'Chelsea will have a new striker by next season' - Blues legend expecting another big-money deal

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Pat Nevin believes Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata still have a role to play at Stamford Bridge, but he sees another proven performer being signed

Chelsea will have “a new centre-forward by next season”, says club legend Pat Nevin, but another big-money deal does not spell “the end of the road for Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud”.

The Blues have invested heavily in striking talent over recent windows, with the Spain and France internationals acquired in the summer of 2017 and in January respectively.

Morata and Giroud have offered glimpses of what they are capable of, but both have also endured dips in form which has seen their value to the collective cause questioned.

Nevin believes they have a role to play heading forward under Maurizio Sarri, but still expects Chelsea to dip back into the transfer market for more firepower.

He told West London Sport : “It’s not the end of the road for Morata or Giroud.

“I do expect a new centre-forward by next season. But having three strikers is not beyond the realms of possibility.

“Football is not all about statistics.

“Mateo Kovacic plays in this Chelsea system when Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley both score more goals. It’s a team game.

“And Giroud did not score at the World Cup and France won it. Chelsea have not been doing too bad, having not lost a game.

Alvaro Morata Chelsea 04102018

“Every centre-forward wants to get the ball in early before he is marked.

“But after 140 passes before the ball arrives, losing your marker is not going to happen if he has been looking at you for two minutes.

“It’s not impossible, but it’s much more difficult. Certain styles aren’t perfect for certain players.

“The system does not need a target man. It needs an aggressive, skilful player who is a natural goalscorer.

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“But the complete package, like a Sergio Aguero or Luis Suarez, is not easy to come by.”

Chelsea continue to lean heavily on their attacking midfielders for inspiration in the final third at present, with the likes of Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard proving to be talismanic figures.

They have helped the Blues to enjoy an unbeaten start to the 2018-19 campaign, with Sarri setting a new Premier League record while also overseeing progress in the Carabao Cup and Europa League.

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