Jose Mourinho’s claim that Chelsea has now finished their summer spending may just leave some fans concerned there is still not enough frontline depth at Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season. Diego Costa was always Mourinho’s top forward target and his arrival from Atletico Madrid was wrapped up weeks ago after a near six-month long pursuit. Some predicted the deal would include Fernando Torres heading back to his old club but the fact he has stayed at Chelsea means Torres is likely to be given at least one more season to rediscover his best form in Blue. Fans will hope he can find it because Mourinho does not, at the minute at least, have many more options.
If we are to believe Jose when he says he is finished in the transfer market this summer (and he has plenty of previous when it comes to being economical with the truth in these situations) then a cursory glance at the squad for 2014-15 means there are only three established out-and-out centre-forwards on the list – and one of those is Romelu Lukaku.
Granted, World Cup winner Andre Schurrle can do a job up front, while there is plenty of quality and no shortage of numbers in the supporting cast as Oscar, Eden Hazard, Willian, Mohamed Salah and new boy Cesc Fabregas will all get forward and are expected to chip in with goals.
But, following Samuel Eto’s exit, whose nine goals last season proved vital, and the expected departure of Lukaku again, there is only Torres and now Costa as recognised central strikers. That may not be too much of a problem if both players stay fit, because Mourinho is expected to start with just one lone frontman (Costa to begin with) in most games. However, if one or both were to get injured, it leaves the likes of the talented but relatively untested Patrick Bamford (if he doesn’t go out on loan again) or even forgotten man Victor Moses having to step up.
Mourinho’s treatment of Torres is intriguing as he has continued to back the former Liverpool man despite the fact his performances, goal record and sometimes his body language have suggested he would rather be elsewhere. The fact the manager has now said he doesn’t plan to make any more significant signings should offer Torres plenty of encouragement because, with another Champions League campaign and the domestic Cup competitions high on the agenda, there is no doubt he will get plenty of games, even if he may not be first-choice in the Premier League and unlikely to be among the frontrunners for top scorer in bet365’s football markets.
Of course, it could be that Jose has another trick up his sleeve and another striker will join before the end of August, while some have claimed Lukaku should finally be given a chance at the Bridge after his very impressive seasons at West Brom and Everton.
Whatever happens, fans will, of course, trust the manager to get it right, they’ll just hope there is enough with Costa – and Torres as back-up – to deliver the goods when and where it matters.