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Why Chelsea Need a Striker in the January Transfer Window

A striker should be the top priority for Antonio Conte in the January transfer window.  Eden Hazard has filled that role admirably during Alvaro Morata’s injury lay-off, but the Belgian’s talents are needed elsewhere on the pitch. Michy Batshuayi still has many questions hanging over him, with most of them being asked by the manager.

It seems bizarre to be dismissive of Batshuayi. The Belgian striker has a fairly decent record of 16 goals for the club, despite only making a handful of starts in a Chelsea shirt.   But, it is clear that Conte does not see Batshuayi in his plans, not even as a backup to Alvaro Morata. Just a couple of weeks ago, Conte said, “He has to show me that he’s better than Morata, or than Hazard. It’s very simple,”.

Chelsea Need More Firepower to Fight on Four Fronts

Whether you agree with the Italian or not, Conte does not seem to trust Batshuayi fully. However, even if Batshuayi plays his way into the manager’s good graces, it would not be a bad idea to have a third striker for the rest of the campaign. Last year’s title-winning season did not have the constraints of a Champions League run. Chelsea are still in four competitions. This time last season they were competing in two. A dozen games or more could be added to the fixture list by May.

Checking out the Chelsea news and information page by Freebets.co.uk and other sources, you will see that Conte’s men are predicted to make the Top 4, but only just. The threat of fixture congestion, especially if they can get past Barcelona in the Champions League, is very real. Chelsea are best-priced at 33/1 with William Hill to win the Champions League, but those odds will be slashed if they can beat the Catalan giants over two legs. How frustrating would it be to make the quarter-finals, only to lose Morata to injury?

A Certain Leicester Frontman Could Fit the Bill for Conte

So, who could Chelsea sign in the next few weeks? Clubs rarely make huge statement signings in January, and 2018 should be no different. Yes, Chelsea paid £50 million for Fernando Torres in 2011, but that was something of an anomaly. Juan Cuadrado’s arrival in January 2015 was their biggest signing since. Chelsea should be looking for someone who has not played in Europe already this season. Someone who could make an impact off the bench, or fill in for Morata in cup games. Someone like Jamie Vardy.

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While Vardy might seem like a left-field choice. He fits the bill perfectly. His pace would perfectly suit the passing range of players like Cesc Fabregas. The link-up play he has demonstrated with Riyad Mahrez could be replicated with Willian and Hazard. He could be the perfect man to come off the bench with the Blues needing a goal with 20 minutes to go.

Vardy is 30-years-old and, with all due respect to Leicester City, he is not likely to see Champions League football again in a Foxes’ shirt. Leicester may want to cash-in on Vardy while he still has some market value. It could just be the case that a move to Stamford Bridge would suit everyone concerned.