Chelsea’s transfer ban has been lifted and the Blues are now allowed to bring in players in January. The lifting of the transfer ban came as a huge relief to Chelsea fans the world over and even more so for Frank Lampard, who can now bring in fresh faces to compete with the existing pool of young talent at his disposal.
In a flurry, almost immediately, a host of names have been linked with the Stamford Bridge outfit from Koulibaly to Sancho and beyond.
However, despite the wealth of fresh funds made available to Lampard, there could be some bargain coups he could pull off that could strengthen the squad considerably. Here’s a look at some potential ‘bargain buy’ targets this January window.
While Eriksen might be Inter bound as per the latest reports, Chelsea could snatch him in a last-minute deal and what a signing that would be. Eriksen would slot in nicely into Lampard’s midfield giving serious competition to Mason Mount. Mount could be shifted to the left-wing to accommodate the scheming Dane in midfield. His guile, passing range and dead-ball ability and delivery could surely add more spark to Chelsea’s attack. His ability to dictate play, play key passes and provide assists could help the Chelsea attack and add more quality service to Tammy Abraham. Eriksen could be available for as low as €20m and it would be a massive bargain steal for Chelsea. Mind you, he is a player with 100+ career assists. The likelihood of this deal is very low though.
Rumours that Isco has been offered to Chelsea for £44m have been doing the rounds in the papers and he’d be another excellent bargain buy. Isco’s career averages include 2 dribbles per game, 1.5 key passes per game and 45.7 passes per game with a pass success rate of 88.1%.
This means that the Spaniard gets heavily involved in the build-up play going forward and his natural dribbling ability could be the key to unlock space against tight defences with a low block against whom Chelsea have underperformed this season. His dribbling, control and ball-playing ability could be the answer to the gap left by Eden Hazard since his move to Real. He is another player who could slot into midfield or operate on either wing which makes him versatile and another impactful bargain buy Chelsea could sign.
Opinions are divided when it comes to Nathan Ake. Since he left Chelsea he’s only improved, getting regular game time and his numbers reveal just how good a defender he is. Ake’s career averages of 1.9 tackles per game, 0.6 blocks per game and 1.5 interceptions per game are as good as some of the best defenders in the Premier League and show how well Ake reads the game.
However, Ake’s standout defensive stat is that in his entire career he averages only 0.4 dribbles past him. While Koulibaly is definitely a better and more experienced defender, he gets dribbled past 0.6 times and Ake is two years younger than the Senegalese defender and has Premier League experience. If Chelsea can’t land Koulibaly, Ake could prove to be his equal and he would gel well and more cohesively with his academy mates back at Chelsea should Frank Lampard decide to get him back to Stamford Bridge.
Gabriel Barbosa or Gabigol who currently plies his trade at Brazilian club Flamengo has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. He’s young at 23-years-old and is full of goals. The Brazilian striker and inside-forward has a career tally of 67 goals in 159 and 25 goals in 29 games this season. Gabigol could be another great signing that Chelsea could snatch at a bargain.