Shark ENG (1)
Oct 022014

According to reports, Chelsea a looking at landing Benfica and Brazilian wonder kid Anderson Talisca. Jose Mourinho side is thought to be interest in signing the Benfica youngster when the winter transfer window opens in January. Chelsea have done some good transfer business with Benfica after signing players like Ramires, David Luiz and even Nemanja Matic in recent times and with reports linking Anderson Talisca to Chelsea, it seems the blues will look to continue to snap up nice players coming through Benfica.

Talisca has been brilliant for Benfica this season scoring five goals in six games in the Portuguese Liga Don Sagres. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho have also spoken about the player in glowing terms and many see him as a player who will replace Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge as the Ivorien is set to retire at the end of the current season. But, before he makes his switch to SW6 we take a look at five things fans should know about the Brazilian wonder kid.

1. Training and Academy:

Anderson Talisca came through the academy system at Brazilian club Bahia in the Brasilerao. Talisca quickly progressed upwards through the club’s youth system into the first team and was by far their best player prior to his transfer to Benfica in July 2014. Barcelona right full back Dani Alves is also a product of Bahia youth system.

  1.  Record Transfer Fee

Bahia received a club record fee of £3.2 million from Benfica before his move last summer. The £3.2 million is the highest Bahia have received from the sale of any of their player and is thought to be £1.7 million higher than the fee Sevilla paid for Dani Alves who was bought for £500,000

3. Physique

Talisca is 6ft 2 or 188cm and weighs 72kg. It is rare to see attacking midfielders of his height in modern day games and should he join Chelsea he would immediately be joint tallest attacker alongside Diego Costa and Didier Drogba.

  1. Position and Qualities:

Talisca is a left-footed attacking midfielder who likes playing from the left and cutting in but has shown that he is also capable of leading the line when called upon. He is technically gifted with a great pace, strong in the air, can hold up play, shoot from long range and is a threat in set pieces.

  1.  International Career

The Youngster with full name Anderson Souza Conceição Talisca was born in Brazil on 01-02-1994 and at just 20-year-old and has represented the Brazilian national team at under-20 level. He shouldn’t have any problem settling at Chelsea if a move materialise. The Blues already have four Brazilian in their first team squad in Filipe Luis, Ramires, Oscar and Willian and those will help him settle down as fast as possible.

 Posted by at 4:45 pm
Sep 242014

Brazilian born Anderson Souza Conceicao also known as Anderson Talisca, was a highly rated youngster from Bahia’s academy, until Portuguese club Benfica came calling with a fee of around 4million Euros which became the highest ever fee paid for a Bahia player.

Talisca has been an instant hit at Benfica scoring 4 goals so far, including a superb hat-trick against Victoria De Setubai on the 12th of this month. English paper, The Daily mail is reporting that Chelsea’s Boss Jose Mourinho is interested in the Brazilian Talent, who has settled so quickly in Portugal.

It has been reported that a lot of big European clubs were after the Brazilian youngster while he was still at Bahia and that Benfica might have failed in their pursuit had other clubs not backed off, for fear that Talisca might not obtain a work permit.

Mourinho has been quoted as saying that he still finds the time to watch Portuguese league matches, due to his prior connection with the league in which he made his name. It is however very likely that the Chelsea manager would have watched the Brazilian play a couple of times this season. Anderson Talisca is a Mourinho type player; he’s hardworking and has the physicality that is usually lacking in those who play his position.

The former Bahia man’s strengths on the pitch include, his Ariel prowess, ability to hold on to the ball under pressure and a good shot from distance. He is however an inadequate tackler, despite his willingness to try, and his finishing could use some work. Chelsea is not really in need of his type of player as the youngster bears some similarities to his fellow Brazilian Oscar, and is still one for the future.

The London side is in a strong position to land the player, as they have in time past, done hitch free deals with Benfica to get players at reasonable prices. A couple of their acquisitions from the Portuguese club include players such as Ramires, Matic and David Luiz. If Anderson Talisca does eventually end up at Stamford Bridge, sooner rather than later, the odds of him being loaned to a lesser club in other to get playing time are very high.

