The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping that the Blues won’t repeat their mistakes next summer…
The 2017/18 season began with a flurry for the Blues, and whilst their focus should have been on the start of the footballing campaign, that was not the case. Instead, after a slow summer, all eyes were fixed on potential players that could come to Stamford Bridge before the window slammed shut.
It was desperately needed, as Chelsea’s lack of depth was evident, but it was simply left too late, and in the end, Antonio Conte can hardly be satisfied with the players that were brought in.
This is something that the fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping their side avoids next summer, and so they’re expecting the Blues to start making their moves before the end of the season.
That process has, seemingly, begun already, with the Times reporting over the weekend that Chelsea have identified a potential target for next summer. According to the Times, Chelsea are ‘expected’ to move for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann next summer, with the Spanish side potentially set to sell the Frenchman as they look to fund their move for Diego Costa.
With Man Utd also reportedly keen, a move won’t be easy, but it would represent sensational business for the Blues. Griezmann is arguably one of Europe’s finest forwards, and he has been sensational in Spain whilst with Atletico Madrid.
He is rated at £72 million by Transfer Markt.
Why does this deal matter?
This was originally reported over the weekend, but it holds far more significance now than it did then, so it needs to be looked at in more depth with hindsight.
It has been confirmed today that Alvaro Morata is set for an extended spell on the sidelines, and that has exposed a critical flaw in Antonio Conte’s Chelsea team. The Spaniard has impressed this term, and without him, the Blues are very short of options. As they say, you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it.
Michy Batshuayi, simply put, isn’t good enough. His goalscoring record is deceiving. He certainly knows where the net is, but his lack of hold-up play, passing skill and technical ability is always going to hold him, and resultantly Chelsea, back.
Antoine Griezmann, like Alvaro Morata, has proven his worth in La Liga, and his skill set would transfer to Chelsea very well. Technical, hard-working and, most important of all, lethal in front of goal, Antonio Conte would love to have him in his side.
His electric pace is a real asset, but he’s also got a lot of quality on the ball. Indeed, beyond the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Griezmann is probably the next best thing in La Liga.
Though there is an urgency in Chelsea’s need for a forward, it may well make sense to hold out until the summer. The Blues can, then, put all of their focus on a deal for Griezmann.
The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern won’t be taking their eye off La Liga over the coming weeks, that’s for sure.
What does the pub landlord think of this potential deal?
It’s very hard to make heads or tails of this deal at present. The Times reports that an approach is ‘expected’ but fail to give any more details, and no other major publications have run with the story over the last day or so.
However, a deal does make sense. The news surrounding Morata has proven that Chelsea need a player like Griezmann, and though he wouldn’t be able to come in for a while yet, the Blues still shouldn’t discount him.
Significantly, the Diego Costa deal should leave the two clubs on decent terms, and that could be crucial in any prospective move.
Chelsea’s need for more attacking depth wasn’t really evident a few days ago, but panic has certainly set in amongst the Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern. It’s no real surprise that this has been the talk of the Tavern over the last 24 hours.
It’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
Where would he fit in?
He’s naturally a forward and can play anywhere across the front line, though he is typically most effective as a number 9 or 10.
This is significant when you consider how Conte has played lately. Particularly against Man City, the Blues have sat back and focused on the defence, whilst ensuring quick counter-attacks. Thus, a 3-5-2 has been employed, with Eden Hazard playing as a number 10.
In theory, this would be Griezmann’s ideal position. Like Hazard, he would be able to exploit defences with his dribbling and technical skill, but perhaps more so than the Belgian, he would be able to get into more lethal positions and make the most of his incredible ability to score goals.
He’s been lethal in Madrid, and playing alongside a fantastic forward like Morata, he could continue that trend in England.
When you throw in the context of Morata’s latest injury, combined with Conte’s shift in formation, it’s clear that he would fit in pretty easily.
Chelsea fans – what do you make of this deal? With or without the Morata injury, does it make sense?
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