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Crouching Mata, Hidden Dragon, and Chelsea FC's Top 10 Transfer Targets

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It had gone unmentioned, but hopefully not unnoticed, that the summer signing of Juan Mata easily beat out the emergence of Daniel Sturridge in the polling for Chelsea's sweetest "moment"/event/trend of 2011. Much like the chances created by Chelsea, the vast majority of the votes (235 to 105 / 70% to 30%) belong to the Juan and only player better than Salomon Kalou.

Speaking of signings, a self-selected sampling of Pat Nevin readers (who were willing to email him a list) have voted/compiled a list of Top 10 transfer targets for Chelsea. This follows a similar exercise from last year, which correctly predicted/guessed 2 eventual transfers in David Luiz and Romelu Lukaku. Clearly, Nevin's readership is no more of an Oracle of Delphi than you or I (and Andy Carroll appeared at #6)...but it's transfer season (beginning of) and we actually have a few days between games for a change, so what else are we going to talk about?

Here then is the Top 10 list, as compiled by Nevin's emailers. The names involved look oddly similar to ones being thrown around here in the WAGNH comment section:

  1. Gary Cahill - Interestingly enough, Cahill was the #1 choice on this list last year, too. Maybe there is something about him that I'm missing, but Nevin's readers certainly think he's the holy grail of defensive reinforcements.
  2. Eden Hazard - Now here's a cause I can get behind. You should be familiar with this certain Belgian prodigy by now...but if not, here's Stephen's profile of Hazard to illuminate your mind and get you panting at the prospect of this talent ever turning out in a Blue shirt.
  3. Edinson Cavani - Dream big, I say...but rather have Hamsik. Also, while Nevin does not make this mistake, Cavani has nothing to do with the inventor of the lightbulb. It's Edinson, people of the world - TWO n's.
  4. Luka Modric - The name that will just not go away. Maybe we should just get it over with and buy him. I'm not convinced a regista is what we really need...but hey, Meireles can always go become a hair model instead to decrease the glut in midfield.
  5. Gonzalo Higuain - This story/rumor is gaining traction and I'd be very happy with it...for the right price. For what it's worth, Higuain is my all-time favorite FM players. If his real self can be as good as his virtual self, all the headaches of the past year would finally dissipate.
  6. Mario Gotze - I have a feeling he would be much higher if this list had been compiled based on WAGNH votes. Still, I can't see him moving outside of Germany - certainly not to England - and he seems destined to play out his prime at Bayern. Maaaaybe Real Madrid...
  7. Kaka - The only other holdover from last year's list...but WHYYYYYY??? One Deco was enough.
  8. Hulk - Love the name. Love the player. Loves AVB. AVB loves him. We would all love him. Probably would not love the price tag.
  9. Neymar - No matter how much I try, all I can see is another Robinho situation... I bet he'll end up in Spain, probably at Real.
  10. Milos Krasic - Initial reaction: please no.
Honorable mentions include Kevin De Bruyne, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels, Jack Rodwell, and Marek Hamsik (amongst others). In order, for me, that would then be 'maybe', 'yes', 'oh yes', 'sure why not', and 'ZOMG PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S GOOD AND HOLY MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!11'.

So what do you all think? Agree? Disagree? Semi-agree? Prognosticate away...