Michy Batshuayi looks close to leaving on loan as Chelsea step up efforts to sign a new target man. We’ve heard both of these stories many times over the course of 2017, but it sounds like they might finally come true.
Batshuayi’s loan should offer a welcome respite to what has surely been a frustrating 18 months for him, after repeatedly failing to convince Antonio Conte of his qualities and thus restricted to brief cameos, minor cup games, and meaningless matches. Sevilla looks the likely destination.
Conte has been pushing for a new signing in this position since last January — unfortunately for him, Fernando Llorente chose to stay at Swansea 12 months ago, then chose to join Spurs in the summer instead.
Perhaps even more unfortunately for him, the remaining names linked with Chelsea are rather uninspiring. That hasn’t stopped the stories at all, and the Andy Carroll angle appears to be picking up some speed.
As reported by both Matt Law in the Telegraph and Dom Fifield in the Guardian — the usual one-two punch of a club briefing — Chelsea are set to “step up efforts this week” to sign a new striker and fix our “goalscoring crisis”. That Andy Carroll would be part of any such solution is rather hilarious, but the big man is certainly capable of scoring a few headed goals. I wouldn’t imagine too many would be enthused by his arrival, and that’s before we consider his inability to stay healthy on a regular basis.
The one sensible thing in this story is that apparently we’re only looking to bring Carroll in on loan for the second half of the season before addressing the striker situation with a more permanent solution in the summer.
If Chelsea loan out Batshuayi so he can get some minutes and goals (to either Sevilla, or West Ham, or wherever) and we bring in Carroll (or Benteke or whoever Conte can trust a bit more than Michy) on a six-month loan to help boost options and lighten the load on Morata, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It wouldn’t look good, per se, but it might be a sensible enough move.
Sure, there is a possibility of a surprise PEA or a last-minute Alexis gazump (though he’s not a center forward), but we should be setting our expectations a bit lower than that, methinks.