Chelsea’s striking situation
Chelsea currently have a number of centre-forward options at their disposal.
All of Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Kai Havertz (as a false nine) can occupy the central spot in the Blues’ attack.
However, there are also question marks over all of those players at present.
Olivier Giroud has been picked quite frequently by Thomas Tuchel, and has scored some key goals. However, the Frenchman is 34, and out of contract in the summer.
Timo Werner, meanwhile, seems more suited to being deployed on the left of Chelsea’s attacking trident, rather than as the no.9 figure.
As for Tammy Abraham, despite his status as the Blues’ top-scorer this season, he doesn’t appear to have impressed new boss Tuchel too much. The German has used the hitman sparingly, even prior to his recent injury.
This leaves just Kai Havertz, who, despite showing signs of improvement of late, is probably not the man a side like Chelsea should be relying on for their goals, having not looked overly clinical to this point.
Erling Haaland a man in demand
So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to hear that the Londoners are in the market for another centre-forward this summer.
One of the main names linked with Chelsea of late has been Erling Haaland. This comes after it was claimed in February that Roman Abramovich wants the striker.
On Monday, meanwhile, it was alleged that Haaland is among Chelsea’s top targets. The same report, however, went on to suggest that the Blues will face stiff competition for the Norwegian – from Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
101 recently covered speculation that Real Madrid could sell six players to fund moves for Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, whilst it has also been reported that Man City are expecting the strongest competition for the former to come from Real Madrid.
So, it certainly looks as though Chelsea will have their work cut out if they hope to land the 20-year-old – who is it claimed Borussia Dortmund want £154m for – in the summer.
On the other hand, the Londoners may simply miss out on Haaland.
Even in such a case, though, they will need to secure reinforcements up top, especially if Giroud leaves, Werner continues to play out wide and Abraham remains out of favour under Tuchel.
So, at 101, we have picked out three players whom Chelsea could target, should they be unable to land Haaland.
Given that the former Molde standout is already one of Europe’s top scorers, and finding the net on such a consistent basis, we have focused on players who are doing a similarly impressive job at the top of the game, rather than names who would likely need time to adapt to the Premier League, or develop into top strikers.
The first option is Romelu Lukaku, who would likely prove to be the most effective Haaland alternative, but also the costliest.
Lukaku made the switch to Inter Milan in August of 2019, when the Nerazzurri stumped up a club-record €80m to land the forward.
And this fee, whilst hefty, has since proven money well spent. This season alone has seen Lukaku notch 25 goals and seven assists across all competitions for Antonio Conte’s side, as Inter edge towards their first Serie A title since 2010.
Lukaku, at 27, is also the most experienced player on this list, as well as the only one who has previously plied his trade in the English top-flight – making him the safest option, too.
Granted, his spell with Manchester United wasn’t overly impressive, but the Belgian still managed close to a goal every other game for the Red Devils.
The former Chelsea standout also shone with Everton, notching 87 goals and 29 assists in 166 outings.
Given just how integral he is to Inter, and how much they paid for his signature, though, it is safe to assume that the Italian outfit would demand a fairly massive sum – perhaps around the €100m mark – to part with their top-scorer.
Andre Silva has had a fairly mixed senior career to date, but has most certainly turned a corner over the last couple of years.
After some fairly up and down spells with AC Milan and Sevilla, Silva joined Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt – first on loan, and then permanently in 2020.
And since making the switch to Germany, the 25-year-old has been handed a new lease of life.
So far this season, Silva has managed to net 22 and assist seven in just 26 outings.
Such fine form, in turn, has seen some of Europe’s heavyweights, including Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, linked with the Portuguese.
It has also been claimed that Silva would be available for around €35-40m, a potential steal if he manages to keep up his current form.
One of the main risks, should Chelsea pursue Silva, though, is of course the possibility of the attacker struggling, similarly to how he did with Milan and Sevilla. But at such a low price, perhaps it is a risk the Blues should be willing to take?
The final player whom Chelsea could look to instead of Erling Haaland this summer is Sevilla and Morocco standout, Youssef En-Nesyri.
En-Nesyri joined Sevilla in January of 2020, from fellow Spanish outfit, Leganes.
The centre-forward has since gone on to establish himself as a crucial figure for the club, as they fight it out for a Champions League berth.
And though he had never been all that prolific of a goalscorer before his move to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, En-Nesyri, this season, has been impressive in front of goal.
The 23-year-old has managed to net 15 times in 28 La Liga outings, to go along with six goals in eight Champions League appearances.
Of the three players on this list, En-Nesyri would likely score the least goals, if Chelsea signed him. However, the Moroccan is versatile, and can fill in on either flank when required.
In addition, with it suggested that Sevilla would demand upwards of £35m for En-Nesyri, he, like Silva, would prove a much cheaper alternative to Haaland or Lukaku.