Brazilian born Spanish strikers seem to be the order of the day when it comes to Chelsea’s end of season shopping list. The Blue’s interest in Diego Costa is unsurprising, but Benefica forward Rodrigo Moreno Machado has emerged as another possible transfer target.
Dailystar.co.uk report that Rodrigo’s manager is willing to enter discussions with parties interested in acquiring his signature at the end of the season. Chelsea fans might well wonder if the 23 year old is the right man for the job, when it comes to overcoming Mourinho’s well documented striking woes.
Scoring 13 goals for 2nd placed Portuguese side Benfica, Rodrigo is just now coming into his own, after a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers and completing his youth development at Real Madrid. However, given that during the aforementioned loan period at Bolton the striker only netted a single goal in 20 appearances, there are questions as to his suitability to solve Chelsea’s problems up front.
While Rodrigo generally occupies the number 9 role, he is capable of playing as an inverted forward of a front three, cutting inside to shoot with his preferred left foot. This versatility is strength in his general advantages as a transfer target, but clearly Chelsea is not short for attacking wingers. Recent signings Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah are already struggling to get first team football.
While he may well become a potent attacking threat that could wreak havoc in the English game, he is unlikely to do so in present form, and would better serve as a long-term investment for the London club. As such, the likelihood of Mourinho bringing Rodrigo to Chelsea will depend on whether he is able to offload Fernando Torres, and how he sees the future of Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o in Chelsea shirts.
If the Chelsea manager is planning a striker fire sale, Rodrigo may well serve a purpose as a 2nd or 3rd choice striker, but much remains to be seen. Especially with decisions regarding Romelu Lukaku needing to be made, as his imminent return from his Everton loan spell renders him an obvious candidate to score important goals for Chelsea next season.