By Ryan – @ffsryqn
With the possibility of a two-window transfer ban hanging over Chelsea’s head, an almost essential squad build will surely be difficult to achieve. Our current squad is, without a doubt, lacking in the striking department. In this article I will share statistics as well as my personal opinions on Chelsea’s striking options going into the 2019/20 season, in a world where we accept a transfer ban this summer.
Beginning with the newest addition to our striker force, Gonzalo Higuain has scored just 5 goals in the Premier League (3 of which came in 5-0 and 3-0 wins). To say the least, the Argentina international has had a less than ideal impact since joining the club in January. Personally, I wanted Higuain to succeed in London and thought he would given his scoring record in Europe. I stand corrected, as he has been struggling to gain form in England and has yet to guarantee himself a starting spot from World Cup winner Olivier Giroud. For me, I think it’s best that Higuain goes back to Juventus. Though he may find his form in the coming season, it’s a risk that as a Chelsea fan, I don’t want the club to take. He is only getting older and I prefer Giroud for experience.
Gonzalo Higuain’s main competition for the starting spot this season, Olivier Giroud has signed a 1-year contract extension and I couldn’t be happier. The 32-year-old was prolific in the Europa League this season, becoming the competition’s top goal scorer with 10. He has helped us massively to reach the final against former club Arsenal. You could probably assume that Chelsea have extended Giroud’s contract as a safety net for the transfer ban. I think that this was a good idea, as we will be in the Champions League next season. Having an experienced player in Giroud can greatly help to condition possible callbacks Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi.
Simply put, I do not want Morata back in blue. With a Chelsea team in absolute need of a prolific striker, Morata has accepted his failure in the Premier League and has found form on loan at Atletico Madrid. For the good of all parties involved, Alvaro Morata should remain in Spain. He struggled to finish his chances in England, causing headache and heartache for himself, the team, and the fans. I am disappointed that Morata wasn’t successful as a Chelsea player, but happy that he has improved elsewhere and hope he stays where he’s better.
Tammy Abraham has made only 2 senior appearances for Chelsea, with most of his career being spent on loan around England. A tally of 25 goals in 37 appearances for Aston Villa has helped them to the Championship playoff final against Frank Lampard’s Derby for a chance to play Premier League football next season. I feel as if we may need to call back Abraham to have enough squad depth to compete in multiple competitions next season (learned that the hard way, unfortunately). I think it will be an even better idea to call him back should he fail to achieve promotion at Villa. It’s time for Tammy to get Premier League experience under his belt at a Chelsea team that may need him.
Finally, we get to Batsman, a player who I believe never should have gone on loan in the first place. Hardly ever given a chance at Chelsea, Batshuayi went on loan to Borussia Dortmund and scored an impressive 7 goals in 10 matches before being ruled out for the season with an ankle injury. He then had a less than impressive spell at Valencia, and finally picked up the pace in the Premier League with Crystal Palace. Similar to Tammy Abraham, I think that we may be forced into bringing Batshuayi back into the team for reasons of squad depth and competition.
There is no doubt that we will struggle next season if we are unable to conduct business in the summer. However, the exploration of our striking options is crucial if we want any success. For me, Giroud’s extension was good news. I also want at least one loan player called back, but I think with Abraham, Batshuayi, and Giroud, there would be healthy competition and enough squad depth to compete in domestic and European competition.