Chelsea under Roberto Di Matteo have been quite imperious since he took over from AVB in March and, after claiming the Champions League crown in May, the blues are showing no sign of slowing down after their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
The Italian has turned around the fortunes of a club that were labelled as an aging team that played negative football. Now Chelsea are playing some of the best football in the Premier League and have some of the brightest young players in the world.
But Di Matteo doesn’t feel his work is done yet, rumours are constantly circulating about the possibility of new faces arriving at Stamford Bridge in January as the blues look to reclaim the Premier League title and defend their European crown.
The Chelsea squad could certainly do with some extra bodies and here is a run down of Di Matteo’s Top 5 January transfer targets;
1. Radamel Falcao – Atletico Madrid
This Colombian striker is likely to be on every managers wishlist come January considering his goalscoring form during the last few seasons. The 26 year old has managed to find the net over 100 times in the last three seasons and his superb hatrick in the UEFA Super Cup certainly got Roberto Di Matteo’s attention as Chelsea were beaten 1-4.
The blues have been linked with a January move for Falcao with £46million needed to take his services to London. Di Matteo would certainly love to have a player of Falcaos goalscoring talents as he brings something different to the Chelsea attack and is more of a fox in the box compared to Fernando Torres. With Chelsea short in the striking department, Falcao should be the Italians number one target, although his arrival could disrupt the form of Torres as he could lose his place in the team.
2. Paulinho – Corinthians
Paulinho could well be the answer in Chelsea’s search for a new Makelele. The blues have struggled to find a holding midfield player with the same gravitas and quality as Chelsea Legend Claude Makelele ever since the Frenchman left the club in 2008. However rumours have linked Di Matteo with a move for Brazilian Paulinho as he searches for a player that can be Chelsea’s regular anchorman.
Jon Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard and Ramires have all been tried in the two holding midfield positions in Di Matteo’s formation but Paulinho could really become a permanent fixture in the team as the tough tackling defensive midfielder. The Brazilian could really make a difference when it comes to the latter stages of the Champions League and should be regarded as an important signing for Di Matteo.
3. Sergio Busquets – Barcelona
The Barcelona Midfielder has won pretty much everything there is to win in the game. Busquets already has a World Cup, European Championship and two Champions Leagues to his name at just 24 years of age. Despite not being the star name, Busquets has been a major figure in the unrivalled success of the Barcelona and Spain teams over the last few years, playing the anchor role that has allowed players like Fabregas, Villa and Messi to flourish.
His simplistic approach to the game has been very effective in his career as he just sits infront of the defence, breaks up play and keeps the ball moving to the attackers. Busquets may not sound like a phenomenal player but he provides a service in a team that very few can and he would be perfect to fit into the new look Chelsea line up.
He would play as one of the two holding midfield players and allow players like Mata, Hazard and Oscar to play with freedom. His exit from Barcelona is rumoured to be happening soon and Di Matteo should be readying a bid to bring him to Stamford Bridge as he would add some real quality to the midfield and a winning mentality.
4. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
He’s one of the top defenders in the world and he could soon be heading out of Real Madrid, so all of the top clubs in Europe are on alert as Sergio Ramos could well be leaving Spain in January. Chelsea have been linked with the World Cup winning defender after his recent spat with manager Jose Mourinho and Di Matteo might be able to bring him to Stamford Bridge for around £40million.
Considering Chelsea’s problems with finding a regular right back, although Ivanovic has been doing a good job, Sergio Ramos would be the perfect player to fit into the Chelsea defence. He can provide real quality in both attack and defence while also adding extra cover at centre back if it were needed. He’s a player with tremendous experience at the highest level and may fancy a go at the Premier League as well as perhaps a better chance of winning the Champions League with Chelsea. £40million seems like lot for one defender but he is undoubtedly one of the best in the world and it would be a real coup for the blues.
5. Marouane Fellaini – Everton
Fellaini has been one of the stars of the Premier League season so far and in January Di Matteo may just fancy making him part of his title challenging Chelsea side. The Belgian’s presence in the Everton side this season has really boosted the Toffees’ performances and Fellaini has sometimes been unplayable. It’s his strength and dominance in the air and midfield that has had a host of Premier League clubs considering signing the Everton midfielder in January.
For about £30million Di Matteo would be able to get his hands on a player that can single-handedly win games and also has great versatality as he can play either in midfield or as a makeshift striker. He’s more like a truck-full than a handful for defenders and he holds onto the ball really well which is very important in this era of possession stats. Fellaini could add another dimension to Chelsea’s play and could really give Di Matteo’s side that extra boost towards reclaiming the Premier League.