Todd Boehly has already been told who Chelsea should sign in January amid Cristiano Ronaldo plan

football.london 10 days ago

Graham Potter is the latest man being tasked with getting the best out of Chelsea's underperforming attack.

Ronaldo training with Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in action during the Portugal training session at Cidade do Futebol FPF

It's hard to know just yet, but if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang isn't the man to lead the Chelsea attack beyond this season then Graham Potter will have the chance to provide his own solution to goalscoring issues that have occurred for over five years.

The new manager is working with Aubameyang after Thomas Tuchel pushed heavily for his signing in the summer window in order to bolster his forward options, and the already risky transfer now looks even more uncertain.

Given Potter will be working through and finding out how he feels about his Chelsea team in the coming weeks it is likely that Aubameyang, once he regains fitness, will be a common name on the teamsheet, but Armando Broja is pushing heavily for a starting spot after impressing in training and his small cameos so far this season.

Potter, who has a track record for improving players and has already helped Danny Welbeck to his best scoring returns in the last eight years, has more quality on his hands at Chelsea but even he may still find it tough to get a historically underperforming group to start firing.

If Potter can't work his magic then he's been told where to go for new choices. "They should be looking for a 22-year-old or 23-year-old somewhere in Europe," Stan Collymore said in April, via BirminghamMail. "If not, then maybe [Ollie] Watkins, or even his [Aston] Villa strike partner [Danny] Ings, if they're happy to go older.

"That kind of player would score 20 to 25 goals in that team and those goals would take Chelsea a big, big step closer to what they want to achieve."

The irony is maybe that Chelsea have had several players destined and predicted to score 20 goals only for them to flop. Be it down to creativity issues, finishing mistakes or from a system not built for certain players, over £300m has been spent on all sorts of goal scorers.

Ings himself had a poor season for Villa last term, only scoring seven goals. His previous two years saw 34 goals with a high of 22 at Southampton. As for Watkins, he got 11 last season following 14 in his first year at Villa. The duo have both been capped by England, though Ings has only played three times since his debut in 2015 and hasn't featured in a squad since 2020.

Watkins is a more recent pick for Gareth Southgate having played seven times in the past 18 months, scoring twice. The 26-year-old wasn't included in the most recent squad though and is unlikely to go to the World Cup this winter. Part of their own attraction to Chelsea, other than the prospect of Champions League football and maybe being given a bigger chance at Stamford Bridge now Potter is in charge, is that if their scoring did improve then being at Chelsea would help their future international prospects.

On the other hand, Todd Boehly was keen to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, seven years older than Ings at 37, and the Portuguese is still being tiped to be a success. "I think he [Ronaldo] can serve another club," former France defender Frank Leboeuf told ESPN.

"I would have loved to have seen him play for Chelsea, I think Chelsea would have been good for him because he would have been served, I don’t know with [Erik] ten Hag how it’s going to work.

"I think he has enough money to go for free and I already talked about that when he was at Juventus, and he should have done that instead of trying to get more money, where everybody can agree that he has enough, especially with his endorsements.

"He doesn’t need a salary, let's say, he can choose wherever he wants to go. Because everybody is going to be pleased to have a player like him, when they don’t have to pay him because he is going to serve. He can go to big, top clubs and I think he can serve the top clubs.

"If Chelsea can’t find the striker they want, if Aubameyang isn’t working for them, maybe he can go there if he goes for free. He would have the chance again to play in the Champions League, that’s what he wants. I wish him the best and I think he deserves the best because he has been one of the best, if not the best striker in the world."

Ronaldo is being used as a rotational option by United currently and still wants to play in Europe's top club competition.