Hello to all, and thanks for reading my WAGNH Summer Shopping Spree.
To start off with, let's quickly look at our squad:
Goalkeeper: Two world-class goalies are enough for us
Defence: Perfectly fine, with plenty of depth.
Midfield: Lacking, especially in that double-pivot role.
So as we can see here, our defense is fine for now. But that doesn't mean it does not need strengthening, or that it won't.
For this reason, my first signing will be Luke Shaw (Southampton). Luke Shaw is a young left-back who is already a first-team regular at Southampton at the age of 17. He is an excellent defender, as well as a decent attacker, and is very mature for his age. Not only that, he is a Chelsea fan, so he shouldn't be too hard to convince to come to SW6. The estimated price for the signing is 15 million pounds. He will immediately be loaned back to Southampton, with the option to recall him in January.
With this acquisition, our defence will be complete. First, though, Ryan Bertrand would be sold for 7 million pounds, as that LB role would be covered first by Cole & Ake, then Shaw & Ake (or even Van Aahnholt). Omeruo will be closely followed to possibly return to us for the 2014-15 season, and players like Christensen will be given a chance in the first team.
2013/14: Azpi/Iva - Terry/Romeu - Luiz/Cahill - Cole/Ake. As possible future players, have Shaw, Christensen, Omeruo, Chalobah & Van Aanholt.
My second step will be to strengthen the midfield, specifically the pivot position. Here we have Mikel, Lampard, Ramires and Romeu as our chief candidates. Well, my plan would be to sell Mikel. We could get 13 million pounds, aproximately. This would leave Lampard, Ramires and Romeu. Now, with Lampard having only a year left on his contract, he is not a long-term player for us. Now, here is where I think we could really make a step up - by moving Oscar, now employed as an attacking midfielder, back to the pivot position. This 2013-14 season, Lamps would take him under his wing and tutor him, whilst they both rotated. Chalobah would be loaned out, to a PL side, to then return for the 2014-15 season . For 2013-14, we would have plenty of players capable of playing here: Lampard, Ramires, Oscar and Romeu. But take in to account Oscar and Ramires's ability to play further up, and Romeu's ability to slot in to defence, and this suddenly does not seem such an overcrowded area. Nathan Ake would also be able to play here, as well as David Luiz. Here, we would sign Ilkay Gundogan, from Borussia Dortmund, for 25 million pounds. Gündogan would provide defensive abilities as well as superb passing skills, and a cool head under pressure. Being only 22, he would be an excellent short-term and long-term signing.
2013/14: Gündogan/Ramires - Lampard/Oscar. As possible future players; Chalobah, Ake & Romeu.
The attacking midfield would be be boosted by the return of Kevin de Bruyne. This would leave us with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Moses & De Bruyne as main options. But both Oscar & Ramires can play in this 3, but would have to change the shape:
RB CB CB LB
DM - DM
Mata/Moses Hazard/De Bruyne
This would change the 4-2-3-1 in to a 4-2-1-2-1/4-3-3 formation. This area is weak, though. Here, I would sign Tiago Alcántara. His approximate price would be of 22 million pounds. Why? He is young, very skillful and very good offensively - he is a mix between the dribbling of Hazard and the vision of Mata. With them on either side of him, his progression would be phenomenal and offensively we would really be a force to reckoned with. These three and Kevin de Bruyne would be the key candidates to play, with Moses being a squad player - except he will be able to play as a Striker, as well. We would keep an eye on the progression of Piazon, Boga and Baker. Marko Marin would be sold for 5 million pounds.
In attack, Fernando Torres needs to leave. He is not good enough for Chelsea, and we will sell him for 20 million pounds, to whoever takes him. This would leave us Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku. Initially, this does not seem much. But to these two players add in Victor Moses, who can be a nuisance as a striker, and Islam Feruz, and we have a decent frontline without having to make a marquee signing.
So our line up would look like this next season:
Azpi/Iva - Terry/Luiz - Cahill (Romeu) - Cole (Ake)
Gündogan/Lampard/Oscar - Ramires/D.Luiz
Mata - De Bruyne/Tiago Alcantara - Hazard (V. Moses)
And for the 2016-17 season, maybe:
Azpi (Ivanovic) - Cahill/Chalobah - Luiz/Romeu - Shaw/Ake
Oscar/Ramires/Romeu/Gündogan - D.Luiz/Ake/Chalobah
Hazard/Moses - De Bruyne/T. Alcantara - Mata (Piazon)
· Tiago Alcantara - 22 million pounds.
· Luke Shaw - 15 million pounds.
· Ilkay Gündogan - 25 million pounds
Total: 62 million pounds.
· Ryan Bertrand - 7 million pounds
· Mikel - 13 million pounds
· Marin - 5 million pounds
· Torres - 20 million pounds.
Total: 45 million pounds.
This leaves us with a perfectly competitive squad for the next few years with a loss of just 17 million pounds. Why do we need to spend big money when we have plenty of talent without paying millions of pounds?