Frank Lampard’s departure from Chelsea after being 13 years at the club surely sets dusk and ‘glaring’ twilight on what is surely the end of an era at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s way of dealing with players above 30 will certainly raise some eyebrows as Lampard’s departure is certainly going to be emotional for the Stamford Bridge faithful. Football however moves on as the Blues have ample time to search for a long term replacement and here are the five options for Jose Mourinho in the coming transfer market.
It is believed that Chelsea are willing to meet Barcelona’s £30m asking price for the Arsenal captain who is set to leave the Camp Nou outfit amidst wholesale changes at the Catalan club. A brilliant midfielder in his own right who can drive the team with his scintillating passing and mesmerizing touch scored 8 goals and grabbed 13 assists in his 36 La Liga appearance for the Catalan giants last season. If at all Fabregas signs on the dotted line at Chelsea, it would be a bitter pill to swallow for the Arsenal fans, who would love to see him return to the Emirates one day.
However, it is believed that the Gunners are not interested in their former midfielder and Chelsea have offered the chance for Fabregas to return to the Premier League. Despite Chelsea fans’ hatred towards the player (for obvious reasons) it is a no brainer for Cesc to move to the London club. He can perfectly fit in the middle of the park to provide his trademarks pin point passes to the likes of Hazard, Schürrle, Willian, Oscar, Lukaku and Costa (probably) making runs into spaces. And playing alongside Matic will mean that Chelsea have a balanced midifeld pivot.
The Slovakian hasn’t had a great season but that will not deter the biggest of clubs to pursue their interest in the Napoli man. Hamsik hasn’t quite suited in Rafa Benitez’s 4-2-3-1 setup as the player thrives in a more free role with abundance of space to work with. The 26 year old has scored 7 goals and set up 6 in 36 appearances for the Partenopei who won the Coppa Italia and finished third in the Serie A standings.
Hamsik signed a contract extension last summer and might not leave the Stadion Sao Paolo in the summer but the Naples outfit would find it hard to ignore bid worth around £33m if tabled by the London side. Hamsik could be that hardworking midfielder, who Jose Mourinho loves to deploy in the middle of the park. With his dribbling ability and an eye for long shots, he could very well prove to be the one, who could fit in the void left behind by Frank Lampard.
Not many Italian midfielders possess the immense physique, work ethic and defensive contribution like the 28 year old Claudio Marchisio of Juventus. A brilliant holding midfielder who acts as an anchorman in the middle of the park and would ceaselessly fit into Chelsea’s setup given Mourinho’s likeliness for players who give their all on the pitch. The Juventus man has a great passing array and is able to shoot from distance if given the chance. It would be interesting to see if the Bianconeri decide to part with the player in the summer, but make no mistake Chelsea could help themselves to a major coup if they acquire Marchisio’s services.
Marchisio has been a vital cog along with Vidal for the Old Lady i recent seasons and having won almost everything what Italian football has to offer, a move to Chelsea might prove to be a challenging one for the Italian.
The 22 year old has had a stunning season for Atletico scoring 7 goals and grabbing 15 assists in 49 appearances under Diego Simeone. The Rojiblancos won the La Liga breaking Barcelona and Real Madrid’s duopoly at the top, but more than that it was their playing style that caught the eye. Koke thrives when given more freedom to drift wide and this would suit the overlapping runs of Branislav Ivanovic from the back. Moreover Koke possess an immense physique, capable of challenging the best in the air and is never afraid to shy away from a tackle. Together with Nemanja Matic, Koke has what it takes to fit in the double pivot role which could be pivotal to Chelsea’S attacking build up next season.
Koke has been constantly linked with Chelsea as Jose Mourinho considers the Atletico man as a perfect replacement for Lampard. According to the Independent, Jose Mourinho is not convinced Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas, and his preferences are Atletico Madrid’s Koke and Juventus’s Paul Pogba.