When things have been going right for us this season, they have been going fantastically. We beat both Spurs and Arsenal on their own patches, have been scoring for fun, and so far, have won seven games from nine in the league.
However, it doesn’t take a genius to work out where we are struggling. Just Torres and Sturridge remain our out-and-out forwards, whilst Romelu Lukaku enjoys a decent loan spell in the Midlands, with West Bromwich Albion.
He has scored 3 goals in 8 appearances, whilst 6 of them have come from the bench, and he is certainly making an impact at the club since his move. Lukaku did say that he wanted first-team action, hence his loan move, but with 6 appearances from the bench so far, it is clear that he isn’t first-choice there, and could easily manage the same off the Chelsea bench, should we want to recall him in January. This is definitely an option, as Di Matteo told Sky Sports, “There’s an option in January for us. It’s a one-year loan but we have a clause.”
Though Torres has 4 goals from 9 starts in the league, it’s impossible to just rely on him, especially after his controversial red-card on Sunday afternoon. Also, Daniel Sturridge seems unhappy, and with Liverpool and Tottenham on the lookout for strikers, a move for him in January could well be on the cards, but Roberto di Matteo would have to be a fool to let such a move go through, without a replacement already on standby.
Of course, Falcao will continue to be mentioned, but with Athletico Madrid ready to offer him a new contract, and a price tag similar to Torres’, you have to question whether it is totally in our interest to push through a January move.
Keeping Sturridge against his will is probably a bad move, so should he want to leave, it seems Lukaku is the most obvious choice, unless Abramovich wants to dip his hand in his pocket again, which wouldn’t be that surprising, despite him splashing £80m this summer on a host of midfielders.
Di Matteo and the board have two months to decide the best course of action, but ideally, I would like to keep Sturridge, as well as bring Lukaku back if possible. The league is tight, and as you see with Hernandez at Man United, a third choice striker may not score twenty goals a season, but the goals he does score can be vital ones.
By Brad Smith