Chelsea should move to sign Robert Lewandowski or Mauro Icardi to solve their striker crisis, according to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Alvaro Morata – who is now on loan at Atletico Madrid – Olivier Giroud and January loan signing, Gonzalo Higuain, have all struggled to fill the void up top at Stamford Bridge, forcing Eden Hazard to often be deployed as a false nine.
Higuain arrived on loan from Juventus in January with the option to extend that deal through until the end of next season but the Argentine has only managed three goals for Chelsea so far, all of which came against the Premier League’s bottom two clubs: Huddersfield Town and Fulham.
And Hasselbaink believes that a better option would be to allow Higuain’s loan to expire, then pursue a deal for Inter outcast, Icardi, or Lewandowski.
Hasselbaink told Bwin: “Chelsea are in desperate need of proven firepower so I would love to see them make a move for [Robert] Lewandowski or Icardi this summer.
“Icardi would be my preference as I’m a little bit worried about Lewandowski’s age.
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“I think Icardi is a more realistic target while also being more likely to adapt to the Premier League.
“Lewandowski is a superb striker but he is the wrong side of 30 and we have seen with Higuain that England is not an easy place to come at that stage of your career.”
Hasselbaink: Chelsea should ‘tap into’ their loan system
Chelsea currently have a huge amount of players out on loan from the club, either gaining first team experience or seeking regular football elsewhere.
And with a transfer embargo looking highly likely, the Blues may have to trust in some of those players next season if they are unable to make new signings.
“Chelsea have dozens of players out on loan and they may need to tap into that pool if they’re unable to make new signings for the next 12 months,” Hasselbaink added.
“I can see [Alvaro] Morata returning to Chelsea because I think the squad is in desperate need of a striker and [Gonzalo] Higuain hasn’t looked like the answer so far this season.
“[Kurt] Zouma might fancy his chances of coming back to Chelsea and becoming part of the squad, but I don’t think he would earn a regular starting role.
“[Tiemoue] Bakayoko will be moved on this summer because he hasn’t come remotely close to performing as he did at Monaco. That move simply hasn’t worked out for either party.
“There’s a couple of young players in the Championship, [Mason] Mount and [Jay] Dasilva, that might eye a role in the Chelsea squad next year similar to what [Callum] Hudson-Odoi has had this season.
“I’ve been impressed with both of them, but it’s a big step up from the Championship to performing for Chelsea so I do think next season might come too soon for them.”