Chelsea’s striker search this summer is set to be a very important one for Thomas Tuchel to bolster his European-conquering side to attempt to claw back at Man City’s domestic dominance.
A third Premier League title in four years was secured by Pep Guardiola in 2020/21 and they added yet another Carabao Cup title to their collection as well. They fell short in the FA Cup though, thanks to Tuchel’s tactical masterclass in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley.
But Tuchel still describes City as the “benchmark” despite usurping Guardiola three times in five months since taking over from Frank Lampard in January.
With Sergio Aguero departing the Etihad after City were beaten by Chelsea in the Champions League final in Porto, they too have a striker vacancy to fill. Guardiola and Tuchel arguably are the only two managers who possess the funds to launch huge moves in a Covid-hit transfer market this summer.
Erling Haaland is high on the priority list for both but he would cost £150million for anyone to get him this summer. Wait a year and it’s around half that but competition will be incredibly fierce for his signature.
Harry Kane has signalled his intention to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer as well but the likelihood of Daniel Levy doing business with Marina Granovskaia is slim to none. Man City are the most likely to snare the England captain but again, triple figures will be needed to get a move done.
The Blues have also been linked with a move for Romelu Lukaku of Inter Milan, bringing him back to his former club after two fine scoring seasons in Serie A though the frontman has stated his wish to stay at the San Siro despite head coach Antonio Conte quitting the club last month.
Chelsea’s luck with strikers – aside from Didier Drogba who is a club legend – has been sketchy at best to say the least in recent years. Diego Costa was a success as well and Samuel Eto’o hit 12 goals in his sole season at the club.
Alvaro Morata, who missed a sitter for Spain in the Euros against Sweden last night, didn’t make the grade at Stamford Bridge. Nor did Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres, Andriy Shevchenko, Mateja Kezman, Loic Remy, Alexandre Pato or Michy Batshuayi.
Timo Werner has struggled this season following his £49.5million move from RB Leipzig last year. Tammy Abraham’s future looks to be away from west London, while Olivier Giroud signed a new contract in April but could depart this summer.
With a lack of goals from his frontmen last season, this is a vital move for Tuchel to get right. He had the likes of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe at Paris St Germain to supply a boatload of goals. At Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel had Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang at his disposal.
Chelsea’s record with strikers aside from Costa and Drogba has, for the most part, been chasing who were the best and hoping that form would translate into the Premier League, but it hasn’t always been the case.
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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If Tuchel is to reach the benchmark that he says Guardiola has set for the Premier League then his acquisition of a new hitman this summer has to be the right one.
Whether that is the superstar in Haaland, Kane or Lukaku, or an alternative in Patson Daka, Real Sociedad’s impressive Alexander Isak or someone else entirely, it’s a move that the German head coach needs to get spot on.
He can’t go the same way as the previous head coaches and managers before him.