As soon as Don Balon broke the news regarding Chelsea’s apparent interest in a certain Brazilian winger who plays for PSG, it didn’t take long for our fan base to become divided (again). While many feel that he is a generational player who will improve our squad massively, others were quick to degrade him by citing his attitude issues off the pitch. This figure is none other than Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.
While his skill set is unquestionably world-class, my opinion is tilted towards this transfer not being feasible. The first issue, of course, is the amount of money it would take. Ignoring the enormous amount of transfer fee we would have to cough up, his weekly wages and other demands are very high. Considering we need investments in other areas of the field as well, this transfer may not be affordable. While many feel his attitude would be a problem, I personally seem to think a few players of such mentality should exist in our squad for us to be contenders again (for example, Diego Costa). Neymar’s fitness is another issue, with him being injured for a particular period every year a cause of concern.
However, the main reason I find this report a load of baloney, is the fact that this signing would go against the newly established identity of our club; the identity of giving young academy graduates their shot at getting a place in the first team; the identity of trusting the process for a successful future. While I agree we need to make such signings to showcase our ambition of being one of Europe’s most feared sides again, this transfer is simply not possible for the reasons aforementioned. Hence, here are some other possible alternatives:
This English teenage sensation is the first name on every Chelsea fans lips, and one who doesn’t divide opinion. He is currently into his second full season in Germany with Borussia Dortmund, and he seems to be enjoying his time there. He has picked up 7 assists already this season, and 4 goals to go with them as well. He ended last season on 19 assists in all competitions, while also scoring 13 goals. This Man City academy graduate hits the brief: he’s young, he’s English and he has limitless potential. His only criticism is sometimes ‘disappearing’ from important games, but that isn’t alarming for someone his age. His end product makes him one of the most sought after properties in world football. Him being a Chelsea fan should certainly tip the scales in our favour, but he won’t come cheap. While his Transfermarkt value is 100 million, Dortmund could demand a higher fee, which we should be able to pay comfortably should the player be willing to join.
Once dubbed to be the next best player in the world, a lot was expected of his move to Spanish giants Barcelona. However, his growth has been stalled under Ernesto Valverde, with us still seeing only flashes of his capabilities he once showcased at Dortmund. He has struggled for fitness and consistency over the past couple of seasons, with a move away seeming more likely than not. Still only 22, he definitely does need to seek greener pastures in order to revive his career. He has only managed 4 appearances in all competitions this season and has just 1 solitary goal. He scored 14 goals and assisted another 9 last season which is good, but nowhere near his stellar standards. In the 16/17 season at Dortmund, the Frenchman racked up a fantastic tally of 21 assists and 10 goals, which shows his high potential. He is valued at 100 million by Transfermarkt, but his stagnation and bad run of form may prompt Barcelona to sell him on a cut-price deal, which we should be all over.
This Italian winger currently plies his trade for Fiorentina, in his home country. He has just 2 goals and 4 assists this season, but is a fantastic dribbler and chance creator. While he may not be as highly rated as the other prospects stated above, he is a fantastic player who has constantly been linked with a move to Juventus. Still only 21, and far from the finished product just yet, we have to take into consideration the quality which surrounds him. He is often the standout player for Fiorentina every time he steps on the pitch. Chiesa managed 12 goals and 6 assists last campaign and is valued at 60 million by Transfermarkt. A cheaper alternative to the rest of our targets.
Zaha is a player who has been linked with us in the past and is continued to be linked now as well. He has expressed his desire to leave Crystal Palace several times, with a move not yet materialised. This Ivory Coast winger has been a shining light in Crystal Palace’s dull campaigns, while also giving the vociferous Selhurst Park another reason to keep up their volume. He has just 1 assist this season, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure that he is the best player on the pitch on most occasions. He did manage 10 goals and 10 assists last season, which is not the end product we should normally expect from a club’s main man. Already 26 and in his prime, we cannot be sure his best years are still ahead of him. He is Premier League proven, but did fail to cope with the pressure of playing for a club like Manchester United previously in his career. While he wouldn’t ideally be my first choice, this seems like a transfer that we might engage in, with his Transfermarkt value around 55 million.
The Welshman joins a the list of wingers linked to Chelsea by the Spanish media. The most unlikely transfer ever, and a peak case of grasping at straws, will never happen in a million years. The ex Spurs player is already 30, and we have enough old wingers in our team as is. It looked all but certain that Bale would leave after falling out with Zidane and a being constant scapegoat for the Los Blancos faithful. However, his move to the Chinese Super League collapsed on deadline day. Despite this, he has been getting considerable game time and has managed 2 goals and 2 assists. No doubt that he is a quality player, but he is just not what we need at this moment in time.
So there it is. A list of wingers who we should target once our transfer embargo is lifted. While some have already been linked to us, others are my personal preference. However, the most logical target should be Jadon Sancho considering all factors, and us securing Champions League football for next season would be a monumental step in that direction. I would conclude the article by saying that whoever we do choose to sign, has my unconditional backing, and should have all of yours as well. For now, a long season remains. Up the Chels!