Nov 262014
 

Highly rated 23 year old Croatian has subject o transfer speculations linking him to a switch to Stamford Bridge. The striker announced himself in his country’s domestic league, when he scored an impressive 35 goals in 26 games at both international and club level.

Reports emanating from Italy have confirmed Chelsea to be on the verge of agreeing a deal for a youngster that is sure to come cheap despite his amazing goal scoring record.

“We have been following Kramaric for a long time, but I think that he’s about to sign a contract with Chelsea” – Pierpaolo Marino

Andrej Kramaric was born in Zagreb on the 19th June 1991 and signed with his hometown club Dinamo Zagreb when he was just seven years old. The youngster went on to score 450 goals for the clubs youth team, making him their greatest ever goal scorer at that level.

He made his official debut aged 17 in 2009 against local rivals NK Zagreb. However he failed to find himself a regular spot in the first team as he struggled to live up to his hefty billing.

In 2010 he almost created history by joining the Red Star Belgrade. He would have been the first Croatian to play for the Serbian side since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992.

The Croatian is currently out on loan at Lokomotive since February 2013 and is doing very well. He scored a respectable 5 goals in 13 appearances last season. This season has again been a good one, with the lad grabbing 16 goals in 28 appearances across all competitions this season.

The youngster has represented Croatia at every youth Level from under 14 to 21 and is believed to be on the verge of a National team call up from Croatian coach Igor Stimac.

In an eye catching performance that drew suitors from far and wide, Kramaric netted a 13 minute hat trick against Feynoord in the Europa league last season. In a performance that reaffirmed his reputation as the next Davur Suker, the youngster has so far lived up to the hype.

There are apparently many suitors for his services, which are said to include Chelsea, Stoke City, M’Gladbach, Fiorentina and Sampdoria. While these clubs have made approaches, none has taken a serious step. Although Italian club Juventus is rumored to have put in a tentative bid of 7 million and have contacted the player’s father and have reached an agreement in principle for the youngster.

Despite the supposed bid, Chelsea are thought to be favored by the player, who will accept to play for them immediately a bid comes in.

The future is bright for the youngster and he can only go higher from here on. His impressive goal scoring record has led to comparisons with great players like the Italian master finisher, Fillipo Inzaghi.

With a host of teams interested, the 23 year old will not be in Croatia for too long.

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 Posted by at 9:36 am
Nov 242014
 

With speculation mounting regarding Reus’ proposed move to Chelsea, and with Jose Mourinho said to have contacted the German’s agent personally, a transfer to Stamford Bridge is looking increasingly likely every day.

Already, we are aware of Chelsea’s wealth of talent in the attacking band and Reus will have competition if he eventually moves to London. However what a lot of fans seem to be curious about, is if and were the 25 year old will fit in the grand scheme of things at the Bridge.

Marco Reus is one of the best players in the world at the moment. He missed out on the German world cup winning team after picking up an injury in a warm up match just before the competition and has been picking up small niggling injuries ever since.

Apart from being a brilliant player when going forward, the German’s work ethic is also renowned and the 25 year old seems like he will fit seamlessly into an already very hard working side.

Chelsea seem to be too reliant on the magic of Eden Hazard to bring them out sticky situations and the addition of Marco Reus will give defenders another grade A player to focus on.

Reus also has an amazing goal scoring record for Dortmund, scoring 47 times in 99 games for the Bundesliga side, since joining them in 2012. This is in sharp contrast to anything Chelsea’s current attackers produce, with a prime example being Andre Schurrle who has scored just 11 goals in 54 games for the English side.

However in this current Chelsea team, the German winger is most likely to replace the Brazilian Willian, who has scored a disappointing 5 goals in his 54 games. Although Willian is said to be the best defensive winger in the League, Reus can fill in for him in this regard without a significant drop in defensive contribution.

