Chelsea will have spent a whopping £914million under Todd Boehly once New England Revolution goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic signs on the dotted line – therefore it feels somewhat scandalous to declare the Blues are still missing one key signing despite their convincing 3-0 win over Luton Town. It’s clear to see Mauricio Pochettino has made instant tactical improvements since he was appointed in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat but even after netting three times, it feels as though Chelsea are still lacking a reliable goal-threat in attack and that is something that could prove the difference come the end of the season.
That may seem overcritical but the brutal reality is that Luton’s defence was utterly hapless. It would be a miracle if they were to survival this season.
There is no denying that goalscorer Nicolas Jackson and the rejuvenated Raheem Sterling are a problem for opposition defences but Chelsea will require more over the stretch of a long campaign – particularly against the top sides.
They need a striker that can win matches on his own. A reliable goal output that prides himself on hitting on the back of the net.
Jackson, who poked home his first competitive goal in Chelsea colours, is a fine prospect and a fun project for Pochettino but it’s evident he will blow hot and cold.
There are flashes of excellence but also moments of huge disappointment as at times, he appears to lack real technical quality. Tonight, he tripped over the ball on multiple occasions but as a raw talent, that is natural.
Two-goal Sterling has started the season in inspired form but given his struggles in recent seasons, it’s hard to see him replicating this level of confidence for the long haul. And after all, he is still a wide forward.
If the Chelsea were to view this victory as evidence they don’t need a striker in the window, it would be papering over cracks particularly as injuries could yet come into play.
The problem Chelsea have is there are no standout options available on the market and furthermore, it’s clear they need to be careful with Financial Fair Play.
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There is no point signing a centre-forward for the sake of it and as Pochettino said, he wants to ensure Armando Broja’s pathway is respected as he has a big future with the Blues.
But whether Broja is the man – particularly after a serious knee injury – to spearhead Chelsea’s attack is another question altogether.
The Blues had looked at swapping Lukaku for Dusan Vlahovic but the Serbian was not a universally popular pick in the Chelsea boardroom.
Waiting until January to enter the running for Ivan Toney, might be a safer pick although Chelsea are likely to face competition from Tottenham and other potential suitors.
Yet it feels as though Chelsea will be at a disadvantage if they don’t land a top-class centre-forward. They created a number of clearcut chances that they failed to put away and that will be punished against stronger opposition.
Jackson needs time and he is still effectively a winger playing through the middle. His finishing is scruffy and ultimately, he does not look capable of netting 20 goals per season just yet.
Resting your hopes on a young man in Jackson would be unfair for a player that needs time to adapt to his new surroundings despite the impressive start he has made to life in west London.
Chelsea undoubtedly look stronger in defence and in midfield but their attack remains unconvincing – even if a 3-0 win looks great on paper for Pochettino
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