Harry Kane, Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku among targets for Chelsea striker this summer
Thomas Tuchel and the Chelsea board came as little surprise that the club intend to pursue a genuine striker during next summer’s transfer window. Despite an influx of new and young players last summer, the club want a veteran and established player to help lead the offensive attack and bring more goals to the club.
To start the season, Timo Werner was the perfect candidate to be this type of player, his potential success was what the team hoped for, designed the team, and yet those designs never came to fruition. Whether it was the transition from the Bundesliga to the English Premier League, or a difference in position and tactics, Werner left a lot to be desired.
With the need for a striker in mind, reports suggest that Chelsea’s top three goals in this position are Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. With no Chelsea player having scored more than seven league goals this season, an addition is needed.
Kane is the safest bet of the three as he currently plays in the Premier League, understands the state of the game and was the league’s top scorer with 23 goals and also led the league in assists with 14. No matter what where Kane goes, he will immediately improve attack and goal ability. However, the odds of Tottenham doing business with city rivals Chelsea are another matter.
The 27-year-old can order over Â£ 150million this summer, but if Chelsea are serious about pushing for the leader, like reports suggest, then it may take even more than that. Yet when Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants something, few can say no to him. There’s no denying that Kane will be the hottest merchandise on the market this summer and all signs are showing Chelsea are at least trying to run for him.
If Kane’s pursuit doesn’t go through, that leaves two more high-end options for Lukaku and Haaland. Sure, Lukaku, a former Chelsea man himself and just a year older than Kane, could be handsome. The Belgian has scored 47 goals for Inter Milan in just 72 appearances and his performance in the Premier League is equally impressive. During his stint with Manchester United, he scored 28 goals in 66 appearances despite his deteriorating relationship with the club.
Lukaku could be valued at between Â£ 80 million and Â£ 100million which is significantly cheaper than Kane, but he could provide similar output for the club. However, as reported by The Athletic, Lukaku’s future likely hinges on the status of Milan coach Antonio Conte.
Finally, the third Chelsea-linked striker, and the one who has lasted most of the season, is Borussia Dortmund’s Haaland. The Norwegian has been the subject of discussions in terms of a transfer target for almost every top club in the Premier League. One of Haaland’s requirements for a move is that the buying club must be in the Champions League next season. Given that Dortmund have secured Champions League football for next season, a decision seems unlikely.
However, if the old adage that ‘everything is for sale at the right price’ is true, and if a sufficiently substantial offer comes to Dortmund, then a move to Haaland is still possible. At 20, he is by far the youngest of Chelsea’s three main goals and many questions could be raised about his potential. The Dortmund leader comes from the Bundesliga, which two of Chelsea’s main acquisitions last summer had to do and the adjustment did not go as planned.
In addition, his youth plays a role as Chelsea seem to desire a veteran player who has produced at the highest level with consistency. Haaland, for as much talent as he is, would pose a significantly higher risk, especially for the associated cost, compared to players like Kane and Lukaku. Haaland would likely demand a fee of Â£ 160million with salaries reported close to Â£ 500,000 per week. While the Norwegian could very well be a generational talent, waiting until next summer, when his release clause can be activated, will cut costs considerably. Still, all signs point to a club at least racing for him this summer. The question remains whether Chelsea want to pursue him instead of a more established striker.
Either way, Chelsea will be chasing a top striker. Who ends up in blue next season is still a mystery that will have to be solved this summer.