Replacing Willian will not be as easy as it looks, with the diminutive Brazilian being a Mourinho favorite. Although Reus is already a very hard working player, he will be joining an English side that is even more work oriented. One thing is clear though, the German brings more defensively than the Belgian Hazard currently does.

Reus will not find it hard to adapt to the Chelsea system as his current side plays a similar counter attacking game.

Jose Mourinho probably feels he needs extra quality in his band of three, with Schurrle being so inconsistent and Willian contributing so little to Chelsea’s attack.

Reus would add a new found threat that doesn’t exist at the moment for Chelsea. The attacking midfield trio of Hazard, Oscar and Reus behind Costa, is the stuff of dreams and the London based side would automatically become the best team on paper in the League. Although it is noteworthy to include the fact that the Blues look set to win this year’s League title with or without the German’s inclusion.

However, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea will likely have to wait till the summer as the winger picked up an injury in his side’s last match, that will see him ruled out till February next year.

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 Posted by at 12:00 pm
Nov 242014
 

Chelsea are edging closer to capturing the signature of young French central defender Raphael Varane. The 22-year old Real Madrid defender was linked to the Blues all summer but it has emerged that a winter move could be possible as Chelsea owner Roman Abrahamovic has stepped in to help Mourinho finance the move for the highly rated defender.

Abrahamovic seems pleased with the good work Mourinho has done in the club since taking over last summer especially with the Portuguese’s summer signings lightning up the Premier league with their rich form, and is bent on financing any further signing Mourinho would want to make irrespective of the cost.

Varane has been identified as a possible long term replacement for Chelsea captain John Terry and also as a long term defensive partner to compatriot Kurt Zouma who is already showing his good qualities at Chelsea this season.

Terry will be 34 next month and is almost at the twilight of his Chelsea career and the club has already set out to find the right replacement for the long serving skipper. Chelsea have been linked to Gerard Pique but Mourinho seem to prefer Raphael Varane whom he brought and worked with while at Real Madrid.

Chelsea will look to move for the player as early as this winter transfer window and the 19million asking price from Real Madrid won’t be a huge problem especially with the Russian Billionaire owner backing the move.

Mourinho won’t have any problem convincing the young defender to move to Stamford Bridge as he has worked with the player before and both have a good relationship till date.

It was Jose Mourinho who signed Varane from french side RC Lens in the summer of 2011 and gave the young prodigy his big break at top flight football at Bernabue benching stalwart like Pepe for the young French defender.

Varane has however find action limited since the departure of the Portuguese manager as new Los Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti seems to prefer the defensive pair of Pepe and Ramos in central defence.

A move to West London is one Varane would welcome with open arms even as the prospect of working again with Jose Mourinho could be too tempting to turn down.

Varane, a calm and composed figure at the heart of defence is one of the best central defender of his age presently in football. His ability to intelligently read games is such a quality very rare in players of his age. His move to Chelsea would be a huge upgrade to the Chelsea’s back-line.

He will make a good parnership with Gary Cahill when John Terry calls it quit in football at Chelsea, and having him and already-impressive Kurt Zouma lead the line from behind for Chelsea in the nearest future means the club can look into the future with great optimism.

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 Posted by at 10:43 am
Nov 232014
 

With the current Chelsea wingers Mohammed Salah and Andre Schurrle under fire for their terrible performances in recent games, the German and English media is agog with news of a move to acquire the services of the 25year old German international Marco Reus.

The Dortmund star missed the World cup in 2014, were he was billed as one of the players to watch. However his absence at the competition and subsequent injury has obviously done nothing to taint his reputation as a known quality.

Reports suggest that Jose Mourinho has singled the winger as one of the 2 players he wants to bring in this January, alongside another central midfielder. Reports go on to suggest that initial contact has been made with the player’s agent.

The Bundesliga outfit BVB is said to have no influence in the matter as the news of a relatively cheap release clause to the tune of 23 million pounds was revealed to be in existence. Which for a player as talented as Reus, is a good deal to make notwithstanding his recent injury woes.

