It’s fair to say Chelsea have surpassed expectations under Maurizio Sarri so far this season, but there’s still more that could be done to ensure this Blues side remain major players in the Premier League title race.
While Sarri has worked wonders to get largely the same squad that finished fifth in the table last season playing some dour football under his predecessor Antonio Conte, on paper Manchester City and Liverpool still look to have stronger squads in terms of going all the way over the course of a season.
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The three teams are currently level on points after fast starts to the 2018/19 campaign, but Chelsea will surely fall away unless they strengthen their attack this winter.
So far, Sarri has been aided hugely by the magnificent form of Eden Hazard, who has eight goals and three assists in his first ten games of the season – only six of which have been starts.
However, his league tally of seven goals this term is already more than half his total from last season, with his highest ever in England just 16 in the 2016/17 campaign.
Basically, the Belgium international is probably unlikely to continue scoring at this rate, and Chelsea don’t exactly have much firepower elsewhere in this squad after some miserable form from both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
Pedro and Willian are decent options, but Chelsea are unsurprisingly being linked with some big-name forwards for January, two of which seem to be being talked up most strongly as serious options.
Ousmane Dembele and Krzysztof Piatek transfers needed at Chelsea?
The 23-year-old Pole has risen from relative obscurity to make a blinding start to this season, scoring 13 goals in his first nine games for his new club.
It seems clear already that Piatek would be a major upgrade on Morata and Giroud, and football.london claim he could be available for a bargain price of £53million.
Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem of Hazard’s potential departure, with the 27-year-old still to extend his contract beyond its expiry date of the end of next season.
Marca are among a number of sources to link Hazard with Real Madrid, and they also state the player has turned down a new contract as many as five times at Stamford Bridge.
It’s perhaps unlikely Chelsea will cash in on Hazard in the middle of the season, but even if they do they could sign Barcelona outcast Ousmane Dembele as an ideal replacement.
The 21-year-old, long regarded as one of Europe’s top young players despite a slow start at Barca, has been linked recently with Chelsea by Don Balon.
In terms of asking price, another Don Balon piece claimed the Frenchman would fetch around £70m, with Paris Saint-Germain also interested.
If Chelsea can land those two attackers for a combined £123m, even with Hazard’s departure they’d arguably have a better attack than they do now and would be better equipped to go toe-to-toe with City and Liverpool in the second half of this season.
Of course, both are young and unproven in England, but Hazard can only do so much on his own, and it’s rare for a team to win the title without a striker who can bag 20+ league goals a season.
City have Sergio Aguero, Liverpool arguably have three players capable of close to that in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and even Arsenal are catching up thanks to the fine scoring form of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Time for Roman Abramovich to get his chequebook out!