Five Chelsea alternatives to £150m Haaland

If Chelsea can get Haaland, they … The post Five Chelsea alternatives to £150m Haaland appeared first on Football365.

Five Chelsea alternatives to £150m Haaland

Roman Abramovich is desperate to land Erling Haaland this summer. Borussia Dortmund want to keep him for another season and will seemingly accept nothing less than £150million.

If Chelsea can find the funds, they should absolutely avoid the battle in a year’s time. But if they can’t, here are five alternatives…


Robert Lewandowski
The Bayern Munich man remains arguably the best striker in world football, but for how much longer? Age is just a number etc etc. but it is also indisputably a measure of how long someone’s been alive and crucially, a pretty good indicator of how long a footballer has left in the game. Lewandowski will be 33 in August.

A short deal at a reasonable price would be an excellent bit of business for Chelsea. But Bayern say they want £50million and Lewandowski would presumably want at least three years at a new club considering his current deal with the German champions extends to the summer of 2023. It would be delightful to see him in the Premier League and there’s little doubt he would tear it up for a season or two, but for that price Chelsea will surely want longevity.


Sasa Kalajdzic
Stuttgart striker Kalajdzic certainly has the potential to be a more enduring presence in the Chelsea side. The 24-year-old scored 16 goals in 23 starts in the Bundesliga last term; he was the guy that scored that memorable near-post header against Italy at Euro 2020 – the first goal the Azzuri had conceded in 1,168 minutes…

In fact, his finishing looks pretty special in general…

It’s thought he could be available for around £34million, a significant mark-up on the £1.6million Stuttgart paid Austrian side Admira Wacker Modling for his services in 2019. Tottenham are also rumoured to be interested as they look for a replacement for Carlos Vinicius. But that would be a bidding war of machine guns vs slingshots – if Chelsea want him, they’ll get him.


Romelu Lukaku
In June, Lukaku said: “I am happy at Inter.” Weeks before that, following Antonio Conte’s departure, he said: “Yes, I am staying.” But that hasn’t stopped the transfer rumours amid Haaland plan B speculation; The Sun claim Chelsea are in ‘hot talks’ with Inter over a move for their former player.

And it would be lovely to see Lukaku back at Stamford Bridge. Criticised frequently and often unfairly in his spell at Manchester United, he’s not put a foot wrong in Serie A and those feet seem to be far more ordered and of defter touch. The power and pace have always been extraordinary, but he appears to have added more finesse to his game which has catapulted him into the highest echelons of strikers in world football. Any club would be lucky to have him.


Antoine Griezmann
Barcelona will do anything to be rid of Antoine Griezmann. They reportedly wanted to swap him for Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez and with that falling through they now want to use him as bait to land Paulo Dybala from Juventus. They are also said to have offered him to any Premier League side with the means to sign him.

And with Chelsea the most free-spending of any English club, links were never going to be far away. Griezmann is valued at £54million, which does seem a bit much for a 30-year-old who has struggled for consistent form at the Nou Camp. But with the Catalans seemingly open to the idea of a swap deal, the Blues may be able to add a sweetener to lower the price. Tammy Abraham of Barcelona?


Kai Havertz
If Chelsea are to pursue Haaland when he is actually available next summer, perhaps it’s best not to sign a striker at all? Havertz started to look the part in the latter stages of last season and was most effective in the false nine position. None of Chelsea’s forward players – other than Mason Mount – were consistently great last term and with a proper pre-season under Thomas Tuchel, it would be reasonable to suggest the likes of Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech will chip in with more goals to aid whoever plays up top.

Chelsea’s striker doesn’t necessarily have to score loads of goals and if Havertz manages 15 in the Premier League and the rest of those very talented forwards reach double figures – with the defence as solid as it has been under Tuchel – that could well be enough to tide them over.

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Never, ever break your transfer record for a Liverpool player

Seven times in the last 12 … The post Never, ever break your transfer record for a Liverpool player appeared first on Football365.

