The new age of austerity at Chelsea has seen the London giants being linked with a host of names to take up the mantle of striker at the club, and while there are some logical suggestions one or two have seem to come out of nowhere.
For example, Roma forward Edin Dzeko has been mooted for an imminent arrival at Stamford Bridge, and indeed that would appear to be one of the names that makes perfect sense. He is a player with big club experience, as well as tenure in the Premier League having previously played for Man City. The deal looks set to go through very soon.
He has bagged himself 40 points in the Euro Fantasy League game so far this season, and with a supply lines that includes the likes of Willian and Eden Hazard that could likely continue to accumulate at a healthy rate in west London.
There have also been a couple of English players linked with a role up front in the Chelsea side as well. Andy Carroll was a favourite to make the move – fulfilling a news report from way back in his early days at Newcastle – but his recent injury worries may have scuppered that plan.
The West Ham striker has undergone surgery to repair a hairline fracture, and is expected to miss up to eight weeks of action – so Chelsea seem unlikely to pursue a loan deal for the former Liverpool hitman.
Another player with international experience and bundles of Premier League pedigree to be linked with Stamford Bridge is none other than former England striker Peter Crouch. One of the most well-liked strikers of the modern era, Crouch also has some big club experience from his three year spell at Liverpool and a couple of spells at Tottenham.
He is a well-travelled player, having turned out for no fewer than 10 clubs in his career including the likes of QPR, Aston Villa and Southampton. His international strike rate is great as well, with 22 goals in 42 games for England.
Chelsea want a backup striker for Alvaro Morata, and Crouch has been earmarked as a potential candidate. The response to these reports has ranged all the way from it being a good move (according to former Blue Tony Cascarino) to being simply “random” (Gary Neville).
To be fair to Neville, he admits to being unable to grasp Chelsea’s desire for a front man over 6ft 3in, with Conte’s inclusion of Graziano Pelle in his former Italy squad also being referenced. Stoke have denied that there has been any contact from Chelsea regarding the transfer of Crouch, so until something solid happens he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Ashley Barnes (Burnley) is another name to have been linked, but his strike rate of 17 goals in 115 appearances for the Clarets wouldn’t seem to bode too well. At 28 though, he is younger than his Stoke counterpart and would still have time to gel into the team and hit the back of the net when required of him.
So, why not take a look at revamping your strikeforce and getting going on Euro Fantasy League? The game features players from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Eredivisie and Ligue 1. Assemble your dream team and manage your fantasy squad to glory this season!
If you perhaps aren’t quite as familiar with the more continental leagues, then you are also able to play a Premier League-only version of the game. Fantasy Premier is a version of the EuroFantasyLeague game where you will put together your Premier League dream team and compete against others. Check it out now!