Chelsea v Leicester: Match in pictures
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Former Liverpool skipper Graeme Souness has suggested that Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia needs to sign a prolific striker this summer in order for the Blues to challenge for next season’s Premier League title. The Stamford Bridge club are reportedly keeping tabs on Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who is keen to move on ahead of the new campaign, as Thomas Tuchel seeks attacking reinforcements to bolster his squad.
Chelsea’s current options at the top of the pitch are somewhat limited, with Kai Havertz often forced to adapt to the No 9 role as a result.
Olivier Giroud is nearing the twilight of his career at 34 years of age, while Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner have failed to live up to expectations since Tuchel’s arrival in January.
The latter has endured a torrid first season at the club, scoring just six times in the Premier League since the beginning of the campaign despite playing all but two of his side’s top-flight matches.
He saw a pair of early goals ruled out against newly-crowned FA Cup champions Leicester City on Tuesday night, but Antonio Rudiger’s second-half opener and a penalty from Jorginho proved to be enough for the Blues to seal a 2-1 win.
Werner’s lack of form has contributed heavily to Chelsea’s disappointing haul of 10 goals from their last 11 games, with the addition of a new striker believed to be near the top of Tuchel’s wish list as the summer window approaches.
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Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, who left Stamford Bridge in 2014 after failing to prove his worth to then-manager Jose Mourinho, is said to be on Chelsea’s radar alongside Kane, with the latter also being tracked by both Manchester clubs.
Souness has urged the Blues to pursue the signing of a top-class forward in order to take on Werner’s goal burden next season, with the Liverpool legend highlighting the fact that deep-lying midfielder Jorginho is currently the club’s top scorer.
“If Chelsea had been going through a difficult time, he [Werner] would have been the target, above any other player at Chelsea, for criticism,” Souness told Sky Sports.
“His numbers are terrible for a centre forward at a big club, but he always looks like he gets chances because he is rapid, he is electric, and he would beat most people in a sprint.
“You see him afterwards celebrating with the supporters and he does not look down in spirits, which is a great thing.
“He was a goalscorer before he came to Chelsea, and it may yet happen for him, but Jorginho, your midfield player, as your top scorer with seven goals, you cannot be successful if you are relying on penalties at the highest level.
“They will have to find one [a goalscorer], whether it is Timo Werner or Havertz or someone they bring in. They have to get an out-and-out goalscorer, and I think that is the final piece of the jigsaw for them.”
Souness also claimed that the addition of a prolific striker would elevate Chelsea to new heights, suggesting that Tuchel will be hard-pressed to replicate this season’s successes next time around if the need for an attacking talisman is not addressed.
“I think they’re close to being a real team, Chelsea,” he added. “They have got a bit of everything about them, but if they haven’t got a goalscorer, when games are tight, they will struggle.”
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will pursue the signings of Kane or Lukaku this summer or opt to keep the faith in Werner.
The 25-year-old joined the Blues for around £48million in pre-season and has shown flashes of quality throughout the campaign, but his efforts have ultimately failed to justify the transfer fee paid for his services.
The arrival of Kane would undoubtedly solve Chelsea’s dilemma, but with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy reportedly demanding a whopping £150million in order to part ways with his star man, a move could be difficult to engineer.
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