Recent reports, including one in the Express, have suggested Chelsea want Hoffenheim’s attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino. But if that move happens, it is likely to give a life-line to two of their current front-men.
Chelsea were always going to bring in at least one quality striker this summer, and it is being claimed that man will be Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa for a reported £32million. But if Jose Mourinho also signs Firmino, it is highly unlikely he will buy another out-and-out frontman for one very simple reason.
Firmino may not be a striker, but he has a striker’s statistics. His 22 goals and 16 assists for the German side last season demonstrate that.
But considering the players currently at Mourinho’s disposal, it is highly unlikely he will play two strikers with Firmino operating further back and Eden Hazard playing from the left.
With the likes of Willian, Oscar and Andre Schurrle also competing for places, Firmino’s arrival would render the purchase of an additional front-man rather pointless, as he could operate in the number 10 role.
Despite adding two players who have scored a combined total of 58 goals so far this season, Mourinho will know that with Costa his only new recognised striker, he would need to keep others as back-up – most likely Romelu Lukaku and Fernando Torres.
But if Firmino proves an impossible target, Mourinho could move for another all-out front-man to partner Costa as he seeks to bring in the goals to propel his side to another level.
There are a lot of ifs, buts and maybes here, and the fact that Firmino only recently signed a new long-term deal means it will be a big surprise if he does move to Stamford Bridge this summer. But his arrival could save the Chelsea careers of at least two current Blues front-men, who will be needed for the considerable amount of games to come in what could be a legacy-defining campaign for their Portuguese boss.