According to reports obtained since the official opening of the mid-season transfer market for trading, a period where Chelsea have already ratified good business having made official the acquisition of talented youth Bertrand Traore who has since been farmed out to Vitesse Arnham on loan, there are two priority striking recruits who are being considered by the Stamford Bridge management.
One, of course, is Wayne Rooney, a player enjoying an exceptional season for an under-performing behemoth of British football; Manchester United and a striker whom Mourinho attempted to create distance from when pressed by the media earlier today, Friday, regarding a potential coup on the horizon.
Rooney makes sense.
His contract expires in the summer of 2015 and, should he continue to postpone talks, or even shun them completely, then Chelsea are ultimately in a far greater bargaining position when it comes to negotiating a fee with Manchester United for the 28-year-old.
Rooney also fits into the mould of some of the traits that Mourinho admires in a Premier League attacker. He is strong, built like a brute, has good work-rate and can cannon footballs away with his favoured peg.
The player is fully accomplished in English football, is in his tenth year as a Red Devil and has, to date, returned 208 goals in all competitions from 424 appearances - bearing in mind, that some of those games he would have played in a withdrawn position, or out wide or even in midfield.
Rooney is also a winner - as his five Premier League titles, Champions League winner's medal and two League Cups are all testament to.
But would he be the best fit when considering the data available?
Rooney's best position is as the second striker. He creates as much as he scores and, below, one can see that, this season, he already has more assists than he does goals. He has the pass completion rate of a midfielder - 80% - not a striker, is a good crosser of the football (20%, or 13 of 68 have found a team-mate in the current campaign) and, astonishingly, he has created 40 clear cut goal-scoring opportunities. Again, a statistic more befitting of a midfielder than a striker.
|Player||Games||Minutes||Goals (G)||Assists (A)||Shot Accuracy||G+A:Mins|
The second player most linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge, Diego Costa, of Atletico Madrid, may be an even better fit than Rooney, though.
What Rooney has in Premier League experience and familiarisation with English culture, Costa - a Brazil-born Spanish defector - obviously lacks, however, he is more of a striker, he is an exceptional finisher, aerially-dominant and is, by trade, a poacher as the bulk of his goals - where he does the most damage - is inside that penalty box.
Throughout Chelsea's forward line, the 3 behind the 1 in their formation, is a trident who create enough opportunities, chances and key passes, that it effectively rules Rooney's work redundant and where a poacher would thrive far more.
For instance, Juan Mata has created 30 chances in the season to date, Eden Hazard has 49, Oscar has 22.
The classic poacher would revel in the creation behind him.
Would Costa be that man, rather than Rooney?
Both players would likely fetch the same fee: around £30m, give or take the odd mill.
Who would you prefer?
image: © nasmac