Although Anderson is an exciting player, the Brazilian born midfielder is still a prospect who isn’t that much better or worse than majority of the 26 players that Chelsea have sent out on loan this season.

 Posted by at 2:36 pm
Aug 252014

William Carvalaho has attracted attention from a number of clubs all summer. Chelsea is reported to be the latest of a long list to join the race for the Portuguese’s signature. The Portuguese newspaper Abola claims Chelsea are preparing a bid for the Sporting Lisbon midfielder estimated to be in the region of £35 million. Carvalaho has a £37m release clause in his contract but it’s been suggested Sporting are willing to accept a slightly lower figure.

However Jose Mourinho reinstated in his press conference on Friday that Chelsea’s summer transfer spending was done and when you look at Chelsea’s squad it’s hard to see were Carvalho would fit in. They already have a well-balanced midfield possessing the likes of Ramires, Matic, Fabregas, Mikel and Van Ginkel. Those options highlight that this is not an area that needs to be strengthened for the blues. Likewise Chelsea currently needs to get rid of one foreign player at the moment so breaking in another would be illogical.

Along with that Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic appear to have already struck up a deadly partnership in the middle of the park; this was beautifully showcased at Turf Moore on Monday night. A club spokesman from Sporting said: “This news [about Chelsea's offer] is not true. The club have not got any formal offer to our offices for the player.” this firmly puts the transfer to dead.

A move to Arsenal would make more sense and seems more of a possibility rather than a transfer to West London. Arsenal is screaming out for a player of Carvalho’s quality unlike Chelsea. The 22 year old is a tenacious adaptable defensive midfielder who would provide sufficient cover to the back four as well as being an upgrade on current crop Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini. Arsene Wenger what are you waiting for?

 Posted by at 4:48 pm
Aug 252014

Mattia Destro has been linked to Chelsea these past few weeks with a swap deal with Spanish striker Fernando Torres appearing to be on the cards. Destro is a 23 Italian striker who scored 13 goals in 20 appearances for Roma last season. He has 5 caps for Italy and is valued at £20 million. He moved to Rome from Genoa in 2012 and has another three years left on his contract.

The speculation has only increased with the Italians fiancée Ludovica Caramis recently confirming he has no problems leaving Serie A. “We have plans for a family and if Mattia goes abroad, then I will follow him. There are no preclusions about going abroad. His financial stability is tied to his job, so we know how lucky we are and that moving around is all part of the job.” she told Chi magazine

This is a deal that would be great for both parties, more so Chelsea if they could finally get rid of Fernando Torres. Who is now third in the striker pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the summer additions of Didier Drogba and Diego Costa. The Spaniard has been an immense failure at Chelsea since arriving from Liverpool in January 2011 for a British record transfer £50million. Scoring a mere 49 goals in 172 appearances compared to 81 in 141 for Liverpool.

Torres however appears to be the stumbling block in the transfer as his wage demands may be too much for Roma, thus meaning a loan will be more likely. However the likelihood of this materializing is looking bleak following recent quotes by Destro’s agent. “It’s true that Chelsea is interested in Mattia, but the reports regarding a swap deal have no foundation, it’s all speculation. Roma don’t want to sell Mattia and Mattia prefers to remain at Roma.” When asked about his client’s frame of mind, he replied: “Mattia would prefer to stay in Rome to play in the Champions League and Serie A this season.” Sadly for Chelsea fans this deal is not going to happen.

 Posted by at 3:47 pm
Aug 212014

Mehdi Bentia’s name has been one of speculation all summer. The Moroccan has been linked to Europe’s elite with one of those being Chelsea. The question is do Chelsea need him though? Chelsea currently has three out and out centre backs in Kurt Zouma, John Terry and Gary Cahill. Branislav Ivanovic can fill in as well so that makes four. It does not appear like that’s a defence screaming out for a £30million centre back anytime soon.  Specifically since last season Chelsea had the best defence in the Premier League and one of the best defences in Europe.

