ONLINE.ON AIR.IN THE STREETS. WINTER IS HERE…AND WE’RE NOT READY AGAIN – Loud.co.ke

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WINTER IS HERE…AND WE’RE NOT READY AGAIN

By Alex Makaveli.

So the January transfer window is here with us and no fan base is excited than us on SW6 Road, Stamford Bridge. The transfer ban was cut short and this gives us an opportunity to add quality all over the pitch. This season has FINALLY seen the emergence of our much hailed academy players to take the mantle and lead the club back to the upper echelons of football (Not that we left it unlike the red side of Manchester but we cannot compete with the Liverpool’s and Man City’s of football). Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have played integral parts in leading the charge but there’s so much they can do considering this is the 1st time they are starters for a massive club in the toughest league in the world.

Do not get me wrong, the older squad members have helped along the way particularly: Kovacic, Jorginho, Kante, Willian and club captain Azpilicueta have played their roles albeit having the occasional blips. But to challenge for top honors, you need 15 players who can be called upon to start games without leaving the squad feeling weaker. With this in mind, new QUALITY players are needed especially a new CB, LB, attacking mid or winger. Today, I’m going in into the attack.

So, who are these players who have been linked to fill those positions, let me check, around 72 players of course. It won’t be a transfer window without the madness. The winter window offers little quality players who might be short term options for the club. This is where the problem lies, our beloved club with all their resources always manage to sign 2nd tier players, see Barkley, Drinkwater, Bakayoko. We are rebuilding and that needs to be handled carefully or else we’ll fall into mediocrity. No premium players are available in this window, the targets being touted around: Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho, will not move clubs during this window, considering; Leicester are firmly ahead of us in the top 4 race, Leipzig currently lead the Bundesliga table and Sancho it’s been made clear he will only move after  Euros. This leaves us in a dilemma on whether we persist with the current group hoping they will weather the storm or go for B-tech players. My opinion? Sign new players. Why? We definitely have players that will leave this window, one of them being Olivier Giroud, going by both his and Lampard’s comments lately. The striking department deputizing for Abraham has been nothing but a disaster all season. Michy Batshuayi might have had his last shot at redemption versus Nottingham which he did not take as he left the pitch as the worst player. Considering this was a 4th placed Championship team fielding its B team, he blew it big time.

Former Brazilian wonder kid, Gabriel Barbosa better known as Gabigol who is on loan at Flamengo from Inter Milan is being looked at as a backup option for Abraham, and he’s been nothing short of sensational for the Brazilian club the past year. A left footed goal poacher once dubbed as the ‘next Neymar’ due to his trickery has fully evolved into a full on striker as he has bulked up. He has everything to be a top player but doubts remain if he can cut it at the top as his stint with Inter Milan was woeful (to put it into perspective for those unaware of him, the man who brought him into the Milan side was sacked after 6 games and the club overall were struggling. So this was entirely his fault).

Another attacker who has been touted to move to Cobham is Crystal Palace star man, Wilfred Zaha. I’m not one to judge players of their statistics because they do not tell the whole story (Eden Hazard comes to mind) but for him, a 27 year old who has been playing in this league his entire life should have got better, albeit playing for an average club. At his age and ‘wonder kid status’ you have to wonder why no big club has come for him earlier. His versatility might come in handy as he can play as a winger or striker. I love nothing more than players to prove me wrong and this is one case, 2 cases actually. Maybe with better players both may finally achieve the potential ceiling they have

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha puts his hands to his ears during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

We could do a lot worse with these two, getting either will obviously help in attack. Since we cannot defend even if our lives depended on it, we need to outscore the opponents. Abraham is doing all he can, Odoi is just coming from a career ending injury, Willian’s seasonal purple patch is over, Pulisic needs time to grasp the league’s physicality and Mount at 19 can only do so much. Last season we limped to 3rd spot as no other team really wanted to finish above us. This season might be the same as our competitors can’t string enough wins to oust us, this might change in February as we have back to back matches against the top 6. We need all the help we can get *winks at VAR*. But as we know, we always come back stronger. It’s a Chelsea thing. KTBFFH