It’s pretty clear that every team on the entire planet wants to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. The 20-year-old is already one of the world’s best strikers and looks set to dominate the game for the next decade.
Chelsea are well in the mix for Haaland, but with so many other big boys sticking their noses into a deal which could well be worth in excess of £150m, sometimes you’ve just got to take a step back and think about things.
Sure, Chelsea need a new cut-throat striker. Haaland would obviously fit the bill, but one man who’s right up there too is a certain Belgian who was seen as the answer to the Blues’ prayers in both 2011 and 2017, Romelu Lukaku.
First time around, Lukaku was the world’s hottest prospect coming out of Anderlecht and was seen as the heir to Didier Drogba’s throne. Chelsea snapped him up, but for whatever reason, things didn’t work out and he was offloaded permanently in 2014.
Three years later, after Antonio Conte’s genius text to Diego Costa telling the only reliable striker Chelsea had had since Drogba’s departure in 2012 to politely do one, it was Lukaku who was again seen as the answer to Chelsea’s problems, but Manchester United swooped in with a better offer and forced Chelsea to bring in *shudder* Alvaro Morata.
Both times, Chelsea failed Lukaku. They didn’t offer him the kind of home he needed. It’s time to make that right in 2021.
While we all would like Haaland, Chelsea are sensibly looking at alternatives, and The Telegraph note that Lukaku is one of those on the shortlist. Once again, Blues scouts have thrown up the bat signal, and it’s Lukaku who has answered their prayers.
There’s a reason Chelsea keep coming back to Lukaku. He’s an elite-level striker who is in the best form of his life right now, but even though his goals have been coming in Serie A recently, there’s no doubting his pedigree in the Premier League.
This is a man who bagged 113 goals in 252 appearances in England. He’s the fifth-youngest player to ever hit a century and the youngest overseas talent to ever do it. That’s an unreal CV, and it’s something which should have Chelsea drooling.
If there’s one thing that puts Lukaku above Haaland from Chelsea’s perspective, it’s his track record in England. If he came back to the Premier League today, he might need a few weeks to work out his surroundings, but he’d be back at it almost immediately. He knows what’s going on and how defenders play, and most importantly, he knows how to beat them.
With Haaland, his ability to take to life in the Premier League is unknown, and while you might think it’s a near certainty that he would settle in immediately, most would have said the thing about Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
The two Germans set the Bundesliga alight for a good few years, but they’re struggled to match those levels in England, and their form is a large part of the reason why Chelsea need this new elite number nine.
Sure, Haaland would be great, but if Chelsea spend £150m on another player from Germany who doesn’t settle immediately, there’ll be hell on Earth. The risk is there, and at that kind of money, it might be too big for a team like Chelsea.
Lukaku would be cheaper and is a guaranteed source of goals in England. Guaranteed.
It’s that confidence which will convince Chelsea scouts to keep watching Lukaku, and in a world in which everyone is focused on signing the next big thing, maybe Chelsea should think outside the box and go for the current one.