Chelsea’s striker targets have been getting less flashy on paper. That is a sign of faith in Tammy Abraham’s continued development.
Chelsea will need another striker this summer. Olivier Giroud is more likely than not leaving. Michy Batshuayi’s project has more than run its course. Ideally, a team that runs with a lone striker up top runs with at least two full time strikers and preferably three.
Chelsea was being linked to the likes of Timo Werner but those rumors have died down as it looks like Liverpool is entering pole position on that transfer. Nearly every other striker linked to Chelsea is of a much lesser quality.
That in of itself says something. If Chelsea is going out of their way to be linked to strikers of lesser ability, it is a show of faith in Tammy Abraham continuing as the main starter at Chelsea.
A quick google search can reveal some of the names from sources of greater trustworthiness to complete garbage. The most commonly and strongly linked striker is Moussa Dembele.
Dembele started as a Championship phenomenon before somewhat strangely moving to Celtic and picking up where he left off. Eventually he moved to Lyon where he continued his great form.
If Chelsea did not have Abraham, Dembele would be a good young striker to consider building the squad around if no big name was available. But because Abraham is present, Dembele seems like an ideal player to come in an deputize Abraham at the very least and push him at the very best.
It is also helpful that Dembele is a different sort of striker compared to Abraham. Whereas Abraham is very much all action (a large reason as to why Frank Lampard uses him so much), Dembele is much more of a poacher. He will be much less involved in buildup but he will hang out up high and in the box looking to catch any sniff of the ball.
In theory, that was a roll that Batshuayi was supposed to play this season but one the Belgian cannot seem to pull off in blue. Dembele would be coming from the same league as Batshuayi while being a touch older. Ligue 1 has generally been kind to Chelsea when it has come to direct transfers, but the similarities between the two is hard to shake.
But that faith in Abraham shown by Dembele being the main target may make that a moot point. Abraham is not the perfect striker, but he is all action and can only get better. He has been, overall, one of the most consistent youth players this season even if the goals have not always flown for him. Even saying that, he still is scoring nearly a goal every other game in the Premier League which is usually the peak of what a striker should be for a top six club.
Werner would have been a fine addition. Dembele could be. But it may be more important in the long run to keep that path clear for Abraham and let him run the show. No one wants another Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku situation if it can be prevented. So the current rumors are lining up with showing faith in the Englishman while still strengthening the team.