Is Rooney the final piece of the jigsaw at Chelsea?
It appears that Chelsea are very close to completion in terms of their business in the transfer market this year. Jose Mourinho has come out with quite a few interesting quotes over the past few weeks, suggesting that it is indeed “Rooney or bust” as regards marquee signings. Do we believe him? It’s certainly starting to look that way.
Working from front to back, most of us highlighted a few areas that needed addressing over the summer, with a world class striker being top of the vast majority of shopping lists. We’ve missed out on the likes of Falcao and Cavani (despite recent suggestions that we were never in for them anyway), and now it looks as if all our eggs are in Rooney’s basket.
Whatever your opinion might be on the United forward, there’s no doubting he’d bring qualities that we’re currently lacking in the striker department. His technique and link up play would bring a different dimension to the power approach of Lukaku, and whatever it is that Torres is offering these days. As for Demba Ba, I would expect him to be the one that’s moved on should Rooney sign. If he doesn’t however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go with what we’ve got.
That for me is a slight concern. Having Lukaku back is a really positive thing, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes for him this season. Torres and Ba on the other hand just fill me with very little confidence. Both struggled for consistency last season and I don’t see that changing. The young Belgian has to be first choice if no one else were to come in.
As for the rest of the squad, we’re not lacking in numbers, but there are one or two areas that I’d argue need an upgrade. Central midfield is somewhere that we were pretty poor for most of last season. We were lacking a solid screen in front of the back four and any sort of playmaking ability from deep.
Marco Van Ginkel and the returning Michael Essien have been added to the mix, meaning a stronger set of options. But with Essien not being the force he once was, and Van Ginkel being more for the future, I’d like to see one more addition. That man would be Daniele De Rossi.
We’ve been heavily with the Italian over the summer and it’s easy to see why. He’s a defensive screen and a creator from deep rolled in to one. Strength, technique, awareness and a fantastic passing range. Just about everything you’d want in a midfielder. With all that, I think you could easily pair him with any of our midfielders.
At (almost) 30, he’s in his prime, and three or four years of him patrolling our midfield while the younger midfielders develop would suit me down to the ground. It appears Mourinho has ruled out going in for him, but you never know. Regardless of whether he comes in or not, at least we have a couple more options than last season.
Others have touted the need for a new centre back to partner David Luiz, but it appears Tomas Kalas will be kept around to provide cover for our current crop. So I don’t see anyone else being brought in. And finally, the backup goalkeeping situation has been addressed with the smart signing of Mark Schwarzer. So any injury to Cech won’t be met with as much anxiety as the previous few years.
So it looks as if Wayne Rooney will be the only possible addition, and if he doesn’t come in, then the squad for the coming season is all set. With the additions of Schurrle and Van Ginkel, plus the return of loanees Lukaku, De Bruyne, Kalas and Essien, we’re in much better shape. The likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar are going to be even better following their promising first campaigns, and there’s another new manager to impress for everybody.
All in all, I’m very excited and confident about our chances of success on all fronts. Granted the squad could be stronger in a few areas, but the best signing we could have possibly made this summer has already happened. The special one is back, and I’d back him to deliver regardless of any weaknesses in the squad.