Chelsea and their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, are currently facing a multitude of challenging decisions as they approach the summer transfer window.
Despite the massive £600 million investment made by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital last year, the club finds itself in a position no better than the previous season.
With a series of unfortunate events both on and off the field, Chelsea is set to record one of their worst finishes in the Premier League.
In light of this, it is imperative that the club avoids another period of unsuccessful transfers and instead focuses on making smarter acquisitions to strengthen their squad.
One area of utmost concern for Chelsea is the striker position.
Throughout this season, they have managed to score a mere 36 goals in 35 Premier League games, with a glaring absence of a significant threat from the No. 9 position.
This deficiency has undoubtedly played a major role in the club’s downfall this term.
In his previous managerial roles, Pochettino has been fortunate enough to work with world-class strikers.
At Tottenham, he played a pivotal role in molding Harry Kane into one of the greatest No. 9s in the history of the Premier League.
Moreover, during his tenure at Paris Saint-Germain, Pochettino had the privilege of managing the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
However, the current scenario at Chelsea is quite different.
Nevertheless, this situation might change with the imminent return of Romelu Lukaku from his loan spell at Inter Milan.
The Belgian striker was signed for a staggering £97.5 million in 2021, with high expectations that he would elevate the west London club to the next level.
Unfortunately, his return to Stamford Bridge has been marred by controversies following an interview he gave while in Italy.
During Lukaku’s absence this season, Chelsea’s attacking prowess has deteriorated significantly.
Lukaku’s resurgence in form during the latter stages of the campaign has aided Inter in reaching their first Champions League final since 2010, following a lackluster first half of his return to Milan.
However, the crucial question that arises is whether Lukaku will feature in Pochettino’s plans for the upcoming season.
The Argentine manager has previously emphasized the specific attributes he seeks in his main striker, and he has heaped praise on Harry Kane in the past.
Following Kane’s impressive hat-trick in a Champions League victory over Apoel Nicosia in 2017, Pochettino remarked, “He has something special in front of goal and that is why he’s one of the best… All the strikers who are at this level have something special.
They are killers. Harry has this special skill.” Pochettino further commended Kane’s goal-scoring ability, work ethic, and energy.
While Kane and Lukaku are two entirely different strikers, it is worth noting that the Englishman has scored 18 more career goals than Lukaku, despite playing in 83 fewer games.
Nevertheless, certain attributes can still be compared between the two players.