Do Chelsea need to raid the January transfer market?

Chelsea have struggled to build momentum in the opening stages of the campaign and are currently looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone.

While it’s very unlikely that Jose Mourinho’s side will be relegated this season, the Blues are currently 15th in the Premier League table and are in dire need of a minor miracle if they are to challenge the title favourites.

The likes of Pedro, Baba Rahman and Falcao, who joined the club this summer, have all disappointed during their brief Chelsea career. The defending champions are simply underperforming and even their best players are failing to inspire confidence. Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill have all found themselves on the bench as Mourinho has searched desperately for a change in fortune.

In an ideal world, yes Chelsea would invest in the January transfer window. But who is available, and for how much? While money might not be a hindrance to Roman Abramovich, he won’t be keen on allowing Mourinho to spend too much if he is starting to doubt the Portuguese’s ability to create a dynasty at Stamford Bridge. For a long time, Mourinho was regarded as the best manager on the planet. Not anymore.

No cutting edge

In attack, Chelsea simply haven’t scored enough goals. Diego Costa has shown glimpses of quality in the early stages of the campaign but his injury-prone nature might tempt Mourinho to dip into the transfer market. There are a number of talented prospects plying their trade across Europe right now, but perhaps the most ‘gettable’ striker is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Dortmund forward’s versatility will appeal to Mourinho as he can play as an out-and-out striker or on either side of a front three. His sheer pace and trickery strikes fear into opposing defenders and he’s not afraid to take players on. While Chelsea’s current attacking wingers look scared to lose possession, Aubameyang looks to get at players and create opportunities for his team-mates.

A slightly pricier option is Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich forward is arguably the best number nine on the planet and has scored 23 goals in 18 appearances for club and country this season – he’s in lethal form. While this may not necessarily be plausible, Chelsea have the necessary funds to tempt Bayern into selling the Poland striker. Although this would mean pushing Diego Costa onto the bench, Lewandowski is a unique talent.

Across the middle

In midfield, they are lacking a true, dominant presence. Matic does an excellent job defensively but cannot advance with the ball like Manchester City’s Yaya Toure can. Cue a move for… Paul Pogba. Yes, it’s clichéd but Pogba is perhaps the most dominant midfielder in world football. He’s reliable, disciplined and can create chances out of nothing. He’s certainly one of Mourinho’s targets too, and could probably be tempted to leave a struggling Juventus side.

Another big name that has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past; William Carvalho. The Sporting Lisbon midfielder is quickly becoming a household name in European football and was linked with a summer transfer to Arsenal earlier this year. The Gunners passed on the opportunity to sign the midfielder and now Chelsea could move for the Portuguese star in January.

Defensively, there are a couple of huge targets for the Blues: Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos and Real Madrid’s Rafael Varane. Both youngsters are incredibly talented and could feature at the heart of Chelsea’s defence for the next decade. While both stars would come at a price, it’s a price worth paying. There aren’t many world class defenders in the current era and both have the potential to dominate the sport for years to come.