Chelsea is not going to win the Premier League until they sign a ‘proper finisher’ and have been told either Harry Kane or Lautaro Martinez can be ‘ideal’ transfer targets. That’s the view of ex-Blues striker Tony Cascarino, who believes the FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool proves his former side ‘need too many possibilities to attain’.
Chelsea suffered a second penalty shootout defeat to the Reds at Wembley this season following one other goalless draw against Jurgen Klopp’s side. Edouard Mendy denied Senegal team-mate Sadio Mane the prospect to seal the trophy, but Kostas Tsimikas netted the winning penalty after Mason Mount saw his sudden-death effort saved.
The FA Cup final followed the identical pattern because the Carabao Cup defeat in February, where Thomas Tuchel’s side were guilty of spurning several possibilities before an 11-10 defeat on penalties. Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz had goals chalked off for offside, and Kepa Arrizabalaga skied his spot-kick after opposite number Caoimhin Kelleher confidently dispatched his penalty.
Cascarino believes the way of the newest Wembley defeat is proof that his former side requires an elite striker to compete for silverware. The talkSPORT pundit cites Kane as an ‘ideal’ candidate, and likewise suggested the Blues could swap Lukaku for Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez.
Tuchel is facing a busy summer transfer window, with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger leaving at the tip of their contracts, and speculation linking each Marcos Alonso and captain Cesar Azpilicueta with potential exits. Nonetheless, Cascarino feels the priority for Chelsea must be a latest striker to guide the road and assume the goalscoring burden.
Cascarino wrote in his Times column: “Chelsea is not going to win the league until they find a correct finisher. The attacking players they’ve now are top talents in some ways, but they lack a clinical goalscorer. The FA Cup final against Liverpool showed again that they need too many possibilities to attain — or not rating, as was the case on Saturday. Mason Mount is their leading scorer within the league this season, which isn’t the best way it must be at a club like Chelsea.
“I just like the boy Lautaro Martínez at Inter, so I’d suggest Chelsea offer the Italian club the prospect to take Romelu Lukaku back on loan, eliminate Timo Werner, and produce in Martínez . He’s the kind of technical, ruthless forward they need. Harry Kane can be ideal for them but I don’t think that could be a move he could take seriously given Chelsea’s rivalry with Tottenham.”
Chelsea made a robust begin to the season, and this early form led to speak of a three-way title race against Liverpool and Manchester City. Nonetheless, injuries and takeover uncertainty has played a component within the Blues falling out of contention, and losing their Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid.
Lukaku has endured a difficult first season back at Stamford Bridge, and AC Milan and former side Inter Milan have been credited with an interest in signing the Belgian international. German internationals Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have each filled in at centre-forward, but Mount stays the Blues’ top scorer within the Premier League with 11 goals.