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Attempting to replace Romelu Lukaku, Steve Clarke is getting the band back together at West Bromwich Albion

Swooooooon x2
Swooooooon x2
Jamie McDonald

This is not strictly Chelsea related - certainly not Chelsea in the current squad and staff configuration - but a few Blues alumni have been making the news today. The whole thing I find somewhat amusing as well ... and hence ...

Ex-Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke had a wonderful first year in charge of West Bromwich Albion last season. Helped in a large degree by on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, Clarke led the Baggies to their best ever season in the Premier League, finishing eighth and leading the pack of middling mid-table teams.

Now that Lukaku has returned to Chelsea to huddle at the wings of Daddy Mourinho, Clarke is faced with the prospect of all Shane Long all the time. As much as I like Long for his hustle and bustle and general Tevez-lite demeanor, that's not exactly a confidence-inducing proposition. So what's an ex-Chelsea staff member to do? Sign all the ex-Chelsea strikers of course!

First up: Nicolas Anelka. His time in China mirrored Didier Drogba's in terms of unpaid wages, so he made as quick of an exit as possible and ended up with Juventus for a few months towards the end of last season. He didn't do anything noteworthy, entering the free agent market with less than one hour of actual playing time with the Italian champions on his resume. But Steve Clarke remembers when Anelka was boss and must be hoping that the 34-year-old has an ounce or two of that old magic left in him. WBA confirmed the capture of the Premier League's 12th leading scorer of all time earlier today, signing Le Sulk - he said with all the affection in the world - to a one-year contract.

Next up: Salomon Kalou. Kalou is one of the few ex-Chelsea boys for whom I have more affection than Anelka and if rumors are to be believed, he too will be heading to the West Midlands reunion. Kalou spent last season at Lille as the French club's consolation prize for letting Eden Hazard go to Chelsea. Following a slow start and an injury, the Ivorian tore up the pitch after the Africa Cup of Nations with 14 goals in 16 matches. In total, his 16 goals were the second most in his career. Despite said production, he's thought to be keen on a return to England, a reduction in wages seemingly the only thing standing between him and any surprise ice baths ... or whatever the tradition may be at West Brom for initiating the new recruits.

Last up: Franco Di Santo. Completing the potential bouquet of ex-Chelsea attackers is the currently homeless 24-year-old Argentine who has amassed a staggering 13 goals in 100 career Premier League appearances. With stellar production like that, is it any wonder that he wouldn't want to denigrate himself with anything less than Premier League football? Apparently talks have already taken place between Di Santo and West Brom and further progress is expected soon.

With additional rumors of Matej Vydra or perhaps even Arouna Kone, one thing is for certain. Steve Clarke will need at least four strikers to replace BEASTMODE KRAKENMODE Romelu Lukaku.

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