Chelsea warned about transfer ‘risk’ as they are told to abandon plans to sign two players

·3-min read
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel watches his team Credit: PA Images
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel watches his team Credit: PA Images

Frank Leboeuf has told Chelsea to abandon their attempts to sign Raheem Sterling or Robert Lewandowski as they have greater concerns.

The Blues and Inter Milan reportedly reached an agreement over a loan move for Romelu Lukaku yesterday with the Serie A side set to pay €8m plus add-ons to take the Belgium international on loan for the season.

Lukaku finished last season as the club’s top goalscorer on 15 goals, despite only eight of those coming in the Premier League, after moving to Chelsea from Inter Milan last summer on a permanent deal worth £97.5m.

Lukaku avoids bottom spot in ranking of all 40 signings under Granovskaia at Chelsea

But former Chelsea star Lebouef doesn’t think the Blues should waste their time pursuing Sterling or Lewandowski and reckons they should concentrate their efforts on improving other parts of their squad.

When asked who Chelsea should sign to replace Lukaku, Leboeuf told ESPN: “No one. I think that’s not the priority for Chelsea.

“If you only care about the headlines you talk about Lewandowski or Sterling and some other class-A players. But you have to look elsewhere in the team.

“You need central defenders. I want to talk about [Jules] Kounde, about right-backs and a new midfielder. This is where they need to look.

“They’ve been looking for a top-scorer for two years, it hasn’t worked. They have talented players that have to settle in and get confidence.

“But finding a striker is not a priority. I want to see Chelsea make clever signings rather than try to make headlines with a striker because that’s not a priority.”

A report on Monday said that Manchester City forward Sterling ‘is interested in joining Chelsea’ and that the Citizens value him between £50m and £60m.

Leboeuf added: “If you have Sterling at his best, no doubt that it’s a plus. But what kind of player Chelsea would get I don’t know.

“Definitely he’s a fantastic player and can bring something special. But that’s not going to solve the problems Chelsea have, I think in terms of scoring goals and bringing the confidence back to all the players.

“What it’s not going to resolve as well is the crosses from the two wings, by Reece James and [Ben Chilwell].

“It’s going to be tricky if they don’t find somebody who can head the ball because neither Sterling nor Werner, Pulisic or even Mount are capable of giving something special from crosses. Maybe Havertz can but it’s not enough in the squad.

“The pace of Chelsea’s game could improve – Sterling can improve that. But the cleverness in front of goal won’t change and he can also miss easy chances. I’m not sure about it, I think it’s a risk.”

Lukaku was underwhelming in his first season back at Stamford Bridge but Leboeuf doesn’t think you can put the blame solely at Thomas Tuchel’s door.

“Tuchel is responsible for signing him but Lukaku also needs to take responsibility. Everyone is a bit guilty here,” Leboeuf said.

“He didn’t perform the way people expected him to do. I’m sad for him because I think he’s a great guy and a great player, but it was not a good season, it was a disaster.”


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