Chelsea are among the few clubs able to sign Erling Haaland this summer, and by some reports have already reached a personal agreement with the attacker. The Blues are among the small group of teams that could genuinely reward Borussia Dortmund’s Haaland, who are desperate not to lose the 20-year-old and will demand over £150 million for his sale.
Chelsea are one of the few clubs able to muster the extraordinary financial package needed to sign Haaland this summer and it looks like they are pushing to close a deal to deliver a number nine whom Thomas Tuchel can rely on to deliver a consistent supply of goals .
The Blues’ goal consistency was their only flaw last season, although they still won the Champions League and finished fourth in the Premier League table, also reaching the FA Cup final, only to lose to Leicester.
However, while Haaland’s arrival at Stamford Bridge took the eleven European Cup starters to another level, with the Leeds-born striker scoring 41 goals in 41 games for Dortmund in 2020-21, his signing would also cause headaches for Tuchel.
Chelsea already have a star-studded contingent of strikers, perhaps only Premier League champions Manchester City can rival, although Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham could leave this summer, with some doubts also about Hakim Ziyech’s future.
Even if the trio departed, Chelsea would still have Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner, all capable of playing in the three-man attack Tuchel likes to adopt in his 3-4 – 2-1 system. That’s before Haaland arrives too.
Mount and Havertz were the two to combine for Chelsea’s only goal against City in Porto, and the two are poised for a big future at Stamford Bridge, with the £72m German ending the season strong.
Havertz recently admitted: “I didn’t actually play my best football at the beginning. I felt a completely different pressure than before at Leverkusen.” But the hope is that the 22-year-old striker’s performance will only improve from here.
Werner has also faced much criticism throughout the season, his debauchery being a popular topic on social media, but the pace of Havertz’s compatriot was vital to the team’s threat of counterattack, which became even more important under Tuchel. He also contributed directly to 27 goals in 52 games, thanks to 15 assists in all competitions.
But coming at a club record rate and possibly at club record salaries, Haaland would undoubtedly be a starter whenever possible, leaving just two other attacking positions for Mount, Havertz and Werner to fill.
As the club’s future captain, England international Mount hopes to command one of two spots behind the striker, where he thrived under Tuchel. He can also play in midfield, but is better suited for a three-man midfield than Tuchel’s two-man duo, which almost always consists of N’Golo Kante with Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic.
If Mount is starting more games than not, the question is whether Havertz or Werner are better suited to Tuchel’s setup in the other position behind the striker, and you could argue that the latter does more, although his finishing is far from being prolific in your debut campaign.
He told bettingexpert.com of Werner: “What he does, in addition to scoring, is extraordinary for the rest of the team. If he adds the goals to the level he was scoring in Germany, then he will be unstoppable.
“I see Timo Werner as one of the players who can play against the attacker, he drags people everywhere. I think he likes that, it takes you out of the line of fire because if you are the center forward and seen as number nine then you are judged purely on goals. He must be judged not only on goals, but also on work rate and assists. “
And the Scot added of Havertz: “He has a totally different flavor and he has every chance of being the best player in the world. After seeing what he’s done this season, he was scary.
“He intimidates people, he’s tall and the most elegant player and he has an extraordinary brain for football. This is a good test for Werner and Havertz, how they can go through for Germany and Chelsea as they are very players. If they can come together and work really well with each other, they can be an extraordinary partnership to stop.”
And what a test it really is for the pair, and the nearly impassable Mount, if Haaland makes it to Stamford Bridge this summer. It will be fascinating to see how Tuchel manages his senior team, but having so many options will cause the German strategist more than a few headaches. He hopes he can overcome the headaches to deliver more important trophies.