After weeks of discussion with several comm members, I've begun to be frustrated by the lack of consensus over transfer targets. Some heavily emphasize age, others wages and transfer fees, still others seem only to care about big names and ability to "play football." It's time to lay those foolish criteria aside. I've come to realize that we need a better way to determine the potential a transfer target has. After a full hour of work, I'm proud to announce that I've finally found the answer. To think, I knew all along in my heart.
I needed to look no further than our two best recent transfers for the key. Once I did, my eyes were opened to the truth immediately.
The Special Juan was purchased from Valencia in August of 2011, and he went on to claim two successive Player of the Season awards for CFC. Here was Mata in his Valencia days:
You can see the seeds of greatness just beginning to sprout. - via 1.bp.blogspot.com
And here is Mata accepting his Premier League Player of the Month award:
You magical man, you. - via www.chelseafc.com
Notice the significant difference? Not yet? Allow me to flesh out my argument a bit more with a second example. Another player you all know well, and a contender for WAGNH's favorite current squad member.
Again, note the small seeds of greatness. - via 2.bp.blogspot.com
Eden was a touted talent at Lille (shown above) and he has grown only more spectacular in his time at Chelsea. Sure to be the most likely to give Johnny Kills a run for his money in next year's campaign for the Blues' Player of the Season, Eden's star shines brightly in blue, as you can see below:
A marked improvement. Mata beware. - via s2.jrnl.ie
If you haven't connected the follicles by now, I'll state my theory quite explicitly for you:
Every big signing Chelsea makes faces enormous pressure to succeed, since Chelsea is one of the top clubs in the world, and they've shelled out quite a bit of money for the would-be star. Some players, such as Juan and Eden here, do well under that pressure. Others, like David Luiz and Oscar, struggle at first, with detractors pointing to the difficult transition into the Premier League as a causal factor. Still others (Torres comes to mind) buckle under the immense pressure and spend their remaining playing days wondering what could have been.
It's obvious why, isn't it? The truth is: the secret is in the facial hair. A beard helps to ease the pressure on one's shoulders. One's face mask can mask the fear one feels dancing in the limelight on the world stage. The strings on one's chin can replace the strings of the world's greatest puppet masters, freeing a player to dance on, liberated from the oppressive burdens of price tag and expectation. Chelsea players need facial hair.
With my revelation in mind, I've set about considering all of the big money signings Chelsea have been linked to. Using our newly invented Manmaker-Stachefaker 2000, we can project years into the future to determine just how well our targets grow. I've done the research, and plugged in the stats to transform them into the players they might become at Chelsea to determine their true worth. Here for you now...
The Top Ten Twenty-Thirteen* Transfers
As in the year, 2013, in which this summer transfer window will occur. Sorry for spelling it out, but alliteration is fun.
#10 - Gonzalo Higuain
Okay, I see your potential. - via u.goal.com
Ouch. - Original image via fanpop.com
Well that's a bummer. Plus points for bravery, minus points for looking like that guy from the Hunger Games. Every time he'd smirk, his beard would get all lopsided.
And the headlines read: "This is Not Un Pipita! Chelsea striker turns face into modern art statement..."* "Gonzo Goes Bonkers! Argentine hitman gains hair, loses mind..."
*This is a play on words combining Higuain's nickname "El Pipita," meaning "the pipe," with René Magritte's famous painting, "The Treachery of Images," which featured the image of a pipe with "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" written at the bottom, which means "This is not a pipe." You're welcome for culture.
#9 - Marco Van Ginkel
Oscar would laugh at this babyface. - via www.vitesse.nl
Not a lot of potential, but it's early. Let's see what he could become.
Let's say he could reach this level in 2-3 years. - Original image via theapricity.com
Not bad for a cross between Steven Gerrard and Justin Bieber, but still, not great. He's got a few years ahead of him yet, so don't be too downtrodden.
And the headlines read: "MVG Composed in Prem Debut"... "Young Dutch Star Shines Brightly for Mou"
#8 - Raphaël Varane
Ah, not even one thumbs-up for you. - via therealmadridfan.com
I had to find a close up just to catch the stubble. - Original image via yahoo.com
Uh-oh... This does not bode well for his chances of acclimating to the Prem easily. This is our 5 year projection.
#7 - Nemanja Matic
I wouldn't even be including him, but yet another rumour came out today. I suppose I should at least address it...
A devastatingly-bare chin - via www.shoot.co.uk
No bueno. Barely a shadow on that upper lip.
At Chelsea (again):
A lot more Hazard-esque than I expected. - Original image via chelseadaft.org
This is uglier than expected. Manly men, all of those with Serbian blood in us. However, this particular young Serb is perhaps a bit of a late bloomer. His transition may be slower than we would hope. Still, promising roots.
And the headlines read: "€40 Million Midfielder has Room to Grow" ... "Young Serb Fails to Impress... the Ladies"
#6 - Stevan Jovetic
"Arsene wants me?" - via e1.365dm.com
Dear Lord in heaven. What a rookie... Well Manmaker-Beardfaker 2000, work your magic...
