The missing ingredient in Chelsea's almost-perfect formula
The return of the Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge immediately slapped the tag of “title favourites” on Chelsea. The Blues had a disappointing domestic campaign last season, finishing 14 points behind eventual champions Manchester United. The reappointment of the ‘Special One’ suggests that Roman Abramovich wants to relive the glory days in which Chelsea not only secured back- to-back league titles, but also dominated English football.
This season, Chelsea have the perfect coach, arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, a solid defensive line, an array of creative players, the perfect blend of experience and youth, and hopefully three top strikers (assuming that Demba Ba leaves and a new signing joins Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku). It seems almost inevitable that Chelsea will challenge for the Premier League title this season. However, there is one missing link that will transform the club from title pretenders into title challengers.
The missing ingredient is a world-class creative midfielder who can play alongside David Luiz, Ramires or Obi Mikel in a two-man midfield; someone who can pick up the ball in defence and distribute it across the pitch. Last season, there was a lack of creativity from the Blues and the burden to supply was placed on trio of Hazard, Mata and Oscar; all of whom excelled. A creative, deep-lying midfielder will ease the pressure on our terrific trio and hopefully improve the lousy service the strikers got last season.
I’m sure the question in everyone’s mind is, “what about the record-breaking, legendary, Super Frankie Lampard?” Frank will have an important cameo to play this season, but he isn’t a player that can provide like he used too. Lampard’s job will be to arrive late into the box and score goals, something he’s been doing for more than a decade. There are few players in the world that have perfected the pivot role in midfield, but none more so than Luka Modric and Daniele Di Rossi. If Chelsea sign either of the two, their title winning formula will be complete.
Modric played under Jose Mourinho last season at Madrid and spent the first half of the season warming the bench. He then slowly eased himself into the side and showed his true class (especially after coming on at Old Trafford during the UCL second leg game). If he were to move to Stamford Bridge, he’d stroll into the first eleven and cement his spot next to the sensational David Luiz in midfield. The nimble Croatian toyed with Premier League defenders during his time with Spurs and can surely do the same again. Pulling the strings behind Juan and Eden, Modric can control the pace of the game and may also provide the extra spark Fernando Torres needs.
On the other hand, Daniele de Rossi is the definition of a ‘midfield general’. He is strong, tough, passionate, and will lead by example. Not to mention, he is an absolutely brilliant footballer. De Rossi has been a mainstay in the Italian national team for years now and has continued to grow since he played an instrumental part in the Azzurri’s 2006 World Cup winning campaign. He would be the perfect Mourinho signing and his huge personality would help the team on the pitch and off it as well. He may not be as skilful or creative as Luka Modric, but he can certainly pick a pass and get a team going. He can break down attacks as efficiently as he can start them. De Rossi has been linked with Chelsea for a while now, and it would be no surprise to see him dictating the pace of the game in a Chelsea shirt come August.