By Shikharr Chandra
This Season's Stats
|Premier League: 3rd
Champions League: Eliminated
Europa League: Round of 32
FA Cup: Fourth round
Capital One Cup: Semi Finals (eliminated)
Win %: 50%
GF ratio: 2.16
GA ratio: 1.33
What they needed
Chelsea's need for a new striker was no secret. Unlike last season, Chelsea have missed a forward who could come up with key goals someone like Didier Drogba who was instrumental in key victories against the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. At the start of the season the club was left with just two strikers in Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge and although Torres is the top scorer for the club this season his goals have mainly come against weaker opponents. The Spaniard has failed to deliver game-changing goals and slowly and steadily the fans have started losing faith in him. He was booed off on his 100th game for the club and with Daniel Sturridge off to Liverpool, the club needed a new striker to fill in that gap.
In need of attacking reinforcements
New manager Rafa Benitez tried to solve that problem by introducing David Luiz in the midfield role and although the Brazilian was quite effective in his new role, an ankle injury has seen him miss the last few games limiting the club's options to just Ramires and Frank Lampard and although the latter has chipped in with goals on a regular basis this season, he has still struggled to settle into his new role.
Who they were linked with
Cover in midfield
The Belgian has been Everton's star midfielder this season scoring 10 goals in 20 appearances in the league. His ability to play anywhere in the midfield and his physical presence are his main attributes which Chelsea could have used as the season enters its final few months.
There were rumors that Chelsea had made a deadline day bid for the Belgian and were willing to pay his release clause but Chelsea's absence from the Champions League this season was one of the reasons the club missed out on him as his release clause could be activated only by a Champions League club.
Rafa Benitez though made it clear after Demba Ba's signing that the club will not be taking any further part in the transfer window. It turned out to be a surprisingly quiet window for the Blues who previously had spent huge amounts at this time of the year.
What they got
A proven goal-scorer in Demba Ba
At just £7.5m, the former Newcastle striker is turning out to be a bargain for Chelsea. Ba has found the net 3 times in his 5 appearances this season and although the striker has been in good form for his new club, getting into the starting XI has been an issue as Rafa Benitez has preferred Fernando Torres over him for majority of the games. Demba Ba made an instant impact for the Blues scoring a brace in his first game against Southampton and has been an impact player whenever he has come off the bench.
What this means for their season
The Blues lie 3rd in the league 1 point clear off their nearest rivals Tottenham but what has been worrying for Chelsea is their inconsistency. The club finds itself out of the major cup competitions and although they still have the FA Cup and The Europa League to save their season, it has been a disappointing one for them.
Although the club did solve their striking issues to some extent by getting in Ba, the fact that Chelsea have just two strikers in their squad is another worrying situation and with Ba out injured due to a broke nose, they are walking a tight rope on that front. The club failed to address their midfield issues and with John Obi Mikel's Nigeria progressing into the latter stages of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the club will have to continue with Lampard and Ramires in that role.
Previously considered as a fortress, Chelsea's home form has been the worrying point this season since new manager Rafa Benitez has taken over. The fans are getting hostile towards their new manager and results haven't helped Rafa as well as the club has lost points from winning positions on numerous occasions.
Chelsea carry one of the smallest squads this season and the club need re-inforcements. Although the club did welcome back Yossi Benayoun back from loan, but the midfielder hasn't really solved the crisis at the club.
Chelsea's main aim for the season should be securing a top 4 finish and getting back into the Champions League and with teams like Tottenham and Arsenal right behind them any more slip ups could cost the London club.
|Who do you think Chelsea should have signed? Leave your comments below or discuss with the writer on Twitter @ShikharrC.|
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