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Pato is not enough: Chelsea must sign another striker to maintain resurgence

Selling Loïc Rémy could leave Chelsea in dire straits.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Under the cultivated guidance of Guus Hiddink, Chelsea has enjoyed a period of anticipated resurgence. A series of eight games unbeaten does represent a distinct improvement from the team that were mouldering in 16th place when the experienced Dutchman inherited the squad for a second time. Despite being particularly indolent in the opening weeks of the January Window, Chelsea's activity has increased considerably. Miazga is expected to join Pato as new arrivals, whilst Loic Remy and Patrick Bamford appear poised to depart the club — two departures that could induce precarious consequences.

The Blues' impact substitute Loic Remy is reportedly departing to Leicester City after a £11,500,000 deal was agreed and it is extensively broadcasted that Patrick Bamford will join Norwich City for the remainder of the season. Indeed, Chelsea will be discarding players whose involvement this season has been infrequent; nevertheless this would deplete a team who are enjoying their best period of results thanks to the amelioration of their form.

If the proposed transfers are completed, then Diego Costa, Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao would become the only recognised strikers available for selection (excluding Bertrand Traore's versatility). Accordingly, Chelsea's substantial reliance on Diego Costa would escalate further.

If one individual is able to embody Chelsea's revival it is Diego Costa. The vigorous Spaniard has displayed his footballing aptitude scoring six goals in his previous six appearances. During this period of envisaged form, the 27-year-old has oppressed defences by exploiting his unrivalled physicality. If he does aggravate his fragile hamstring then Chelsea could face a perilous situation.

Alexandre Pato hasn't played since late November and clearly he would require extensive preparation to regain match fitness. Additionally, the Brazilian would require time to familiarise himself with his new environment and substantiate his value to Guus Hiddink. Therefore, it would be implausible to suggest that Pato would instantaneously be considered for selection.

To exacerbate this potential predicament, Radamel Falcao is suffering from a thigh injury that he sustained in late October — we're currently approaching February...

"There are still many months to go, so that's too far," he said. "We're almost at the end of January, then February, normally six, seven, eight weeks with serious damage. It's very serious."

-Guus Hiddink; source: Sky Sports

Even when the Colombian has been healthy, his involvement during his time in England has been especially dispiriting.  During 40 appearances for both Manchester United and Chelsea respectively the 29-year-old has scored a negligible tally of five goals, averaging a defective record of a goal every eight games.  A severe anterior cruciate ligament injury is to be held accountable for his despondent demise and at the age of 29 one begins to ponder has Falcao passed the apex of his career?

Consequently, this would leave Chelsea with one world-class striker, a forward hoping to approve his ability and a player who has endured a woeful decline — several newspapers are claiming that Chelsea are looking to terminate his loan further reinforcing the need for a striker.  (Whilst acknowledging Bertrand Traore's versatility and experience operating as a striker — the 20-year-old scored 17 goals for Vitesse Arnhem last campaign — Hiddink has showed great reluctance to deploy him.)

When all three strikers are injured, the forecasted solution would instead see Chelsea deploy an attacking midfielder to lead the line, such as Eden Hazard as demonstrated against Tottenham in November for example.  Historically this tactic is incredibly unfavourable as the Blues have failed to score a single goal whilst employing it.

Though Costa has remained mostly fit, he has been hit with minor knocks at ever-increasing frequency.  With Pato unable to resume Remy's position right away if at all, Chelsea's dependency on Diego would increase even more.  Given the congested fixture list — the Blues will play three times in the space of eight days — the likelihood of injury would increase as well.

If Chelsea are to sustain this period of improved form then an additional striker is entirely imperative.

P.S.: Notoriously, the January Transfer Window is acknowledged as a period for inflated prices as clubs become increasingly hesitant to sell their players, thus reducing the number of targets available.  Securing a bargain during the duration of the window is incredibly unlikely, especially as the deadline approaches.  This perhaps further infuriates supporters who believed that Charlie Austin would have been an adequate acquisition.  As a boyhood Chelsea supporter, who flaunts a reputable record of 18 Premier League goals, it seems that the 26-year-old would've constituted the perfect buy. To invigorate this opinion, he was sold for a minuscule fee of £4,000,000. The decision from the club's senior echelons not to purchase Austin seems utterly preposterous and perhaps questions need to be asked regarding their capabilities of identifying suitable targets.

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