Gary Cahill and John Terry built up a solid defensive partnership which doesn’t need to be tampered with. It really doesn’t make sense no matter how you think about it. Chelsea has no reason to be looking at centre backs. Kurt Zouma the January signing is 19 and is shaping up to be the long term replacement to John Terry by the looks of thing. Gary Cahill is in his prime. We have Omeru on loan as well who should come well from all indication.

Andreas Christisen is a highly rated defender in Chelsea’s academy who Jose Mourinho sees as one for the future. They also have Thomas Kalas on loan at Vitesse another one for the future. On top of that Ivanovic is still going strong. A center back is the last thing Chelsea need, especially a 27 year old centre back.

All in all, I think the rumours linking Benatia to Chelsea are exactly what they are rumours and baseless ones as that. We have got no need for another Centre back and I will be surprised if Chelsea makes any move for him.

 Posted by at 11:20 am
Aug 182014

Andre Schurrle’s name has been heavily linked with Atletico Madrid this past week. The recent World Cup winner has been subject of transfer to the La Liga champions as they look to build on their success from last season.

The likelihood of this, coming to fruition, however looks rather bleak with it being only recently that the German expressed his desire to stay at Stamford Bridge. In an interview with the Sun the 23 year old stated “I want to win titles with Chelsea and we have an opportunity this season. I need to take the experience of this summer and make the next step at Chelsea, to step up and play a big role this season with the confidence I have. Right now, I feel so confident. I’m tired but feeling better and better.”

His attitude clearly highlights why Chelsea should and looks like are keeping hold of him. The winger’s confidence is sky high following his World Cup triumph were he came out with numerous plaudits and acclaim. He ended the tournament with a highly commendable 3 goals and 3 assists without starting a single game. His impact was clear; he changed the game when he came on in the last 16 against Algeria. The tight game immediately became stretched following his arrival which led to him scoring an audacious back heel before setting up Mesut Ozil for the winner. In the semi-final his ruthlessness was assuredly illustrated as he put the sword to Brazil scoring twice in emphatic style. His crowning moment however came in the final were he gave the assist for Mario Gotze’s late winner. The build-up beautifully showcased his directness, endurance and fearlessness as he decided to take on Zabaleta in the 113th minute. His performances at the World Cup have now put him in strong contention to nail down a spot in Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven for the upcoming season.

Chelsea selling Schurrle makes little to no sense at all and would be an absurd decision. The ex Bayern Bayer Leverkusen man offers something different to the rest of Chelsea’s attacking midfielders. He is the most direct and thrives on exploiting and driving in to space. This is something Chelsea missed at times last season as the wide men often always looked to come inside. Another valuable asset Schurrle possess is versatility, he can play anywhere along the three behind the striker and even as false 9 as we saw Mourinho employ on occasions last season.

Along with this Schurrle has brought in to Mourinho’s team ethos and acknowledges his role. “I realise there are times when I can be offensive but others when I must be more compact and work for the team, because that is what matters. You’ve got to have both elements in your game.”

Last season Jose Mourinho stated that Schurrle’s in a learning process in the Premier League. And told the Geman to adapt to the demands of the Premier League and that’s what he did. Here’s Schurrle speaking out what Mourinho told him towards the end of last season: “He told me I needed to change, to change my game and my body. And that’s what I’ve done over the last two months. I’ve really worked very hard to be aggressive, to be in a good shape with my body. Now I’m ready to play more often. So I did a lot in the gym. But I wanted to do this, I needed to do this. The manager told me it as well. I wanted to change and I think I have.”

On top of this In 15 Premier League starts last season Schurrle managed to get 8 goals and ended the season as Chelsea’s 5th highest goal scorer including big goals against Man City & PSG. Last season proved to be bedding in process for Schurrle. He himself knew that, when on the bench he never complained knowing his time will come. This season is shaping up to be a breakthrough season for Schurrle as he looks to stamp his mark on the team and quite frankly it would be an illogical move from Chelsea to sell him.

 Posted by at 1:16 pm
Aug 182014

Sami Khedira’s name has constantly been linked with transfers all summer. The arrival of his German team mate Toni Kroos has put Khederia’s position at Madrid under serious scrutiny. Along with Alonso and Modric’s solid partnership and Illarramendi knocking on the door it appears the writing is on the wall for the 27 year old. An excellent World Cup campaign however has given Khederia a way out of Madrid. There have been reports that he is going to either Chelsea or Arsenal with newer reports ( after so many twists and turns ) claiming the Germans agent is right now in London to try to negotiate a deal with both Chelsea and Arsenal.