The Blues are however said to have competition for his signature from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Dortmund’s rivals Bayern Munich, who have both also declared their interest to the Reus camp.

The addition of Reus to an already brilliant Blues’ squad would be superb. The winger would definitely bring loads of talent with him; he is quick, crafty and has a penchant for finding the back of the net. He has scored 118 career goals in 302 appearances.

The German plays as a winger or attacking midfielder, he could be used on both wings but mostly plays on the left.

Reus could probably displace Willian or Oscar if he comes to Chelsea, but I’m sure that they would still get loads of playing time. This would mean that the German would spend more time on the bench than he does at his present club. While a lot of players would love to be a part of the Chelsea project, no one wants to be on the bench. Although his other suitors may no be able to guarantee him playing time either.

The club would have to spend big to get him. And with Chelsea only just announcing a profit of 15million last week, money shouldn’t be a problem for this deal.

Whether or not Chelsea splashes the cash to bring the highly rated German to England, they should be in pole position to still win the league with the players they currently have on the roster.

With Roman Abramovich said to be very keen to provide Mourinho with what he wants, giving the perfect start the club has had thus far, and it all sounds very promising for the Blues, with the only problem being the competition they face.

With Bayern and Madrid in the mix, the situation may turn out to be reminiscent of Hazard’s saga. If these 3 clubs meet the release clause, the German may have to make a choice between the three. In which case, Chelsea’s chances don’t seem so good.

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 Posted by at 11:20 am
Nov 212014
 

In what has become a normal transfer speculation in the past two seasons, the Premier League has once again been placed on high alert as top clubs in England such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have once again been linked with one of Sporting Lisbon’s most valuable players in the mould William Carvalho.

The Portuguese Midfielder is built like a tank and is regarded as the next big thing in the defensive midfield position. A mainstay in the Lisbon side for a couple of years now despite his age, the 22 year old is not short on admirers.

One pertinent question that most Chelsea fans seem to be asking is; is he really needed? Does the powerfully built midfielder fill a void within the team at all?

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the youngster’s qualities and then decide if Chelsea really needs his services;

With at least 5 Premier League clubs reportedly keen, Sporting acted to secure 100 percent of the player’s ownership from his previous third party owners.

William stands just shy of 6’2” tall and makes good use of his imposing frame to play the holding midfielder role- arguably the most important position in modern football to near perfection.

As with all good players, William seems to have more time on the ball than everyone else on the pitch … this is despite being stationed in the thick of the midfield action. No matter how fast or how skillful the adversary is, when coming up against William, it is the Sporting man that invariably emerges with the ball.

His composure and superb positioning, means he is rarely under pressure. The youngster isn’t afraid to utilize his physical prowess when need be, as several bruised opponents can attest to weight of one of his crunching tackles.

If the above description seems overly familiar as a Blues supporter, that’s probably because every single defensive attribute listed above can apply seamlessly to the Serbian Nemanja Matic, the difference being that the towering Serbian can do all that, and much more.

Carvalho’s distribution is frequently wayward and lacks the ambition that a good pass from deep should have, as he prefers the sideways pass to a more vertical approach. This type of play does not help Sporting’s set up, where practically all the attacking is channeled down the wings.

Now if this latest description also sounds very familiar, that’s because it is reminiscent of the Nigerian John Mikel Obi. The Nigerian is an equally competent defensive player with underwhelming attacking capabilities.

It does seem a bit ill advised to spend 37million pounds attempting to purchase a player who is only a slight upgrade on Mikel. Although even this is up for debate, as Mikel has tested himself amongst the best and is much more experienced.

So the question is, if the Sporting midfielder isn’t going to break into the first team and is sure to be behind Fabregas and Matic in the pecking order, then why pay so much money for a back up when the Nigerian can at least play that role without too many major hiccups?

So to finally answer the question, the Blues do not in any way need William Carvalho, although I am fairly certain he may do wonders for Arsenal.

