It has been widely said that last season saw the bizarre set of circumstances where Chelsea’s most impressive striker was not actually playing for the club; but instead was out on loan.
Chelsea have grown accustomed to seeing their loan players having a good time away from the club. Kenneth Omeruo at ADO Den Haag, Kevin De Bruyne at Werder Bremen and Thibaut Courtois at Atletico Madrid have all just come off the back of excellent spells away from The Bridge; if only temporarily.
Another such player was of course Romelu Lukaku. The young Belgian smashed home 17 goals in 35 Premier League appearances for West Bromwich Albion last term whilst Chelsea’s front line strikers Demba Ba and Fernando Torres only managed 15 and eight respectively.
With that in mind the returning Jose Mourinho has decided to give Lukaku a chance in the first-team next season rather than send him out on another loan; perhaps with the hope he can become his new Didier Drogba.
With that in mind it leaves West Brom with a gaping amount of holes in their forward line.
With Lukaku and Marc-Antoine Fortune both gone and Peter Odemwingie quite desperate to follow them out of the exit door it leaves them with just Shane Long and the so far unimpressive Markus Rosenberg on the books as regular senior strikers.
So there is little doubt that the striking department is an area in which Steve Clarke will have to look for improvement next season in order to live up to the exceptional expectations now laid at his door.
And The Sun seem to believe they have identified a cheap option for new arrivals at The Hawthorns; free agent Carlton Cole.
The England international has not been offered a new contract with West Ham and it is reported that Clarke may bring in the player he knows well from two separate spells working with him.
The first of which was of course at Chelsea. He worked with a young Carlton Cole at Chelsea until the player left for West Ham in 2006 and the two were reunited when Clarke became assistant manager at The Hammers in 2008. Clarke was in fact widely credited with his good form that season and subsequent renewed scoring confidence.
However the player has some way to go before replicating the form of Lukaku next season; Cole managed just two goals last term and would certainly not be signed as the leading striker.
So while one potential Chelsea star of the future leaves West Brom one that never quite made the grade returns to the tutelage of his ever present mentor.
But can it pay dividends?
Would a move to West Brom be perfect for Carlton Cole?
image: © East Ham Bull