There seems to be a certain buzz amongst Chelsea fans that I have spoken to, following the attacking talent that has been signed by the club over the summer, with the Brazilian Oscar and Eden Hazard’s younger brother, Thorgan Hazard being the latest arrivals at the London club. Although the chances of Thorgan Hazard being given playing time in his debut season are minimal, Roberto Di Matteo looks spoilt for choice with his attacking options, having the earlier summer signings of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin in addition to Juan Mata and Ramires, who seems to have been given a more advanced wide role in the side during pre-season to accommodate John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard in the midfield area of the pitch. With the set up of the team during pre-season seemingly showing that Chelsea will line up with three attacking midfielders behind a lone striker, the quantity of attacking options at the managers disposal will mean that the midfielders will need to prove their worth to the team, with no guarantee of a starting place for any of them.
However, as strong a squad as it may seem, there is no doubt that there are key areas in the side in which Chelsea must strengthen, whether it be for a starting place in the team, or wether it may be a recruit to enforce the squad, to give the side a further outlet if the game isn’t going according to plan. There are two key positions it is believed Chelsea will need to strengthen, and potential targets are also considered.
Right Full Back
Unlike the left full back position, occupied by Ashley Cole, Chelsea have never had a confident right back with the confidence that the defender will offer an outlet in both attack and defence. During Bosingwa’s time at the club, he was regarded by all as more of an attacking full back than defensive, and he was often targeted as an area teams could attack as he would be left so far up the pitch. Branislav Ivanovic has offered stability in the position, albeit not providing the same attacking instinct Bosingwa provided for the club. However, with Bosingwa released, the club have only the experience of Ivanovic and the aging Ferreira and the youth of Sam Hutchinson occupying the position.
Potential signing for this position- Cesar Azpilicueta
With reports that Chelsea have already had a £6 million bid rejected for the Spanish defender, the club looked to have stepped up their interest and are likely to increase their bid in the coming weeks. Although the Marseille full back has had a injury plagued period during his time with the French outfit, the 23 year old looks to have regained his fitness and is now seemingly at the top of the transfer list for the London club. With rugged defending and powerful running, the club may see this as the perfect player for the right back position, offering his services at both ends of the football field.
The optimistic Chelsea fans (as well as myself!), believe that Torres will improve on his below par goal scoring performance during his time in a Chelsea shirt next season, purely because of the increase in service he will receive, with the creativity of Hazard, Marin, Oscar and Mata linking up with the Spaniard to allow him to be as involved in their attacking play as possible. Romelu Lukaku, who Chelsea used during their pre season tour of USA, looks increasingly likely to be heading out to a Premier League club on loan, with Fulham reportedly leading the race for the Belgian striker. This may mean that the club will look to strengthen in the final third of the park, as back up to Torres or to compliment him during games.
Potential signing for this position- Hulk
With the club being linked with the powerful Brazilian for over a season, the club seemed to have struck a deal with Porto regarding the sale of the striker, just days after Hazard had announced he was joining the club. This was certainly not the case, with talk of the Brazilian joining Chelsea fading as time went by, but Chelsea’s interest in Hulk very much still remains, whether or not a fee has been agreed with Porto. The striker is currently with the Brazilian squad competing in the Olympics in London, so once reports or rumours of a fee being agreed between the clubs are released, Hulk could put pen to paper very quickly with a possible medical being done with Chelsea in a short amount of time once he is given the go ahead, as was the case with Oscar.
Hulk can operate as a striker, as well as a right forward, where he plays for Brazil, and this versatility may attract Di Matteo’s interest, as it will very much be possible for Hulk to start in the same Chelsea team as Torres, offering explosive speed with and without the ball, as well as powerful shooting which could be the difference between drawing and winning games this season for Chelsea, who are looking to push for a title bid.
Where do you believe Chelsea have to strengthen their side? What signings would you like to see the club make? Leave your comments on my Twitter account as well as my blog.