Radamel Falcao has been a Chelsea target for a long time now. The London side was first linked to the Colombian hitman when he was still at Porto. However, he was snapped by Atletico Madrid instead. Since then, he has gone on to establish himself as one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, scoring 64 goals in 83 appearances for the Spanish side.
The “Falcao to Chelsea” stories have refused to die down in recent months, with various sources suggesting that he has been identified as the club’s #1 target in the summer. Given Chelsea’s striker woes in recent times, most would certainly welcome his signing. However, there are a few things Chelsea should consider before going all out to sign him.
First of all, he won’t come cheap. The exact transfer fee is unclear, but it will range from anything between £40M-£55M. Transfer fee aside, his wage demands are reported to be around £200,000/week. Falcao is an excellent player, but at 27, he’s not exactly young. Age is most certainly a factor as he is currently at the peak of his powers. How exactly can anyone say whether or not he’ll be able to fully replicate the form he has shown for Atletico? Also, would it make sense for Chelsea to spend such a colossal sum of money on only one player when it is evident that there are other areas of the squad that need strengthening as well? Of course not.
Secondly, he’s not ideally suited to Chelsea’s quick pass-and-move style. In fact, Falcao has given the ball away due to a poor first touch more than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues apart from Jonathan Pitroipa of Rennes. Chelsea require a striker who is comfortable on the ball and who can link up well with the attacking midfielders behind him. Falcao’s style of play is a lot more direct.
While Falcao is certainly a powerful striker who is capable of scoring goals, he shouldn’t be Chelsea’s main target. Chelsea’s main target should be Borussia Dortmund’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.
At 24 years of age, Lewandowski is yet to reach his peak. However, he is more than capable of finding the back of the net. He scored 30 goals in 47 appearances for Dortmund last season and has already notched up the same no. of goals this campaign in 41 appearances. He won’t come cheap either, but at a rumoured price of €30M (around £24M) he’ll certainly be a lot cheaper than Falcao and would almost certainly demand lower wages too. Spending less money on a new striker would enable the club to pursue other targets as well (preferably a central midfielder and a centre-back) without spending ridiculous sums of money.
More importantly, Lewandowski would be a perfect for Chelsea’s current style of play given that Dortmund line up in the same formation. His overall link-up play is excellent and one cannot underestimate the importance of good link-up work by the striker when it comes to attacking football.
Recent stories in the German media are linking Robert Lewandowski to Chelsea. While I’m not one for trusting the media when it comes to transfer rumours, I sincerely hope they’re right on this one.
So, what do you guys think about Lewandowski? Falcao?