Exclusive: Shaun Wright-Phillips discusses Chelsea's transfer policy
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino’s latest frank admission about his team’s failure to hit the back of the net will only add more fuel to the fire as he looks to bring in a striker in January. The Blues boss was at a loss to explain how his side failed to beat Brentford, let alone came out on the losing side, after their 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge ended their unbeaten run. But Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez could prove to be the solution.
Chelsea have failed to score in three of their last four home games and Pochettino sent a public message to the board, suggesting it is an urgent issue that needs to be fixed in January after watching his side blank again.
“We have tried to identify [the problem] but it’s not only happened from the beginning of this season, it’s also from last season, with different coaches,” he said after the game. “Yes, it’s something we need to fix. I don’t say I’m worried but, of course, we’re trying hard to find the solution.”
Gimenez has emerged as one of Europe’s most potent strikers after bagging 15 goals in 13 games in all competitions this season, meaning he has now outscored Manchester City goal machine Erling Haaland by two goals.
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The 22-year-old scored twice in the 3-1 win over Lazio in the Champions League, suggesting he could be just as effective playing at the highest level after taking the Eredivisie by storm with 13 goals in 10 appearances.
90Min reported in September that Chelsea scouts have already taken a closer look at Gimenez after watching him bag a hat-trick against Ajax in the delayed 4-0 win over their Dutch rivals – and Pochettino may now be willing to pull the trigger.
The Mexico international is understood to be on a four-man shortlist for striker targets, with the west London club lining up a big-money signing in January.
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Their interest in Napoli star Victor Osimhen is well-documented, although reports that the Partenopei would want a fee in excess of £100m may put him even out of Chelsea’s financial range.
Brentford target man Ivan Toney is a realistic target but hasn’t played for eight months, while Brighton wonderkid Evan Ferguson is also believed to be a player of interest at Stamford Bridge. However, the 19-year-old would also command a massive fee after recently penning a new long-term contract with Brighton.
But Gimenez’s asking price is said to be just £40million, which would surely see him jump to the front of the queue. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says Tottenham have ‘eyes’ on Gimenez along with Chelsea and Real Madrid, and Feyenoord may be willing to cash in on the player they signed from Cruz Azul for just £5m in 2022.
Gimenez is a strong and powerful striker with the ability to hold up play and find the back of the net with precise finishing. It is something Chelsea have lacked for several years, with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner failing to provide the answer after big-money transfers.
Nicolas Jackson has been earmarked for a bright future at Stamford Bridge, with Pochettino lauding the Senegalese as a player with ‘world-class’ potential. Yet comparisons with Didier Drogba have only proved to be accurate when considering the Ivorian’s early struggles, as Jackson has only notched twice since his £32m move.
Armando Broja has struggled for fitness and there are concerns as to whether he can challenge Jackson for the leading role in Pochettino’s attack. But Gimenez’s record since joining Feyenoord would suggest he could be the man to turn around their season if he were to join the struggling Blues in January.
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