Football Features

Chelsea transfer targets: Which centre-forwards should be on Blues’ shopping list?

By Will Evans

Published: 18:10, 11 June 2024

Chelsea have a penchant for signing strikers — and this summer is set to be no different.

The Blues recruited Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku at great expense back in 2023, but neither player has proven to be the talismanic centre-forward they crave.

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku could be set to continue his Serie A exile with Napoli, while fellow attacker Armando Broja is reportedly the subject of interest from AC Milan and Everton.

That would leave a vacancy in Chelsea’s front line, but who should the Blues add to their ranks?

Viktor Gyokeres

Viktor Gyokeres has posted some remarkable numbers since swapping Coventry City for Sporting CP last July.

He was the Primeira Liga’s top scorer with 29 goals from an xG of 22.71, having managed more shots on target than any other player in the division (58).

The 26-year-old is a creator, too — registering 10 league assists across the campaign, while conjuring a significant 54 chances and 11 big chances for his team-mates.

As if that wasn’t enough, Gyokeres ranked inside the competition’s top three players for take-ons attempted (147) and completed (68), and won possession more times in the attacking third than anyone else in Portugal’s top flight (43).

The only question is whether Sporting’s No.9 has the ability to replicate that sensational output at Premier League level.

Julian Alvarez

If Chelsea want a striker with proven Premier League pedigree then Julian Alvarez could be an option.

Surprise reports have emerged, linking the Manchester City and Argentina star, 24, with a switch to Stamford Bridge — though the Blues would have to part with around £80million to secure his services.

Regardless, Chelsea would be getting a player with multiple titles and a World Cup triumph on his CV, and with an eye-catching 36 goals and 18 assists for the Citizens over 103 matches.

That includes 19 goals and 13 assists in all competitions last term, averaging out at 0.85 goal contributions per 90 minutes of action.

Santiago Gimenez

A cheaper alternative to Alvarez could be Santiago Gimenez, who has been in impressive goalscoring form for Feyenoord.

The 23-year-old racked up 23 league goals and six assists during 2023/24, which is an outstanding return from just 30 appearances.

And it was a similar story in continental competition, with the Mexico international contributing three goals and an assist in Champions League and Europa League fixtures.

As with Gyokeres, Gimenez has the pressing attributes to fit into Enzo Maresca’s system — ranking inside the Eredivisie’s top 10 players for possession regains in the final third (24).

But the Feyenoord goal machine will not be short of suitors this summer, with AC Milan and Liverpool keeping tabs on one of Europe’s most prolific forwards.