Chelsea have started off their campaign with a relatively good flow of results, apart from the obvious loss to Manchester United, which we were unlucky to come away with. This result aside, the recent few fixtures are showing healthy signs that Villas-Boas has a good understanding of the Premier league, and that his blueprints of a 4-4-3 system that he once used at Porto, and is now implementing on the Blues, is starting to work. But there is one key ingredient that Chelsea are still missing, a playmaker.
In the summer we tried with the signings of Raul Meireles and Juan Mata, with the view that they would be able to slot into the side and unlock defences with their acute passing, and great vision, yet it is evident they do not bring this to the table at Chelsea, and both players have different styles of playing with the Blues, than they did with their former employers, Liverpool and Valencia.
At Anfield Meireles was a key player for the Reds and came up trumps with bags full of assists, especially when Torres was leading the line, yet at Chelsea he hasn’t really come out of his shell, and is playing a more defensive game.
Whilst Mata was an influential piece to the Valencia puzzle at the Mestalla grabbing goals and assists, and fair enough he has started off well for the West London outfit, getting himself on the score sheet a few times, and getting a few assists, but he isn’t a Wesley Sneijder, or a Luka Modric.
In January, Chelsea should go out with the primary objective of signing an out and out playmaker that can start feeding Fernando Torres with passes he can latch onto. Because of late he has started to look like the Torres of old, and has started converting chances to goals again, for example the great finish against United.
A player I would imagine the Blues will go for again is Luka Modric, but with a hefty price tag of around £40m and the Spurs chairman being stubborn as ever, I don’t see him leaving. A great acquisition in my eyes however would be a player like Mesut Özil, who could perhaps be tempted away from the Santiago Bernabeu, yet who could cost around the £25m -£35m mark.
Another great player to look into could be Bastian Schweinsteiger, he offers such versatility, and like Özil can pick a great pass, and dictate the team’s tempo of play. He would maybe be the cheaper option, but again i cant seeing him leave for less than £25m.
If Chelsea can go out and buy a playmaker in January that can spread the ball and pick passes, I can them being a more deadly force in the Premier League, and also can see them starting to play the attractive football that Villas Boas has promised, and even more importantly, possibly deliver the holy grail of the Champions League back to Stamford Bridge.
By Jack Griffiths
Twitter – @JGriffiths89