In the interest of full-disclosure, I must tell you all that Chelsea sits somewhere close to the list of teams under the heading “Team I Love to Hate,” and my frequent murmurings of how I root for “ABC (anyone but Chelsea),” means that I have to dig deep whenever talking about the current Europa League champions. However, with the rumor that Chelsea are testing Napoli’s resolve and grip on start striker Edinson Cavani, I must place my feelings to the side and delve deep into the money-filled pool of blue outside of Stamford Bridge.
Cavani is a fantastic talent. He, and a horrible time spent at Inter, forced the mercurial Deigo Forlan onto the bench for the national team and, if it was not for Luis Suarez, he would be the focal point for his club and his country. Despite the fact that his club is not nearly as established as others that they compete against, Napoli and Cavani have pushed the best to the brink and they have almost become a guaranteed CL qualifier from Serie A. He actually reminds me of an old form of Fernando Torres when he was terrorizing defenses while playing for Liverpool, and I fear a move for Chelsea could also remind us of the Spaniard.
Although the move for Cavani may seem to be the biggest thing at stake here, there are two strikers who still command attention that are probably paying even closer attention to this transfer than most. Demba Ba and Fernando Torres were once so good that it was not “if” they would score, but “when.” Both players were once the pride of a club, but they now both find themselves on constantly inconsistent ground and with very few positive performances in Chelsea blue that would have returning manager Mourinho thinking that these two strikers are good enough options for his second reign.
Although Ba was purchased recently, the opportunity to still offload him for a decent price may see him leaving Chelsea this summer. I do believe that Ba is more likely to remain than Torres; an incoming Cavani is the type of thing that could see Ba funding Mourinho’s transfer purchases. Sadly, Ba was hyped as a Drogba replacement…something that very few (if any) players can accomplish. Also, at Newcastle (similar to Torres at Liverpool), he was the main focus of the attack and nearly every attack was made with the purpose being to feed him or give him service. At Chelsea, most of the midfield tends to have attacking tendencies and they occasionally will overlook a striker in order to call their own number. If Torres and Ba do not feature regularly in the preseason, I expect them to be wearing a different kit in August.
Chelsea has never been afraid of spending money, but there have always been strikers that end up at Stamford Bridge and then get labeled as “flops.” Let us not forget, Andrei Shevchenko was a top three striker in the world before he donned the kit of the blues, and his career seemed to die at Abramovich’s hands. If Torres and Ba end up in the same vein, then it will be a player like Cavani that puts the footnote on their time at the London club. Although, as a big football fan, who would not like to see Torres go back to Liverpool to see if it fixes his woes?