Chelsea look set to unleash the fantastic four next season
Chelsea are not a club to let the absence of a manager get in the way of their transfer dealings. So while Roberto Di Matteo awaits the verdict regarding his Chelsea future, or lack of, various departures and arrivals have already been sanctioned, despite continued managerial uncertainty. Salomon Kalou, Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba have all left, while Marko Marin and Eden Hazard have been added, with terms believed to be agreed with Porto’s Brazilian international Hulk.
Marin’s capture has puzzled Bundesliga aficionado’s, as he has failed to fulfil his potential in the last few years, but his arrival has been comprehensively overshadowed by Hazard. Securing the services of one of world football’s brightest prospects is a real feather in Chelsea’s cap. He will fill a wide berth on the left of midfield that has been a problem position for Chelsea in recent years, with Florent Malouda underwhelming, Ramires out of position and Ryan Bertrand pushed forward for the Champions League final.
Ligue 1’s reigning player of the year leaves France having scored a hat-trick in his final game for Lille, he has certainly indulged his ego in recent weeks by encouraging the advances of a number of potential suitors, but he is a bonafide superstar and will enrich the Premier League.
Various recent reports claim that a deal to sign Hulk is ‘90%’ done, with the transfer fee a sticking point. He is very highly regarded at Porto, where president Pinto da Costa once claimed: “It may sound like a heresy, but I would not trade Hulk for Cristiano Ronaldo.” As a result, his release clause resembles the £80m sum Manchester United received for Ronaldo, but around half that is expected to prove sufficient. Powerfully built with a sledgehammer for a left foot, he scored 21 goals in 38 appearances last season, as he guided Porto to a second successive league title.
If Hazard and Hulk are both acquired, for a combined sum that could top £70m, Chelsea will utilise them in tandem with Juan Mata and Fernando Torres to form one of the most formidable attacks in world football. With Hulk stationed on the right, while also capable of playing up front, Mata through the middle and Torres leading the line, a new look Chelsea look geared towards the swashbuckling , flamboyant football that Roman Abramovich appears to crave.
The man tasked with harnessing the talents assembled by the powers that be remains unidentified. Champions League success would guarantee Di Matteo a permanent role at any other club, but he remains in limbo at Chelsea, despite an outcry for his appointment. As long as Pep Guardiola remains unemployed, the grass will always remain greener, but they will be keen to appoint someone before players report back for pre-season training on July 5th.
With further inadequacies and potential targets seemingly identified, both Gregory van der Wiel and Demba Ba have been strongly linked for in recent weeks to solidify at right back and up front, spending looks set to continue. But it is the potential of the fantastic four that will whet the appetite of fans and signify Chelsea’s intent ahead of the new campaign.
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