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Even if Mata goes, there's no need for Chelsea to go after Salah

Clive Mason

Chelsea are already preparing, apparently, for life in a Juan-Mata-less world. Although that transfer hasn't gone through yet, the latest word is that the Blues are on the verge of signing Basel winger Mohamed Salah with a chunk of the 37 million Manchester United will pay for Mata. And that's pretty interesting.

We've already parted with Kevin de Bruyne this winter, and losing Mata as well would drop us from six attacking midfielders (probably too many for three starting positions) to four (probably too few). So, in that sense, acquiring Salah and bringing our stable of third-band players up to five is an obvious move. But he's definitely not the only option, nor is he necessarily the best.

Chelsea are currently loaning out Victor Moses, Marko Marin and Lucas Piazon, all of whom can function as fifth-choice players in that zone (well, when they're healthy cough Marin cough). Gael Kakuta is already back from his loan at Vitesse and could be plugged into Mata's spot. Yes, they're all downgrades from Mata himself, but they're not so much worse than Salah that we should ignore the prospect of bringing them back into the fold for free. Moses in particular has already shown he can fill in as a rotation option there, and he's not playing enough at Liverpool to justify keeping him on loan there.

There are areas of the team that we need to throw money at. Attacking midfield is not one of them. Buying Salah as a response to the Mata sale is just silly.

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