Chelsea could poach a star striker away from Barcelona


Chelsea’s transfer rumor mill is apparently still a revolving door of smokescreens and pipe dreams. Perhaps the best example of this is the brief whispers linking Lionel Messi with the Blues after his shock exit from Barcelona last summer. Thing is, Marina Granovskaia and Co. are doing a great job of keeping the names of their actual transfer targets out of the press. However, there are times when an opportunity too good to pass up presents itself and the club has to jump on it, no matter how obvious the ties may be. Lucas Digne’s exit from Everton coinciding with Ben Chilwell’s long-term injury is the latest example, although ultimately Chelsea opted against pursuing the left-back.

The Blues have reportedly scouted a number of wingers – left and right – as well as centre-backs and midfielders over the past few months. Despite the struggles in attack, there was little noise over potential attacking transfers following the arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan in the last window. Either way, Chelsea are once again linked with an attacking star due to circumstances, and this time it’s Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.

Chelsea could poach Ousmane Dembele away from Barcelona in the near future

The reasons for these specific rumors are obvious. Dembele’s breakout season that sparked his move to the Catalan club happened at Dortmund under then-manager Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel helped turn the Frenchman into a world-class talent and the two enjoyed a particularly close relationship. Moreover, Dembele is out of contract this summer. He is refusing to sign another deal at the moment and his agents are said to be in talks with some of Europe’s biggest clubs over a free transfer this summer. There are a lot of unknowns in this situation but one thing is clear, whoever signs Dembele will have to meet his huge salary demands.

On the face of it, this looks like another bad deal for the Blues in the grand scheme of things. The 24-year-old has only played 10 games this season after missing the start of the campaign through injury. Dembele has earned a reputation as one of the most injury-prone players in all of world football. During his time at Barcelona, ​​he missed 102 games with a variety of different injuries, playing just 128 games since joining in the summer of 2017. Chelsea already have a handful of forwards known among fans for often running out of time as ‘they’re injured in Callum Hudson. -Odoi and Christian Pulisic, so how would Dembele’s arrival help?

The reality is that the France international is extremely effective when healthy. He averaged one goal contribution every 136 minutes during his time in Spain, despite what many consider to be below average play for the young star. Dembele’s statistical best season came in 2016/17 under Tuchel when he remained healthy and played 49 games. The German tactician had him firing on all cylinders by managing 10 goals and 21 assists.

This would be hugely beneficial for a Chelsea side who have recently needed goal contributions from the wingers. Christian Pulisic and Willian (both 2019/20) were the last wingers to score more than 10 goals in a season. The latter is now gone and the American hasn’t shown the consistency required to hit those numbers again since that time. Mason Mount looks set for a 10+ season with seven goals to date. The problem comes when Tuchel changes formation and Mount’s services are suddenly needed again in the middle and not on the wings. The former Dortmund man can play anywhere on the frontline, especially on both wings, with no real preference.

Dembele might not be the answer to some of the Blues’ problems but it might be worth giving the Frenchman a shot as there is little to no risk. Any move for Dembele would likely be on a free transfer this summer and if there’s any chance that Tuchel could resuscitate the winger’s career, it would be worth it. There is still a long way to go between now and this summer. In the world of transfers, a few seconds can completely reverse a situation.

Do you think Chelsea should target Dembele? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!


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