We’re hearing more and more about a potential Erling Haaland transfer to Chelsea this summer, and it can’t be emphasised enough what a huge signing this would be.
The Norway international’s record speaks for itself: at the age of just 21, he’d be arriving at Stamford Bridge on the back of a season in which he scored 41 goals in 41 games for Borussia Dortmund – these are the kinds of numbers we’re only used to hearing about from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, or occasionally from Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski, who aren’t bad either.
Chelsea may have won the Champions League last season thanks to the superb work done by Thomas Tuchel when he replaced Frank Lampard in the second half of the campaign, but this is surely only the start of something even bigger for the Blues if they do get Haaland in.
Of course, we should add at this point that there is no guarantee Chelsea will sign Haaland, but the latest update on the saga from Jan Age Fjortoft, speaking to ESPN in the video below, shows just how serious the west London giants are about getting this ambitious deal done…
Fjortoft rightly points out that this will also seriously test Borussia Dortmund’s resolve, as they face potentially losing the 21-year-old for half this price due to his release clause which kicks in next summer. Other European giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona are facing financial difficulties and might be able to afford Haaland next year, but surely not this. Others like PSG and Bayern Munich don’t really need Haaland as they have Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lewandowski between them.
Still, why not Chelsea? Why not the Premier League?
English football looks like it could be set for a period of dominance as others in Europe struggle financially. We saw Chelsea and City contest the second all-English final in three years last season, and we could have a genuine four-horse title race next term between some great sides. Reigning champions City continue to play stunning football under Pep Guardiola, Liverpool will surely be back as long as they avoid a repeat of their injury nightmares, Manchester United look like strengthening well.
And then there’s Chelsea, with Roman Abramovich showing plenty of ambition after last summer’s spending spree as he seems serious about another one this year.
For all the fine work Tuchel has done, he still lacks a goal-scorer, so it makes sense to be going after one of the best in the business. Penalty-scoring midfielder Jorginho was the team’s top scorer in the league last term with seven goals, with Timo Werner managing just six league goals in 35 top flight matches. Olivier Giroud has since moved on, while Tammy Abraham may well do the same after a lack of playing time.
Tuchel may have had Chelsea playing a slightly defensive game at points, particularly as they allowed City the bulk of the ball in the Champions League final, but it would be unfair to say that’s all the German tactician brings to the table with his tactics, and it’s easy to imagine he could get the team playing a more adventurous playing style with an elite finisher in his ranks.
Chelsea finished fourth in the league last season, but ranked close behind Manchester City and Liverpool on average possession per game. They were also third in the league in terms of shots per game, it’s just that not enough of those were going in; CFC only managed 58 league goals in total – that’s less than even West Ham and Leeds managed. In terms of their more direct rivals, City scored 83, United 73, and Liverpool 68. It could be argued that none of these sides even played with an out-and-out centre-forward (Tottenham’s Harry Kane won the Golden Boot with 23 goals), so the addition of Haaland to Tuchel’s squad could turn the top four on its head completely.
As well as transforming Chelsea, the arrival of Haaland could also represent a big moment as the Premier League continues its quest for world domination; for the last decade we’ve provided some great teams and thrilling title races, but we’ve had to watch on with envy as Messi and Ronaldo took it in turns to win the Ballon d’Or after their continued era-defining displays in La Liga.
Sure, we’ve had Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero and other top talents playing here, but it could be that Haaland is the next superstar of his generation, alongside Kylian Mbappe, and having him in England during his peak years would give us our own answer to Messi or Ronaldo.
Whatever team you support, it’s hard not to be excited about such a potentially seismic transfer deal taking place in the Premier League this summer. Love them or hate them, Chelsea are ready to change the game, and that should be something for fans of English football to celebrate.
Happy 21st birthday, Erling Haaland! ?
The quickest player to reach 20 Champions League goals in history…
Just 14 games. ??pic.twitter.com/a1x3pvtz5i
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) July 21, 2021