Former Chelsea defender Glenn Johnson believes that the Blues will compete for the Premier League title next season if they sign a striker before the end of the window.
A frontman has been on the top of Thomas Tuchel’s shopping list going into the new season, but so far, moves for either Erling Haaland or Romelu Lukaku have proven too difficult for the Blues to make any significant progress.
With Dortmund unwilling to sell Haaland this summer, and Inter Milan determined to get a huge fee for Lukaku – rumoured to be in the region of £110million – Chelsea will have to pay over the odds to secure the forward they need to really challenge Manchester City for domestic success.
Johnson, who won the Premier League and League Cup double at Stamford Bridge in 2004-05, believes that the Blues can compete with the current Champions if Tuchel gets his transfer wish, but has also admitted that the two clubs could be rivalled by Manchester United, too.
“I think if Chelsea get a new striker I think they could really take the title race,” he told bettingodds.com.
“I fear for myself about United! They’re banging on the door and they weren’t even in form. I think their home record last year was awful and they were the ones who took the race to City. I think if they get it right and improve week in, week out, they can be a force this season.
“Obviously City are going to be favourites and rightly so because of their squad. But if Chelsea sign a striker I think they could do it.”
Johnson’s former Portsmouth teammate Peter Crouch echoes that opinion, and even urged the Blues to go all out for a move for Lukaku because the Belgian will help them to reach that next level as he’s got something to prove at the club.
“Romelu Lukaku has to be a target for Premier League clubs, without a doubt,” he told Paddy Power .
“Look at the money you’d have to spend to get Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe or even Harry Kane. It would cost a lot less to get Lukaku, yet he’s a banker for Premier League goals.”
“He’s been at Chelsea before and I think he’s got something to prove there. I could see him being a good fit under Thomas Tuchel.”
There’s no telling whether a Lukaku reunion will happen just yet, especially after news emerged that Inter have already rejected two bids from Chelsea for his services, but given the Nerazzurri’s financial situation, Chelsea should undoubtedly test the waters with an improved offer.
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