The links make sense considering Mourinho has openly claimed he likes the German and once Mourinho likes a player, he tries hard to buy such a player. However, Chelsea is already heavily stocked up in the centre of midfield with Ramires, Matic, Fabregas, Van Ginkel and Mikel currently battling it out two positions.  A box to box midfielder is not something Chelsea are In need of at the moment especially since it appears none of those already at the club appear to be leaving this transfer window. This deal really doesn’t make sense. It would be wiser for Chelsea to get him on a free transfer next season.

Chelsea have a player similar to Khederia in Ramires who is arguably a better player and a fan favourite under Mourinho who he refused to sell to Madrid earlier in the summer. Earlier this summer in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca the Chelsea boss said “They know I’m not interested in any Real Madrid player, Raphael Varane and Sami Khedira? I repeat I’m not interested in any Madrid player, full stop.”

Reports claim that his agent is set to fly to London to discuss deals with Arsenal and Chelsea. This is a move which will be of much more benefit to Arsenal than Chelsea. The ex Stuttgart man would certainly be an upgrade on Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini.

 Posted by at 12:51 pm
Aug 052014

Club legend Frank Lampard had earlier signed for new MLS side New York City FC based in New York. The team’s expansion rights were purchased by the Premier League club Manchester City and the New York Yankees baseball team. The City Football Group has 80% ownership of the new club.

Premier league fans had expected to never see the midfielder again for their league games. The player won’t be needed until March and he had options for going to either Manchester City owned Melbourne City F.C or Queens Park Rangers to keep himself fit. But with a shocking turn of events it seems like Lampard is going to Manchester City and even get a place in their premier league and champions league squad as he is a home grown player and City are brimming with foreign players.

Even though he had a rough time getting first team appearances last season, Lampard is still a player with skills matched by few in England. The fact that he had to fight with young talented players like Oscar, Ramires, Matic and others for a place in the midfield makes his performances last season even more interesting.

Frank Lampard in action for Chelsea F.C.

Frank Lampard in action for Chelsea F.C.

Lampard had been a huge factor in Drogba’s success at Chelsea and with the midfielder gone; the striker is going to find it hard to replicate his success once again. He had scored 20 goals or more in all matches for Chelsea 5 consecutive seasons spanning from 2005 to 2010. If he is able to bring that form to Manchester City, then he will be an instant fan favourite at the Etihad Stadium which isn’t used to a lot of English players performing well in recent times.

Chelsea wouldn’t sell Lampard directly to Manchester City. He knows everything there is to it about Chelsea and Mourinho. The idea of having a player with that much experience and information about the title favourites’ in the Etihad stadium will give night mares to Mourinho and that is exactly what Pellegrini wants. The special one will have to come up with new tactics against a team with Lampard on their side. Manchester City knows that The Blues are the clear favourites to win the league as of now with their clever signings and in order to retain the title the champions will use Lampard’s experience to the maximum.

If Frank is included in the premier league squad then he will have two chances to play against his former club. The fans will love to see him back in action at Stamford Bridge, but just not in a sky blue shirt.

 Posted by at 3:01 pm
Aug 052014

Edinson Cavani is one the most sought after strikers in the world. Everyone were surprised when he signed for PSG in 2013 from Napoli where he had a wonderful season. A move to the French league was least expected as a player of that calibre would jump at the chance of playing regularly in EPL or La Liga. Almost all top clubs were on the lookout for him, but big spending PSG had the last laugh. He had made a wise decision and reaped success both in the domestic league and Champions league. Even though PSG had a successful run in the Champions league and Cavani was very much at the heart if it, he has never been happy at the club. It is next to impossible to shrug off competition from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in being the main striker of the team. As a result, Cavani was often asked to play out of position and out wide for the team. This is a scenario that frustrates any star striker. This has happened with Rooney too and we all know what all Moyes had to offer to stop him from leaving the club.

