Even a title winning side has to make some changes if they want to stay at the top. This was one of Chelsea’s biggest mistakes in their shambolic title defence last season. While their rivals strengthened, they failed to, barring the addition of Pedro. Age seemed to catch up with Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry. Cahill didn’t live up to expectations, and the failed transfer of Stones along with the injury to Zouma towards the end hurt them. While Hazard had a disastrous but probably one off season, Oscar was shockingly poor. Diego Costa was a part of more controversies than goals. Antonio Conte is a proven manager and is a good choice, but he has a lot of work ahead if Chelsea want to finish in the top 4, let alone challenge for the title.
There have been a lot of rumours floating around about potential signings for Chelsea, Radja Nainggolan, Andrea Barzagli and even Romelu Lukaku. 5 years ago Chelsea signed Lukaku from Anderlecht in what was a dream move for the player. Drogba was his idol and Chelsea was the club he loved. However, it didn’t go as planned. He hardly got any playing time, something he stressed about at the end of the season and eventually joined West Bromwich Albion on loan. He spent majority of his 3 years as a Chelsea player on loan before joining Everton permanently in 2014.
Although Lukaku is an extremely capable striker, it doesn’t make sense for Chelsea to resign him. With Diego Costa established as Chelsea’s first choice striker, it is highly unlikely that any of the two strikers would like to be number 2 in lieu of the other. Both of them are also fairly similar in terms of using their physicality to intimidate defenders. They’re both very good with their back towards goal, holding up the play well and are also impressive making runs in behind.
While they’re both good finishers, it can be said though that Diego Costa is a tad bit more clinical. Lukaku does flourish when his team plays a direct style of play. But Conte has preferred to use a 3-5- 2 for both Juventus and Italy and it might not suit Lukaku’s style. Apart from that, Costa’s goal scoring record when he had to play alongside Falcao wasn’t that impressive, but he ran riot the next season, scoring 36 goals in the season. The two things that Lukaku does have over Costa though are pace and age.
Lukaku too might be hesitant to return to Chelsea after his unsuccessful first spell, especially without the guarantee of first team football. Also, without Champions League football, a move to Chelsea does lose a lot of its appeal. Chelsea too would benefit from bringing in a central midfielder or a defender rather than a striker. Gary Cahill struggled for majority of the season and there was no sign of Branislav Ivanovic who had been one of the best right backs in the league for the last few seasons. They also already have a very able back up striker in Loic Remy who has hardly been given a chance.