Chelsea find new Cristiano Ronaldo to solve Graham Potter’s January transfer problem
Chelsea are a mess. On the pitch they’re a mix of old moving to new – but not very successfully – and Graham Potter is tasked with transforming an ageing group into an elite set of modern footballers. Off the pitch, the process has been started to complete a huge overhaul.
The fruits and products of the backroom appointments at directorial level won’t be seen for a while but Potter needs some tangible evidence for his own impact much sooner. As attention is now divided between transfers and and results there is plenty to digest at Stamford Bridge. A new midfielder is needed in January with physical presence and energy lacking against Nottingham Forest in a clear demonstration of the problem.
Enzo Fernandez could be the answer to that but his £106million release clause is a stumbling block. Someone to compete with Reece James and offer back-up support is also required whilst finding a replacement for Armando Broja with his season- ending injury throwing up another obstacle.
The 21-year-old had only scored one goal before his anterior cruciate ligament injury cut short his campaign but he had been handed two starts in a row before the World Cup break. The Albanian offered a different profile of striker to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz but that is now missing.
David Datro Fofana is just 20-years-old and inexperienced at the highest level, and he could yet be loaned out in the same window he joined in to aid his development. It means that a new player in the forward line really should be high up the priority list. According to 90min that man could be World Cup breakthrough star Goncalo Ramos.
The Portuguese international has a relatively low profile before storming onto the scene with a hat-trick against Switzerland in the last-16. He came in as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo after Fernando Santos chose to drop the new Al-Nassr forward as punishment for his reaction to being substituted during the group stage and made a true statement, announcing himself to the world. With a stunning three goals he has now caught the eye of Chelsea.
Having not been able to secure a deal for Ronaldo himself over the summer Chelsea were consistently linked with making an approach for him once Manchester United terminated his deal. They could instead turn to a younger model in January. With talks already ongoing with Benfica for Fernandez Chelsea could use this to open up proceedings for Ramos, who has scored nine times in Primeira Liga this season.
The issue here may be that, like Fernandez, Ramos has a massive £106million release clause in his contract which could price the Blues out of a deal.