Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What was Jose thinking?

During the summer months Jose Mourinho made his intentions to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United very clear. Chelsea were ready to splash the cash, United weren't ready to bulge and as the transfer window closed, the move never materialized. Chelsea's need for a striker became obvious. But in truth their chase for a striker wasn't a necessity as much as it was a luxury they felt they could afford.

On their ranks at the end of August they had Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku all vying for that one spot as their target-man up front. All 3 strikers are very good and, on form, could walk into almost any top team in Europe. The options were there for Jose to choose from. 
However what I'm failing to understand is why did Jose Mourinho allow Lukaku to go out on loan to Everton and why did he replace him with the ageing Samuel Eto'o? 

Fine, the Wayne Rooney move never happened but that doesn't mean he had to dig into the market for a front-man who has been playing in Russia for the past 2 seasons whilst letting go of one of the most prolific young strikers there is out there. 
Knowing that Chelsea play with 1 striker and that they have an array of talent in midfield ready to provide the chances for their frontmen, Lukaku would have benefited immensely. Instead, 2 months into the season the stats in the league go like this:

- Samuel Eto'o: 153 mins played, 0 goals, 1 assist.
- Fernando Torres: 234 mins played, 0 goals, 1 assist.
- Demba Ba: 65 mins played, 0 goals, 0 assist.
- Romelu Lukaku: 176 mins played, 3 goals, 1 assist.

This is not to say that Chelsea's strikers won't end up performing well. It's just to point out that Jose got it wrong when he let Lukaku leave on loan. The guy is tailor-made to be the replacement of Didier Drogba that the club has been craving for and they should have made use of him this season especially knowing that it is a world cup year and Lukaku will be desperate to prove that he's ready to be the main man for Belgium up front. Chelsea's loss is Everton's gain...for now.