Belgian Speedster Interested In Moving To Chelsea: Should Lampard Sanction This Deal?

NAPLES, ITALY - JANUARY 28: Dries Mertens of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring the 2-1 goal during the serie A match between SSC Napoli and Bologna FC at Stadio San Paolo on January 28, 2018 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, Premier League giants Chelsea are said to be once again considering the possibility of acquiring Belgian forward Dries Mertens in the summer. The 32-year-old’s current contract at Napoli is set to expire at the end of the season, at which point he would be able to walk away on a free transfer. Frank Lampard is said to be considering a move, with the Belgian labelled to be an ‘option’ for Chelsea given his current circumstances.

The Belgian international was a wanted man at Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window, and despite a lot of talks, Mertens stayed on in Naples. It is understood now though that the Blues’ main priorities for the summer are a striker, a centre-half and a left-back. Although the winter move didn’t take shape, the interest from the London club is said to be reciprocated by the Napoli attacker as well.

What Purposes Would Dries Mertens Serve At Chelsea?

The versatile forward, who is set to turn 33 in a week, can play across the front-line, or even as the false-nine if required. Mertens offers excellent movement in the final third of the pitch, and despite being on the wrong side of his thirties, the Belgian is certainly no slouch. Adept at dribbling defenders with delicate touches of the ball, Eden Hazard’s national teammate will surely have a similar kind of influence to the former Chelsea magician within the side.

One thing that can be said with confidence is that Mertens knows the way to the goal, and the fact that he’s on the verge of becoming Napoli’s all-time top-scorer further highlights that fact. Level with Marek Hamsik, having played more than 200 games lesser, and with six goals more than Diego Maradona, the west London outfit would surely be getting a proven goalscorer. He can also fill a multitude of requirements within the team. Add in the fact that Mertens would be available for free, and it begins to look like an absolute steal.

NAPLES, ITALY – DECEMBER 10: Dries Mertens of SSC Napoli during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SSC Napoli and KRC Genk at Stadio San Paolo on December 10, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

The attacker has picked up a decent return of six goals and five assists from his 21 league games this season. Mertens has played in more than 500 league fixtures in his long career, and would undoubtedly be an excellent influence on the likes of Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Moreover, it could massively help Tammy Abraham deal with the pressure of being the main striker, as having a deputy like Mertens alone would be a huge confidence booster.

Why Chelsea Must Get This Deal Done In The Summer?

The Blues’ concerns in front of goal this season have been no secret, and despite the good form displayed by Abraham in the early parts of the campaign, they struggled to create chances at a consistent pace later on. Although Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi provide options, neither of them has shown enough to be able to compete with the Englishman for the starting spot.

Mertens, on the other hand, would be a stellar signing for this Chelsea side that have been lacking in terms of experience. Frank Lampard needn’t think for a single moment before releasing a bid for Mertens’ services and considering that he’ll be available on a free, this could turn out to be a truly sensational piece of business by the London club.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.