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Chelsea's failure to sign an additional striker in summer proves costly

Saturday 7th October 2017
The writing was on the wall: a lack of transfer activity in summer would come back to haunt Chelsea. Although it was downplayed, it already appears to be rearing its ugly head.

Antonio Conte was far from satisfied with the Blues recent transfer dealings but the board was less concerned, refusing to yield to their manager's request to add more depth to the squad.

Consequently, with club top goalscorer, Alvaro Morata sidelined for six to eight weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, the Italian coach is faced with a striker crisis.
The Spanish forward hobbled off 35 minutes into the match. He has since been diagnosed with a grade two muscle injury. Although those types of injuries usually take a long period to recover, Chelsea remain optimistic and believe Morata will be available sooner than initially expected.

However, for now, Conte has been left with Michy Batshuayi as the only recognized striker. Unfortunately, the Blues boss has no faith in the Belgian forward - Batshuayi has started just one of Chelsea's seven Premier League games this season. The 23-year-old is viewed as a potential super-sub, incapable of offering anything more.

After Diego Costa's expulsion from the Chelsea squad, Conte was desperate to sign a prolific forward. Romelu Lukaku was the preferred choice. The former Blues striker was widely expected to return to Stamford Bridge in summer.

Instead, the Belgian chose to reunite with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. Conte then shifted focus to a former player of his own - Morata arrived at Stamford Bridge for a club record £60m.

And no doubt, the Spanish forward has already silenced his doubters to some extent, establishing himself as a perfect fit for English football. He's scored six league goals from just six starts, while also providing two assists.

It remains to be seen how the Premier League champions will cope without Morata. The former Real Madrid and Juventus striker could be out until the end of November, meaning he will miss crucial league games against Man United and Liverpool, as well as matches against Crystal Palace, Watford, Everton and Bournemouth. Morata is also unlikely to feature in the Champions League doubleheader against Roma.
It is clear, then, that with Batshuayi as Chelsea's only remaining option up front, missing out on signing another striker in summer transfer window has backfired. It could impact the Blues attempt to retain their Premier League crown.

Chelsea have begun their title defense shakily. They have already dropped eight points from four home games, two more than whole of last season. Conte's side sit fourth in the table after their latest defeat against league-leaders, Man City. The Blues must find a way to claw back the six-point deficit, without Morata to lead the line.

Morata's injury is a damaging blow to Conte and his side. What's even more devastating, however, is that there's no reliable striker to fill the void.  Chelsea's failure in summer transfer window has ultimately cost them.
George Seyi
passionate about everything football, forever loyal to Barcelona

Total articles: 5

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