Chelsea to target new striker - Is Pelle really the answer?

With Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba struggling to find the net this season, Chelsea are on the lookout for a new striker

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho branded his team's display against Newcastle a “really bad performance” after seeing the Magpies claim a 2-0 win, and claimed he “made 11 mistakes” with his team selection.

However, with his strikers struggling to hit the back of the net, it seems Mourinho will be given the opportunity to sign a new forward in the January transfer window, with Demba Ba likely to head out of Stamford Bridge, with Arsenal, Roma and Valencia looking into his signature.

The Daily Mail report that Mourinho will be granted funds for a new centre forward in January, and that Borussia Dortmund's Polish goal machine Robert Lewandowski could be a target with his contract expiring next summer, but he would be cup-tied in the Champions League having already featured in the group stage for Jurgen Klopp's side.

A player who would fit the bill in terms of European availability is Feyenoord's Italian hitman Graziano Pelle, who is also wanted by Barcelona as Gerardo Martino searches for a typical centre forward.

Pelle has been in sensational form over the last 18 months, scoring 27 goals in 29 games during a loan spell with Feyenoord last season before making his deal permanent, and has continued his goalscoring prowess with ten goals in ten games so far this term.

Standing at 6ft 4in tall, Pelle is a prototypical target man with great strength and aerial ability, and whilst he may not score many incredible goals, he does have a knack of being in the right place at the right time and has made earned a reputation for being a penalty area predator during his time at De Kuip.

However, Pelle is now 28 and after a less than spectacular career spanning Italy and Holland, where his record showed 183 appearances and just 35 goals. His spell with Feyenoord seems to be an anomaly in an otherwise disappointing career, and that's a huge warning for any side that chooses to pursue him, with a £6m suggested.

A number of strikers have arrived in England having found the net regularly in Holland – and failed. Afonso Alves and Mateja Kezman are the two main failures to arrive from the Eredivisie, but Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luis Suarez both adapted well to find the net consistently in Premier League, proving that some strikers can score no matter what league they're in – it just doesn't seem that Pelle is that type of forward, given his previous record in Serie A.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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