Jose Mourinho: "Did not to sign a striker in January as I wanted long-term replacement in the summer"
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he decided not to sign a striker in January as he wanted to bring in a long-term replacement in the summer, rather than opt for a quick fix at the midway point of the season.
The Portuguese boss has been criticised for his failure to strengthen his failing front line when he had the opportunity to do so, but he is adamant that his plans for the future meant it was not the best option available to him.
Mourinho: “When you were trying to understand in Jan why we didn’t sign striker, we were preparing for the long term, not just immediate.”
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) May 9, 2014
With Samuel Eto’o out of form and Fernando Torres along with Demba Ba showing no signs of improvement after the first half of the season, many predicted Mourinho would make a new recruit up front a priority.
Given the 4-2-3-1 formation that Chelsea have been deployed in throughout the course of the campaign, a bulky front man to lead the line has been a glaring omission from the side.
Ironically, Mourinho allowed Romelu Lukaku to leave Stamford Bridge at the start of the season, with the Belgian the best candidate to play the physically demanding role for the Blues.
However, as he joined Everton on a season long loan deal he was unavailable, which Mourinho has revealed was the key reason behind his decision not to chase another striker.
With the majority of the world’s best attackers cup tied in the Champions League in January, it is now clear that Mourinho did not want to rush into a signing that would not have been able to play in Chelsea’s significant remaining fixtures in Europe.
Another possible reason that could be cited is that few of the highest calibre of players are unwilling to join a new club mid way through the season, which appears to be the case with Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa.
Costa has been strongly linked with Chelsea throughout the campaign and once the season is completed is widely expected to complete a move to west London.
If Mourinho can persuade a striker of Costa’s ilk to join his side, he will have made the right decision to wait until the right player became available, even if a lack of fire power has cost his side on occasions this season.