Never, ever break your transfer record for a Liverpool player

Every year transfer market failings are a factor in at least one team’s relegation from the Premier League. Sometimes it’s a general lack of investment to improve the squad, and sometimes it’s too much investment on underperforming players, but Bournemouth (2019/20) and Sheffield United (2020/21) committed one of the classic blunders: right behind ‘never start a land war with Russia’ and ‘never go all in with a Sicilian when death is on the line’, sits ‘never break your transfer record to sign a player from Liverpool’.

According to Transfermarkt, in the past 12 years, seven teams have done exactly that and it has rarely worked out well for the buyers. Liverpool, on the other hand, have done brilliantly out of these deals, who have not performed after moving on. To be clear, it is the transfers that are criticised here, not the players themselves.

(One note: I’ve excluded Southampton from this – Transfermarkt list Jannik Vestergaard as a more expensive signing, even if Danny Ings, brought in from Liverpool, is more often referred to as their record signing).


Peter Crouch (Portsmouth)
Not every transfer in this curse involves underperforming players, just deals that don’t work out as well as everyone might have reasonably hoped. Kicking us off is Harry Redknapp breaking Portsmouth’s transfer record in 2008, shortly before finances at Fratton Park began to get, shall we say, problematic. As the club’s top scorer there is no doubt Crouch was a good player, but as Pompey had to sell him for a loss (to Tottenham Hotspur, managed by one H Redknapp) in a desperate attempt to balance the books, this cannot be classed as a successful transfer for Portsmouth.


Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
The obvious example of a disaster: instead of a forward who had terrorised defences across Europe and in international tournaments, Chelsea spent £50m on a player bereft of confidence whose goalscoring touch had eluded him. .



Andy Carroll (West Ham)
In the least surprising entry on this list, when given the opportunity to break West Ham United’s transfer record, Sam Allardyce spent the money on Andy Carroll. A return of 26 goals in 102 games followed, but Carroll’s spell with the Hammers is remembered more for his struggles to find form and fitness.


Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth’s decision to break their transfer record to sign an unproven Ibe in 2016 did not prove to be good business. He had impressed on loan in the Championship but scored just three goals in 78 games for the Cherries and was released at the end of his contract in 2020.


Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth again)
Not to be deterred by Ibe’s struggles, Eddie Howe inconceivably returned to Liverpool two years later to sign Dominic Solanke, something that was a contributing factor to the Cherries’ relegation. That isn’t to say it was entirely Solanke’s fault, but his arrival meant other issues for Howe’s squad were not addressed, and a decent goal return from someone signed to be their main striker could have papered over some cracks. To give Solanke his due, his 15 goals contributed greatly to Bournemouth being in contention to return to the top flight at the first time of asking. He is clearly more settled now, and a more confident Solanke gives them a far greater chance of competing again for promotion this season.


Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United)
The most recent entry on this list saw Sheffield United spend £23m on a 20-year-old with zero top-flight experience and ten senior goals (in the Championship) to his name. If Liverpool had signed Brewster, instead of selling him, undoubtedly he would have been hailed as ‘one to watch’ following a Carabao Cup appearance, or FA Cup third round weekend. But the Blades did not break their transfer record to sign a prospect for the future; they needed a striker who could make an immediate impact and keep them in the Premier League. Unfortunately for all involved, Brewster has not been that player. He is not a bad player, he just isn’t in an environment where he can shine. As with Solanke, if he can rediscover his goalscoring touch in the second tier next season, then his team will be all the better for it.


Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)
If it seems like I’m unnecessarily picking on British clubs and managers, you’re forgetting that Torres joined Chelsea while Carlo Ancelotti was in charge, and that the final player on this list is Philippe Coutinho. Barcelona handed over £142m to sign the Brazilian, but he has not yet turned out to be the stellar signing they would have wanted. Like others, he made a reasonable start, with eight goals in his first 18 games, but since then there have been injuries and fallings-out with fans, followed by a full-season loan. Handily, Coutinho winning the Champions League away from the Camp Nou proves two things: even the best players can be part of poor transfer deals, and not even the biggest clubs in the world are impervious to the curse of breaking your transfer record to sign a Liverpool player.


Ed Quoththeraven

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