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 Posted by at 5:01 pm
Nov 212014
 

After his first couple of matches for the Blues this season, the only 2 highlights being the Fabregas assisted wonder goal and his equalizer against City, the German international seemed to have lost his form somewhat.

Following a bout of illness, the former Leverkusen man failed to impress even when he started matches in the Capital one cup against second and third division sides.

With Jose Mourinho rumored to be in contact with Marco Reus’ agent, it seems that Andre Schurrle might be the one chosen to make way for his German compatriot.

Does the winger still have a role to play for the Blues?

If Reus does eventually make the move to London, Andre Schurrle might still prove useful and collaboration between the two players will go a long way to improve Chelsea’s attacking band, at the expense of the lackluster Mohammed Salah who is most likely exiting this January.

With Chelsea usually using a 3 man attack just behind the lone forward in a 4-2-3-1, having Willian, Hazard, Reus, Schurrle and Oscar makes 5 players for 3 positions and with rotation coupled with the availability of various competitions to participate in, they should all get a look in.

As Andre Schurrle showed during the 2014 World cup, he could do very well coming of the bench to influence the game. The German’s ability to play as a striker, support striker, left winger and right winger, means he will always have his uses no matter which system the manager decides to play.

German football expert Raphael Honigstein is of the opinion that Mourinho still has the 24 year old in his plans;

“I think it’s almost a good sign that Mourinho keeps talking about him, saying he needs to play better, because as long as Mo urinho says these things about you, you think you have a good chance.

Remember how he used to criticize Eden Hazard, I think it’s when he goes very quiet, that’s when you know you’re on your way out”

Even with an eventual addition of the young Reus, Andre Schurrle still has qualities that make him continually useful. Andre Schurrle’s attributes as a player are fairly obvious; The German has decent speed, above average dribbling ability, and superb finishing and Schurrle is very adept at making runs in behind a defense.

He will be useful either in the starting eleven or when emerging from the bench, as he has a tendency to still impact games.

One discernable disadvantage that the former Mainz man has is his obvious inconsistency. And as usual, his coach has a say;

“He has missed several chances this season and can’t earn a constant run in the team. Sometimes he plays phenomenal. Other times he plays s. But when he plays phenomenal, he is phenomenal” – Jose Mourinho after  a Capital one game against Bolton

As with most inconsistent players, fans of the Blues are usually unsure of what the German might contribute to any given match.

One thing’s for sure, the 24 year will be desperately looking to improve his form and help his team win the league at the end of 38 games.

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 Posted by at 4:21 pm
Nov 212014
 

After an impeccable performance last season, Cech’s place was obviously still under threat as the young Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, on loan from Chelsea, had an even better season in Spain.

The Chelsea Boss has made his preference in the goalkeeping department clear enough as Courtois has been the undisputed first choice thus far this season, with Cech having to be content with capital one cup games and Champions League ties against the minnows in the group.

Rumors all over English tabloids suggest that Arsene Wenger might make a move for the 34 year old veteran to solidify his squad leading up to the second half of the season. With Chelsea showing a willingness to sell to rivals in the past, the deal should go through if the Frenchman agrees to pay Chelsea’s asking price.

It is obvious that the London side is spoilt for choice in the goal keeping department with Thibaut Courtois, Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer all world  class goal keepers under their books, the Blues won’t have a problem making good money while still maintaining the overall quality of their squad.

Although the Czech international is willing to see out his contract, he would be happy to see current status quo change;

“Everyone is asking me what if and what will happen. As a player that has two years on his contract, I cannot make the choice. It’s simple. If the club says; you are staying here, then I’ll be staying. I can only leave if the club lets me go and that is not the case”

“I’m doing my best to change the situation. I want to play as often as possible and be prepared to be ass goos as possible for the fixtures in the New Year”- Petr Cech

With Cech already an obvious upgrade on the current Arsenal goalkeeper, a lot of thought has to be put into the decision of bringing a goalkeeper that would displace Wojciech Szczesny right away and stunt the growth of a goalkeeper who’s only 24 and already one of the best young keepers in football.

