Should Chelsea Sacrifice Long-Term Success For A Shot At Glory Now?
Chelsea FC have had two good stretches of finishes in the First Division and Premier League since they were formed in 1905. They had won three top-flight titles and three FA Cups when Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich purchased the club in June 2003. Since that purchase, the club has added three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and numerous other trophies, including a UEFA Champions League Title.
Abramovich has not been afraid to spend money to turn the club into one of the premier destinations in the world to play soccer. He always has top-notch coaches to go with the great squads that he builds. Recently, UEFA has instituted the Financial Fair Play system, which prevents clubs from spending more than they make, thus reducing the likelihood of long-term economic failures for clubs around the world. This initiative from UEFA will have a direct impact on Chelsea FC this summer as they look to bolster their squad.
The club has been linked with the potential massive summer signing of Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani. Cavani is 26-years-old and has only been with PSG for half of a season after moving over from Napoli in Italy. His numbers both this season and for his career are breathtaking: he has scored 19 goals in 27 appearances across all competitions this season, with a total of 172 goals in 312 appearances over his nine-year career.
Cavani is also a member of the Uruguay Men’s National Team and a key member at that. He has 60 caps for his country and has contributed 20 goals, which leaves him tied for 10th all-time for Uruguay.
The move would be very welcomed by Cavani as he has grown frustrated with the management of his current club due to being “played out of position.” Cavani considers himself to be a more central player, but he is being used as an attacking wing player.
Terms have not be discussed in any of these reports, but any move involving the services of Cavani will likely see an extremely high-priced transfer bid. The impact, however, is that it may force Chelsea to have to sell prized young Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku has played the majority of his time with Chelsea away from Stamford Bridge with two loan spells, first being at West Bromwich Albion and currently with Everton. He has scored 26 goals during these loans, and the 21-year-old has a big frame at 6-foot-3. His strong build allows him to muscle off defenders to create shooting chances.
The fact that he hasn’t seen regular first-team minutes is shocking considering the current state of the strikers at Chelsea. Fernando Torres has struggled to score in the Premier League since moving to Chelsea during the 2010-11 season, with a strike rate of 19 goals in 99 league appearances. He is wonderful in European competitions though, where he has 15 goals in 34 appearances. He seems to have long dry spells without goals before having one or two big games at crucial times.
The other main attacking option has been Samuel Eto’o. However, Eto’o is past his prime at 32-years-old and does not have the speed that he once possessed. Though he has received sporadic minutes, he is still tied for second with eight goals for the club this season.
Cavani will add an immediate boost to the Chelsea attack, but will be 27 by the time he arrives at Stamford Bridge — that is if he is even sold from Paris Saint-Germain. Lukaku is five years younger and has already shown that he can be successful in the Premier League while also having a longer career ahead of him. It will be very interesting to see how Abramovich and Jose Mourinho deal with this situation. Their loss could be another club’s huge gain if they can acquire Lukaku.
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