly sit with the guy and his agent to revise that release clause to something more in the Gareth Bale price range.
I ask again who exactly drives our transfer policy because left to me rather than buying every CAM in the market and buying youngsters who offer nothing to our first team right and left I would say the main priority for the last week of this transfer window is to decide if we should get Sam Eto o' as a shot term fix to our glaring striker problem or for once get ahead of the game and make the calculated gamble of getting Jackson Martinez now while we can and while there is no major competition for him. If we dither, by the time his full quality becomes apparent we wont be able to compete with the big boys (money and tradition wise ) who will then be after him.
How we handle the last days of this transfer window will have huge ramifications for our season. Jose is a wonderful manager but he is no magician nor miracle worker. Signings like Christian Atsu with all due respect to the young man wont help us compete with our major rivals in the BPL or Europe this season, it is high time those who drive our transfer policy get Jose the player(s) that will.
Date:Wednesday August 28 2013
Transfer Tittle-Tattle - 13th December 2013 (Friday December 13 2013)
Name the Starting XI - Crystal Palace (h) (Friday December 13 2013)
Schwarzer`s Thoughts! (Friday December 13 2013)
Man Arrested After Attacking Mourinho (Friday December 13 2013)
Stats: Chelsea v Steau Bucharest (Thursday December 12 2013)
Chelsea In New Rooney Move? (Thursday December 12 2013)
FA Youth Cup Tonight (Thursday December 12 2013)
Chasing a Centre-Back! (Thursday December 12 2013)
Derby v Chelsea - On Live TV! (Thursday December 12 2013)
Schwarzer - Second Oldest Ever! (Thursday December 12 2013)
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