Notwithstanding, this move makes more sense for all the parties involved, much more than it doesn’t. For Arsenal they get a more consistent, experienced and world class keeper, while Chelsea finally begin to reduce their overwhelming number of Foreign based professionals by selling a foreign player and replacing him with Jamal Blackman currently at Middleborough to help their homegrown quota.

Cech would seem to be the biggest gainer, if the move were to go through, as he gets at least a 3 year contract, which is a shift from Chelsea’s one year extension policy for players over 30, he gets a better salary and a chance to at least compete for silverware in the league, as well as in Europe.

There’s an advantage for the Premier League as it gets to keep a phenomenal goal-keeper in the league, as well as create an even better atmosphere during derby matches between the two London rivals.

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 Posted by at 3:44 pm
Nov 172014
 

In what is not a surprising turn of events, German wonder kid Marcos Reus has been linked with a move to Premier League heavy weights in a deal that would purportedly see the London side, trigger a release clause in his contract.

The German has undoubtedly been the best player at the club, following the departure of his compatriot Mario Gotze. However, with the Dortmund club seemingly continuing the trend of selling their best player every window, the youngster may not have a choice but to jump ship if he hopes to win silverware in the nearest future.

Chelsea are front runners in the Reus pursuit, while it has also been reported that Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester united might also be keen.

They will however need to cough up at least an excess of 19.5 million pounds, which is the rumored buyout of the German’s contract, if they are to have any hope of landing the midfielder.

However, it is believed that the Blues might have the upper hand in these negotiations, as they are probably the only ones amongst their other rivals, who will be able to provide a serviceable replacement to the German side.

Chelsea are believed to be interested in doing a swap plus cash deal to force a move for the German star. This deal is likely to involve Reus’s compatriot for the German National team Andre Schurrle, who seems to fit a lot of the criteria that the German heavy weights might be looking for as far as a replacement is concerned.

Andre Schurrle is still a youngster that has the big game persona to thrive at club like Dortmund. Already familiar with the Bundesliga, the winger has played at the highest level with both Chelsea and the German National team. The latter, for whom he helped, win the world cup.

Schurrle, like his international teammate, can play anywhere in the attacking band as well as up top as striker or a support striker. The Chelsea attacker would be a like for like replacement if they chose to follow that route.

Considering that Schurrle has had an irregular playing time with Chelsea this season, the World cup winner seems the  most likely candidate to leave Stamford Bridge, to enable Jose Mourinho entice Reus away from the Bundesliga outfit.

Despite closing in on Reus, Mourinho is allegedly facing competition from Spanish giants Real Madrid, who are also keen on the youngster. Despite every sign pointing to Chelsea as favorites in this pursuit of the highly rated front man, the Blues should beware of the 25year old’s latest injury woes, the Dortmund star man has featured sporadically due to persistent niggles throughout the season thus far.

The German also missed out on the world cup due to an injury he picked up during the warm matches earlier this year. With their star man Costa already an injury magnet, the London side should be weary of adding any player, who will tend to see the inside of the treatment center, more than the he will the pitch.

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 Posted by at 2:29 pm
Nov 172014
 

The Egyptian winger is one of the most promising youngsters in African football, but a move to Chelsea last winter has seen his value plummeted. With the youngster seeing little to no time on the pitch in this season’s campaign, the London outfit may need to rethink his future with the club.

The former Basel man has mostly seen game time in Capital one cup encounters against weaker opposition and even then he hasn’t impressed. Although everything points to the fact that Mourinho is a big fan of the speedy winger, he will not see playing time on the pitch this season, except he ups his game.

With the African Nations cup approaching, Mohammed Salah will need to be at his best if he is to inspire his country to success in the competition. If they qualify thats.

