Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Chelsea Face Fierce Competition In Pursuit Of This Serie A Forward: What Will He Bring To Stamford Bridge?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by The Daily Mail, Chelsea will lock horns with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in the hunt to acquire the signature of Napoli striker Dries Mertens at the end of this campaign. The same source has claimed that the Belgian forward’s contract at the San Paolo Stadium will expire in the summer. He will be available for free later this year, which explains why there is so much interest in his services.

Mertens’ Recent Form In Italian Football

Mertens has failed to hit the heights of last season as he has often struggled to finish off chances in front of the opposition goal. However, there is no denying that he is still one of the most dangerous strikers in the Italian top-flight. The Belgian international has scored ten goals and provided five assists in 24 matches for Napoli this term in all competitions. He has averaged 2.8 shots, 1.8 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per game in the Serie A (stats via whoscored).

The 32-year-old has been one of Napoli’s top performers since his big move from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2013. He has also earned 90 senior caps for the Belgian national side and has registered 18 goals for his country thus far.

What Will The Belgian International Bring To Stamford Bridge?

Mertens is still one of the quickest players in Italian football as he can turn on the afterburners when trying to beat the opposition in a 1v1 footrace. He excels at making intelligent runs with the ball and has transformed himself into a deadly finisher in the final third.

With only a few months left to run in his contract at the Naples-based club, there is no denying that the Belgian marksman could be enticed to make a move to another UEFA Champions League club. This might make Chelsea an attractive proposition for him if Frank Lampard can guide his side to a top 4 finish in the Premier League this season.

It is not every day that an experienced striker of Mertens’ skill set becomes available for a free transfer so Chelsea will be pulling off an incredible deal if they can win the race for his signature. If the Serie A forward can rediscover his old form in the remainder of this campaign, then the Blues should strongly consider making a move for him at the end of this campaign.

Mertens will not only add a lot of goals and assists to the Chelsea frontline but will also provide some much-needed competition for Tammy Abraham, who has scored just two goals in his last ten league matches. With Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi failing to make any meaningful impact, there cannot be any debate about the London side’s need for another striker.

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