For Chelsea fans, just about any incoming striker would do at this point in time.
Having missed out on the signing of Romelu Lukaku, and with Diego Costa likely to be on his way out, any one of the strikers the London side have been linked with would calm some nerves if recruited this summer.
So far, the Blues have been linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata and Torino’s Andrea Belotti. A weekend report also suggested that Juventus turned down a huge bid from them for Gonzalo Higuain, while another claims that a move for Manchester City ace Sergio Aguero could be afoot.
As mentioned before, Blues supporters would take any of the aforementioned in a heartbeat if it were up to them, but sadly, that isn't the case.
As much as they wish it were, they're forced to leave it to Antonio Conte and the infamous board.
So who should the top brass go for from the trio of Aubameyang, Belotti and Morata? Who would ultimately prove the best fit for the Chelsea system? Some reckon they all would, but let’s take a deeper look, beginning with the stats...
Last Season's Stats
|Striker||Games||Goals||Assists||Shots per Game|
The Gabonese forward is the outright winner here, yet Morata would have definitely done better had he started more games. Of the 40 appearances made, only 18 were starts. Belotti, meanwhile, was a solid contributor, chipping in seven assists alongside his very respectable 28-goal haul.
Style of Play
Based on their style of play, Belotti seems the best fit for the Blues. The Italian is quite similar to Costa; he is aggressive and strong, with an amazing vertical leap, but also quicker and craftier than the seemingly Atletico-bound hit-man. His touch is better as well, while his link-up play is definitely more pleasing to watch.
Aubameyang is by far the paciest of the bunch, and would prove a deadly weapon on the counter, something Chelsea put to use with brutal effect last season. The BVB man possesses unbelievable composure in front of goal, as well as an inventive streak. He’s quite comfortable playing in wide positions too, and his movement without the ball is just remarkable.
Certainly not least, despite being the last mentioned in this section, comes Morata. And what a fascinating striker he is.
The Spain international can score from just about anywhere, boasts insane skill on the ball, and can create his own chances with ease. At times it seems like the 24-year-old is an attacking midfielder and target man rolled into one; it’s just frightening to think of how dangerous he could be if linked up with the likes of Eden hazard and Pedro up front.
All three of these strikers would be great operating at the point of attack for Chelsea, however, Belotti looks like the one who identifies with the system, given his similarities to Costa.
It’s still a really tough choice, though. And it will probably come down to…
By the time this is over, the Blues may very well opt for the striker who puts the least amount strain on their coffers. But there are other things to consider.
Aubameyang, who just turned 28, is now in his prime, yet how many years does he have left at the top? Three or four, possibly?
Borussia Dortmund warning clubs they have only 8 days left to make offer for Aubameyang. Told Conte wants him at Chelsea but no bid yet— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 16, 2017
If he signs, it will cost Chelsea around £61m according to reports, which in today’s market seems just about fair for world-class striker who could give you a few of his best seasons.
Morata should be going for around £80m, also not bad as he’s only 24 and will only improve as the years go by. Belotti is reported as having a release clause of £88m in his contract at Torino and, if he is indeed the real deal, it could be a great investment for the Blues.
But with only one prolific season under his belt, it would be risky business spending such an amount on a player deemed to be still unproven, especially when he will be competing in the Premier League.
So taking all of these facets into consideration, who’s the best option?
Aubameyang makes a compelling case on all fronts. And Conte would do well to make him the chief target. But as the stats show, either one would probably prove a hit.