This situation at Parc des Princes dressing room has turned out to be blessing in disguise for the other big clubs. Any club will have to pay through their nose to get the versatile attacker’s signature. It seems like Chelsea and Manchester United are the front runners in the race to sign him.

With the financial fair play regulations effective more than ever. It is a major hindrance for such big bucks signings. Chelsea have spent around £85 million as of now. But this doesn’t bother them as they have accumulated roughly £75 million by selling some top stars. So their net spending is only below £11 million.

When you look at Manchester United’s transfer dealings they have bought players like Ander Herrera, Vanja Milinković and Luke Shaw for a ball park figure of £56 million. Their transfer earnings during the transfer window till now approximates to £8 million. This leaves them with a net transfer spending spree of just below £50 million. This is going to affect them badly when it comes down to a war for spending big. Chelsea are going to go in with all guns blazing to win the battle and make a very big step towards winning the league and Abramovich is sure going to support Mourinho in that as he has done until now.

But when you look at the current team and transfers completed until now you will see that if Cavani makes a move to Stamford Bridge, he is going to face the same problem he faced in Paris. In this case it is Costa who is going to cause problem for Cavani in cementing a place in his preferred position. Though Mourinho is not known to prefer two strikers up front, it is a possibility if he thinks of changing his defence oriented game to a more attacking one. Otherwise he will have to fight it out with Costa and Torres for the lone striker role.

With Louis Van Gaal as the manager and their new signings especially Herrera outperforming expectations, the Manchester club will surely bounce back from their setback last season. But with no Champions League to lure him, the red devils are going to find it tough.

 Posted by at 2:07 pm
Jul 312014

Up until now Chelsea were expecting to sell Torres or Mikel to conform to the regulations regarding the maximum number of players allowed in a squad. There can only be a maximum of 17 non home-grown or association trained players in a squad of 25 players for a Premier League season. The squad members can be changed only when the transfer windows are open. Although any number of U-21 players can be added to the squad, this regulation puts a lot of restrictions on the ambitious transfer plans of Chelsea.

As of now there are 18 non-homegrown players in the squad. Rumours have been making the rounds that Peter Cech would be let go to accommodate the signing of Drogba. Now that may be poorly cooked up news. While it is true that Courtois is favoured by many to be the number 1 goalkeeper, we also have to take into consideration the fact that he has no experience in the premier league. While there’s no doubting him that he’ll be successful at Chelsea, we can never be too careful. This is why the selling of Cech will be a huge mistake. Cech can play 2 or 3 years more of quality football at the top level. Another important factor is that Cech conceded the least number of goals in EPL last season. Let’s not forget that Cech has always been Mourinho’s No.1 at Chelsea. He is too cautious to let go off his prised asset and trust entirely on a 22 year old. Although Courtois has a better goalkeeping record than Cech when we compare the records for a few seasons, Mourinho is probably going to let them battle it out next season for a place in front of the goal.

For the 2013-2014 season Henrique Hilario was not included in the squad list to meet the requirements. This strategy can be used this season by excluding Schwarzer from the list.

Torres would have been the easiest target but £20m price tag  put by Chelsea and £175,000 per week wages by paid to him by the club have scared away interested clubs namely, Atletico Madrid who are unwilling to buy him at that price. The best way Torres could have been sold was to include him in the Diego Costa deal. The striker has just two years in his current contract and at the end of next season his transfer value is going to decrease considerably. This is the ideal time to sell him and Chelsea needs to cut down on the price tag if they want to offload him and reduce the losses.

John Obi Mikel has been made a huge impact during his Chelsea career. Luck has always been in his favour when a series of managers came to the club and never thought of offloading him. It is shocking to realise that he has over 200 caps. He has never made any fuzz over being made to warm the bench during most of the games. As a defensive midfielder he has always done a pretty neat job in supporting the defenders and doing all the dirty work needed. But he lacks imagination when offense and link up play with the attackers are concerned .Although he is a type of player every club needs, he needs to be sold to make way for Cech and Drogba to co-exist.

 Posted by at 2:10 pm