The continuous talk about upgrading Chelsea's strike force this summer has struck some observers -- myself included -- as fairly bizarre. After all, we brought in three new centre forwards last summer, and two were smash hits. Didier Drogba is on his way out, yes, but replacing him should be a fairly straightforward affair rather than some sort of extended saga, and the idea of swapping out Loïc Rémy for someone else is a pretty strange one considering his scoring record as a backup.
Yet it persists, and a snippet from the London Evening Standard in an article about our supposed interest in Charlie Austin is giving an idea why:
The club have earmarked Austin as a potential replacement for Loic Remy, who wants to quit Stamford Bridge in search of first-team football.
If Rémy really wants out, that strikes me as a bit of a problem, considering he's probably better than anyone we've been linked to so far this summer. With Diego Costa's hamstrings an issue that we shouldn't expect to magically go away, Chelsea are in need of a top-tier backup, and Rémy has already proven he fits the bill. Why that would change after a season in which he contributed heavily to a title win is a little bit beyond me.
I suppose that if push came to shove swapping Rémy for Austin without spending very much more to do it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world (if nothing else, Austin would count as home-grown), but it would represent the club standing still in the transfer market. Our continental misadventures this season suggest that we need to be aiming rather higher than merely treading water.