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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Chelsea’s dream transfer window – Striker, sales and more

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The transfer window is officially open for Premier League clubs and England’s top teams will soon get down to business.

Behind the scenes, transfer targets will have already been identified, ahead of another summer of signings and new additions.

Chelsea have been the heaviest spenders in Europe of late and we’ve decided to assess what would be deemed a dream transfer window for the West Londoners.

An elite number nine

Nicolas Jackson attracted his fair share of criticism during his debut season at Chelsea, but a return of 17 goals in all competitions indicates there’s potential in the 22-year-old. However, Jackson is raw and unrefined and Chelsea need a more reliable goalscorer if the Blues are to return to the top end of the table.

Chelsea have targeted emerging talent in recent transfer windows but the addition of a forward a step along in their development could take this team up a level.

Victor Osimhen would perhaps be the dream option for the Blues and has publicly suggested the move would be similarly welcomed at his end. Having called Didier Drogba his childhood hero, Osimhen is a brilliant goalscorer and has netted 76 times in 133 appearances for Napoli.

This goal is vintage Victor Osimhen 💥

He gives Napoli the lead ✅

📺 @tntsports & @discoveryplusUK pic.twitter.com/jIxbwASIzP

— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) May 6, 2024

The league’s leading scorer as a drought-breaking Scudetto was won in 2022-23, he’s keen for a new challenge after securing hero status in Naples. However, his €130m (£111m) might be the sticking point for Chelsea unless funds can be raised through sales.

Discussions are ongoing for Jhon Duran, of Aston Villa, though the 20-year-old is another rough diamond rather than a readymade talisman.

Sell (well) to ease PSR concerns

Chelsea’s record-breaking spending of late means the West Londoners are feeling the squeeze of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules. Fortunately, the Blues have several assets that can be moved on for decent fees.

First on the list should be Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has spent the past two seasons on loan at Inter Milan and Roma and offloading his £325,000-per-week wages should be high on the agenda for the summer window. Chelsea are demanding a fee of £38m for Lukaku, with several Saudi sides interested. After rejecting a move to the Middle East last summer, the 31-year-old has changed his stance on the Saudi Pro League.

🚨🇸🇦 Romelu Lukaku: “Saudi Arabia wouldn’t stop me. The level will only rise there. To a much higher level than many people think”.

“More and more footballers will tend to play there. All the major European top clubs know that: Saudi Arabia is coming”, told HLN. pic.twitter.com/dTEtrxDUNv

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 6, 2024

Asked why he rejected SPL offers last summer, Lukaku told HLN: “Because everyone only went to Saudi Arabia after I could sign there, I was scared for a while.

“[Now] Saudi Arabia would not stop me. The level there will only rise, to a much higher level than many people think. More and more footballers will tend to play there.

“Also because of how the fans there experience football. The infrastructure still needs to improve, but all the big top European clubs know: ‘Saudi Arabia is coming.’ You already see that in boxing, golf, Formula 1.”

Armando Broja’s stock has fallen since Chelsea requested £50m for his services in January, but the Albanian has admirers across the Premier League and should recoup a significant fee. Similarly, Ian Maatsen has been deemed surplus to requirements and has an asking price of £35m, while Conor Gallagher (£50m) and Trevoh Chalobah (£25m) could be sacrificed if suitable offers arrive. Kepa Arrizabalaga is another expected to move on. Reasonably, those six sales could recoup close to £200m for reinvestment.

A new number one

Chelsea signed Djordje Petrovic and Robert Sanchez as goalkeeping options last summer, with the former replacing the latter as first choice after an unconvincing start between the sticks for the Spaniard. Petrovic performed well during the run-in as Chelsea improved to reach Europe, but an upgrade is perhaps required for the Blues to return to former heights.

Jan Oblak’s declaration that he wants to leave Atletico Madrid for a new challenge will pique the interest of top clubs, even if the Slovenian shot-stopper will turn 32 next season. Valencia’s Giorgi Mamardashvili and Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale are alternative, more cost-effective, options.

Replace Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva has waved farewell to Chelsea to return to his first love Fluminense, as time finally began to catch up with the 39-year-old icon. His exit leaves a leadership void in central defence, with neither Benoit Badisahile or Axel Disasi having convinced and Trevoh Chalobah linked with an exit.

Levi Colwill has huge potential, but a commanding central defensive leader is required. The best teams are built from the back.

A raid across the capital?

Chelsea are one of several leading clubs to have expressed interest in Michael Olise, with the West Londoners having approached Crystal Palace for permission to speak to the winger. After a failed attempt to sign Olise last summer, the Blues are back and prepared to meet the increased release clause of £60m – if the Eagles can agree to structured payments.

Olise’s injury record will concern, but a return of 10 goals and six assists from 14 league starts show his potential. With Christopher Nkunku set to be like a new signing next season, Cole Palmer, and the arrival of Olise, Chelsea could become a chance-creating machine.

Chelsea and Newcastle have approached Crystal Palace about signing Michael Olise 👀

The winger – who scored 10 goals in 19 games last season – is believed to have a release clause of £60 million in his contract 💰 pic.twitter.com/7Qk2Dsu13G

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 14, 2024

Allow stockpiled starlets opportunities elsewhere

Chelsea have spent much of the past two seasons stockpiling young talent as Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital look to safeguard the club’s long-term future. The issue with an expensively assembled and bloated squad, however, is a lack of minutes for those on the fringes.

Carney Chukwuemeka and Lesley Ugochukwu are at risk of stagnating without increased game time next season, while Cesare Casadei – who won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the FIFA u-20 World Cup in 2023 – was bizarrely recalled from a loan at Leicester in January and then not used.

If the loan market is used correctly, Chelsea can reap the rewards.

Read – The left-sided centre-backs set to dominate the transfer window

See more – Euro 2024: Five under-the-radar players to watch this summer

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