Complaints from his National team coach last season exposed the fact that Salah was severely lacking in match fitness, when he appeared for his country in friendly matches and crucial qualifiers.

There however seems to be a ray of hope for the diminutive Egyptian, as reports out of Italy, seem to be linking him with a move to Italian giants Inter Milan. The Milan based outfit has undergone a change in managment with the arrival of former Manchester City boss, Roberto Mancini.

The Italian tactician seems to be in need of fresh minds to help boost his team’s title challenge this season and has called on the club to make a move for the attacker this January.

Last January Inter Milan had to forego their interest in the winger for fear that he would be called into military service. The 22 year old was offered to the Serie A side on transfer deadline day, but then manager of the side, Walter Mazzarri rejected the offer to take the player to the San Siro.

All was well at the end, as Egyptian Prime Minister stepped in to prevent Salah having to do national service earlier this summer- six months after his arrival at Chelsea- but Inter feared that the call might come again if the player changed country.

Jose Mourinho is reportedly happy to allow the former Basel man leave the club on a short term deal, if the right opportunity comes. It seems unlikely that Salah will be missed in London, as players such as Schurrle, Ramires and even Fabregas will be on hand to provide cover at his position, if the need arises.

Crystal Palace have also been linked with a surprise move for Salah, but inter Milan appears to be the more likely destination for the Egyptian. Reports out of Italy go further to suggest that the Italian side will only proceed with the move, if they are able to find a buyer for want away midfielder, Freddy Guarin.

If the move does pull through, the talented winger will be able to get the chance to reestablish himself at an inter side, that are not as comprised of superstars as they used to be.

Hopefully, the attacker will once again show the world, why he is one of Africa’s best players.

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 Posted by at 12:24 pm
Nov 112014
 

Chelsea have yet again indicated their interest in Ivorian and CSKA Moscow’s forward Seydou Doumbia according to reports. The Blues have made an attempt to sign the powerful striker in the summer but the deal fell through with Mourinho turning attention to Loic Remy whom the club secure on transfer deadline day from Queens Park Rangers.

The West London outfit will however be back for the player in January in what could be a cut-price deal for the highly rated striker. The former Young Boys of Switzerland player signed for CSKA Moscow in January 2010 though the terms of the contract meant he would see off the remainder of the season at Young Boys and join up with CSKA in the summer.

The 26-year-old have been in impressive goal scoring form for the Russian side scoring a total of 83 goals in 124 appearances for the clubs since his move. His good form has continued this season where he has 10 goals in less than fifteen appearances for the club so far in all competitions.

He scored three goals against Manchester City in their double header Champions league clash earlier this season with two of those goals coming in the 2-1 at the Etihad stadium.

Chelsea will look to beat off competition from the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle who are also said to be interested in the player. A cut-price fee of around 15 million has been muted due to the player’s persistent injuries.

Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen to add the pacey forward to his attacking ranks to help ease the burden on Diego Costa and Loic Remy who have been an injury concerns in recent times.

Doumbia will be willing to play in a system where there will be rotation with him not being 100 percent fit. This will be a major attraction for him as he could be rotated among Chelsea other strikers within games.

Doumbia 26, is an interesting striker to watch with his strength, pace and finishing being his major asset. He is also a great threat at counter attack hence, will suit Mourinho’s counter attacking style.

Seydou Doumbia has represented the Ivorian national side since 2008 though has not really made much impart as Chelsea Legend Didier Drogba has been the man leading the line for the Ivorian for over a decade now.

His club form and record has however been impressive. In his first season at Swiss side- Young Boys, he scored 20 league goals. He also scored 30 league goals in his second and last season for Young boys thus winning the award of the top goal scorer for two consecutive seasons in the Swiss championship.

He has been excellent for CSKA Moscow since joining them and his goal per game ratio is really impressive. He will be a good addition to Chelsea if the deal comes through even as the club look to fight for silver wears at all front.

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 Posted by at 6:23 pm