There has been news from reputed sources that Diego Costa is certain to join Chelsea in the summer prior to the World Cup. Now, the rumours are going around that David Luiz, who has suddenly become the hottest property in the elite transfer market has attracted really strong money plus swap deals. Two of the world’s biggest clubs, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are fighting it out for the fan-favourite Brazilian maverick. One such rumor is that Chelsea are ready to offer David Luiz as part of a swap deal to land Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic according to the Mirror.
If this last rumour happens to be true, Chelsea would end up with possibly the best crop of strikers in the world, with the likes of Diego Costa, Mario Mandzukic, Romelu Lukaku, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. We can safely assume that Mourinho would like to offload Demba Ba, but he has already said before that he would like to keep Spaniard Fernando Torres as he likes his movement on the pitch and his overall contribution for the team. And with strong rumours of a contract extension for Romelu Lukaku, it seems even Lukaku has some future in the club after a stellar of a season with Everton, bagging 15 goals and 6 assists. But these rumours clash with each other with their logic.
Let us consider the fact that next season Mourinho decides to go with a crop of 3 or 4 centre forwards. Let us consider the scenarios one by one.
Scenario 1: 3 Center Forwards
As Mourinho said earlier, he would like to bring in two hot shot strikers available in the market and make them his top rotating strikers. Then his previous statement of retaining Fernando Torres also seems legitimate, irrespective of the salary the Spaniard takes, that he would be serving Chelsea as a third choice forward. This fits Jose Mourinho’s ideology of having an experienced team to play with. Lukaku has much more confidence than Torres who has really been shy since his record breaking move to Chelsea.
Yet, as a third choice, Torres can be someone who is fresh for substitute cameos as well as he has the experience of playing in top matches as he has earned 107 caps for Spain as well as scored in big matches whenever called upon. Keeping him as a substitute for Costa and Mandzukic can be a shrewd move by Jose Mourinho and can probably help Fernando Torres stay another season at Chelsea and play a different role that would make him play fewer minutes than he would have liked, but keep him injury free and fresh for any match to come.
In this scenario, Lukaku would be definitely loaned as Mourinho may still believe that he needs top club experience to play in Chelsea. His penalty miss against Bayern in the Super-Cup, though only one such instance, may have given Mourinho the feeling that “this kid can do big things but he needs more game-time in a top club”.
But then if we consider the ideal logic, that Lukaku is currently better than Fernando Torres, then we’d obviously want to have a beastly strike force of Costa, Lukaku and Mandzukic playing for Chelsea. But that would mean Lukaku, of all people will miss out on crucial game time at a stage in his career where he can develop at a very high rate.
The other scenario, well do we need to bother about that? A case where there would be four strikers from which Jose Mourinho will choose Costa and Mandzukic while Torres and Lukaku fight it out for the last striker’s position, that too which would be for a reserve striker. As it is, Chelsea don’t play with two strikers, because if they did, like Man City, then keeping a striker set of 4 would have made sense. We saw this season, that Demba Ba, such a prolific striker in Newcastle was left on the bench for possibly the whole season until the last few games. Lukaku won’t like that happening to him even if he were to earn double the money he currently does after he extends his contract.
In the author’s opinion, Lukaku should be loaned to a club that plays at similar level as that of Chelsea, possibly in some other country. Rumours have been around about Atletico Madrid wanting Lukaku on loan as a temporary replacement for Costa, but only time will tell what the future holds for the Belgian tank!