Chelsea F.C.’s season is over and Jose Mourinho has nothing to show for his first season back at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were at the top of the English Premier League many times and had opportunities to win their domestic cup competitions, yet they finish the 2013/2014 campaign with no silverware. It’s certainly been a disappointing first year back for Jose Mourinho, who rarely finishes a season trophy-less. Now it’s time for Chelsea to spend the summer wisely and restrengthen their team. Here are a few things that Jose Mourinho must accomplish before the start of the 2014/2015 campaign:
1. Pinpoint a Starting Striker
Throughout the season, it was clear that Chelsea lacked a superb striker. Their midfield usually looked good and they had the best defense in the league (at least statistically). But they didn’t have a center forward who could deliver over 20 goals a season. Samuel Eto’o offered nine Premier League goals in his 21 appearances while Fernando Torres and Demba Ba each scored five in the league. Without Eden Hazard, who was Chelsea’s top scorer and assister, it may have been a far worse campaign for the Blues.
This summer, Jose Mourinho must identify the player who will start as striker next season. It can’t be the same as last campaign, where Eto’o, Torres, and Ba switched off every week. If Chelsea are going to win trophies next season, Mourinho must have one striker who can score goals on a regular basis. This is a tough decision but it would probably be wise for Mourinho to spend money on a new forward, such as Diego Costa or Radamel Falcao. The Chelsea manager also has Romelu Lukaku at his disposal, with the Belgian returning from a terrific loan spell at Everton.
2. Sell, Sell, Sell
Chelsea has been a high spending team since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. This summer, however, the Blues need to sell players. There are some players who must be sold, as it is unlikely they will contribute to the team in the future, and there are others who could be sold, depending on what Mourinho feels is best for the club. I believe that Ashley Cole, Marko Marin, Victor Moses, and Gael Kakuta should be sold this summer. It is sad to see Cole leave Chelsea as the Englishman has been a superb defender in his eight years at the club. However, it’s unlikely that the 33-year-old will regain his spot in Mourinho’s starting squad.
Victor Moses is definitely a good player and he had a decent campaign for Chelsea two years ago ( 2012/2013) . Unfortunately, there isn’t any space for the Nigerian winger in Chelsea’s team.
In the cases of Marko Marin and Gael Kakuta, neither has converted potential into performance and with both players failing in their recent loan spells, it is unlikely that they will succeed at Stamford Bridge.
While these four players are likely departures, there are others who may also leave Chelsea this summer. If Mourinho purchases a new striker, one or more of Chelsea’s current forwards will depart. Samuel Eto’o has already left the club but it’ll be interesting to see if Demba Ba follows him. Fernando Torres was reportedly on his way out of Chelsea but now it seems that he is likely to stay for another season. It’s also possible that Romelu Lukaku departs though this would be a strange move after the Belgian has proven his worth on loan at Everton and West Bromwich Albion.
Additionally, it’s possible that David Luiz is sold as he has been strongly linked to Barcelona over the past year. And Frank Lampard is now 35 years old and Mourinho may choose that it’s finally time for Chelsea legend to leave Stamford Bridge.
3. Keep A Few Youngsters in the First Team
On April 27, 2014, Jose Mourinho made an unexpected decision when he selected Tomáš Kalas to start against Liverpool. Kalas, 21, had never started a competitive game for Chelsea before. Nonetheless, at Anfield, he had a great performance and helped the Blues keep a clean sheet.
It’s important for Chelsea to continue to promote their youngsters. The club doesn’t have many senior players coming up from its youth academy though the Blues have bought many young players in recent years, players who are now starting to succeed.
Last season, Chelsea loaned out 27 players, including Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Oriol Romeu, Lucas Piazon, Kurt Zooma, Christian Atsu, and Kenneth Omeruo. Certainly a few of these youngsters deserve a spot in Mourinho’s senior team next year.