When Chelsea had their transfer ban lifted, it meant that the Blues were able to sign players in this transfer window. That doesn’t seem to be the case considering the window slams shut in under 48 hours.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard hoped that the club could finalise some deals before the deadline that will help his side secure a top-four finish. His side comfortably sit fourth, 6 points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United. In previous games, Chelsea have struggled to finish games off as they failed to beat Arsenal at home when they had 10 men for the majority of the match. They also suffered a nervy 15 minutes on the weekend against Hull City in the FA Cup.
Lampard will know the areas his side can improve on, but does the board know that too? On bringing in players, one position he has identified as a necessary signing is a striker. Tammy Abraham has been a revelation since coming back to the club and looks like he will be leading the line for Chelsea for numerous years.
With a top striker, you need to draw backups in the squad who can do a job when called upon. With Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud, that doesn’t seem to be the case. When Batshuayi has started games, mostly in cup competitions, he doesn’t have the holdup play and the tenacity that Abraham brings to the side. As for Giroud, Chelsea have treated the Frenchman so badly this season. He hasn’t played at all, and despite likely being told he could leave, he may now be forced to stay and still not play which will harm his chances of going to the Euros. Even though they have an established striker in Giroud, the club continues to look elsewhere for extra firepower in the striker department. Names like Edinson Cavani and Dries Mertens have been mentioned in recent weeks, both are in their 30s now and out of contract in the summer. Either one of these established frontmen will give Lampard a valuable option and will ease the pressure off of Abraham to score the goals.
January has always proved a difficult month to do business, especially in trying to get high calibre targets that Chelsea have been linked with. This season, Lampard has had a torrid time with injuries to key players like N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Christian Pulisic, and Ruben Loftus Cheek. Once the Chelsea boss has all his players to call upon, it won’t be that worrying if the club weren’t able to sign any players. Most people would agree that they would prefer it if Chelsea signed their top targets in the summer, rather than panic buy in this window. In recent times, the club has been especially guilty of this, where they panicked bought a lot of players and some play elsewhere.
But it seems that the club is only pursuing one player. If Chelsea were able to sign Mertens before the deadline, it would be one of the bargains of this transfer window. He will give Lampard an extra dimension in attack with his versatility to play as the lone striker or out wide. However, if the Belgian doesn’t make the move to London, it wouldn’t be the end of the world as Lampard already has a quality squad at his disposal. Although he would like one or two signings, the board must back the manager in the summer if he is able to secure a top-four finish without making a signing in his first year in the hot seat.