Huh, not terrible. - Original Image via sportemotori.blogosfere
Jovetic's flair for the theatric has carried into his facial hair, and unfortunately, it doesn't suit him. Still, the hair on the face distracts from the face, so in that way at least, it's a serious improvement. Who knows what another year could do?
And the headlines read: "Jovetic Stars Against Former Team in Pre-Season Friendly" ... "Mourinho Moves to Motivate Montenegrin Musketeer"
#5 - Luke Shaw
A fan favorite, but also a fan, does Shaw have what it takes to make it at CFC?
Ooph, not a lot of promise there. - via img.thesun.co.uk
Hmm... - Original image via footballtransfertavern.com
A little raggedy. I hate to say it, but Shaw may need a little time to break in his Chelsea-ness. I guess we'd better buy him now* then...
And the headlines read: "Young Chelsea Pup Still Needs Grooming" ... "Shaw Too Raw for Starting Role, Says Mou"
*NOW! NOW, NOW, NOW!
After a year on loan to Southampton, and a couple preseason tours with Chelsea, I think we could at least expect this much out of the young Englishman.
HELL YEAH. (Added help from facetache.com)
#4 - Mario Gomez
This screams predatory instincts. Hide yo' kids. - via www.paulaalbok.com.br
Well, that's certainly a prime canvas to work with, but cleaner than a whistle as far the necessary components are concerned. So let's apply the magic.
This gives the Mario Gomez Button a whole new feel. - Original image via www.listal.com
That's impressive as hell. Strong and yet refined, just like Gomez. The definition of a finished touch.
#3 - Marouane Fellaini
Every day is a party when you're the honorary member of every band ever. - via e0.365dm.com
Okay so Fellaini got the heads up from Hazard and Lukaku, and he's well on his way to stardom. But imagine what he could achieve if he put his full focus on fomenting facial follicles!
- Original Image via static.guim.co.uk
Taking part of his inspiration from soon-to-be former teammate Leighton Baines, and part from his already glorious afro-disiac, this man-about-town turns frowns upside-down with his spectacular sideburns.* Good thing no one outside this website has access to our projections, because this would surely double Everton's asking price.
And the headlines read: "Fantastic Fellaini in Fine Form" ... "Belgian He-man Turned Chelsea Strong Man: Why Mou says Marouane is the New Makelele"
*I apologize for the excessive hyphenation in this sentence; it couldn't be helped.
#2 - Robert Lewandowski
Is it just me, or is he singing Miley Cyrus? - via static-secure.guim.co.uk
Big, powerful forward, Slavic/Germanic ancestry. This bodes well.
"Lewandowski for Poland" approved this message. - Original image via www.zimbio.com
Before your mind tries to deal with the fact that Khal Drogo's ponytail has been cut off, and that it looks like he plays for the Polish national team, let me assure you, this is still Robert Lewandowski. This is a BAMF waiting to happen. Samuel L. Jackson wishes he could achieve this level of badass and cool combined in pure majesty. Elvis called and he wants tips on how to pick up women. There we go, that should cover every generation.
And the headlines read: "'I Want to be Near the Beard!' says Russian Supermodel" ... "'I Really Don't Rate Him,' says No One Ever"
#1 - Edinson Cavani
Your arms are disproportionate to your head, sir. You should get that checked out. - via www.independent.co.uk
Okay, this is disappointing. You call that facial hair? If you're supposed to be the toast of Europe's elite, you've got a long way to go, my friend. Seriously, that's practically Torres level, as you can tell from this apparently like-minded blogger's description (with photo) of our dear Spaniard. He didn't fare so well with that, but you can't judge a book by it's freckles, so let's see what the machine makes of you.
Holy crap! Is there still a face under there? - Original image via jootix.com
Man, I wish the image quality could be better without frying all computers everywhere, because that beard is simply magnificent. I don't know if it's worth 60 million Euros, but it's certainly the most impressive. The most interesting man in the world would be proud to call Cavani his son.
And the headlines read: "Cavani! Cavani! Cavani! Stamford Bridge faithful only have one name on their lips tonight!" ... "Uruguayan Striker Paints Town Black for the Blues" ... "London Sightseeing "Must" List Just Got a Bit Bigger"
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I hope you enjoyed my little endeavour here. It's just for fun so don't go making yourself feel like a big boy because "Higuain should definitely be higher on the list" or "Matic's 'beard' looks like it was done in paint." I know, and I don't care. I did this because there's been way too much of that crap going around. We're a community here, and while we encourage the vocalization of discordant opinions, it's important to remember that that's all they are: opinions. Mine are better than yours, nor are yours necessarily superior to mine. We can argue, but when it turns into aggressive territory-marking, it's no fun for anyone.
So the next time you see someone say something you don't agree with, try to be like David Luiz and remember that 5-seconds angry doesn't look good on anyone. Stay calm, cool, and collected, and we'll get through this silly season together.
Let us pray. - via media.zenfs.com
Lord, beard me strength to pass through these troubled waters unshaken by the winds of rumors that Mata will be sold. May the houses of rich men in the City of Manchester crumble to the mustard seas because my face can move mountains. Send your servant Cavani to reach safe shores, here or nowhere.
In Luiz we trust,