Chelsea are still looking for depth at striker, I think we're all keenly aware of that fact by now. If you follow twitter at all, it seems that the vast majority of the fanbase is screaming for the club to add a guy like Hulk or Edinson Cavani to fill that role (although Hulk can certainly play the wing as well). Should the club end up actually buying either, there's a good chance that they will end up costing in the vicinity of £35 million. That would put them in elite company, as there are very few players at or over the age of 25 that can justify such a price tag. With that in mind, I'm going to look at 10 players who have sold for a similar fee and try to determine exactly how it worked out for the club that bought the player*. First up, I'll look at the 2 most expensive strikers that Chelsea have ever signed.
*I've put the player's age at the time of the deal in parenthesis and am only looking at players 25 or older.
- Fernando Torres (26) - Chelsea's purchase of Torres is the second most expensive center forward buy in history. I'm sure we're all familiar with 'Nando, and I don't think even the most enthusiastic supporter can call the signing anything but a massive failure. There is still time to turn this one around, but the odds of him ever justifying the price tag are basically non-existent.
- Andriy Shevchenko (29) - Shevy was a great player for AC Milan. Chelsea paid about £31 million for his greatness. He gave Chelsea 2 very underwhelming seasons before heading back to Italy (on loan and then on a permanent basis). With the player having left the club after scoring only 22 official goals, this deal can only be viewed as a colossal failure.
Not so good thus far, eh? After the jump, we'll look at 8 more aged 25 and older strikers who sold for a massive fee to clubs other than Chelsea.
All told, I'd look at these 10 transfers with the following results: 5 very poor signings, 2 that make me say "meh" (one of which could still change in either direction), 2 that were pretty good, and 1 that looks great after just 1 season. That's not a very good success rate in general, and it could certainly look worse in a few years.
Edinson Cavani, Hulk, and Fernando Llorente are all very good players. If I was in charge of Chelsea's transfer decision making, I wouldn't be targeting any of them. From a historical perspective, these types of expensive signings rarely work out. People seem to view these "proven" strikers as being less of a risk due to their track record, but the sad truth is that they really aren't. If Chelsea are going to spend massive money on a center forward, buying younger and less "proven" seems to be where the better value would most likely be at.