Chelsea have been the source of some of the most bizarre transfer stories this January transfer window. The lack of attacking options has seen the Blues linked with a wide variety of strikers from different clubs in England and the latest name on their radar is Leicester City star Islam Slimani.
Chelsea interested in a loan move
According to The Times, Chelsea are now interested in the Leicester City outcast and want to give him a try until the end of the season. They are desperate to offload Michy Batshuayi on loan before the end of the month and want Slimani as a backup to first team star Alvaro Morata for the rest of the current season.
Leicester City are reportedly not interested in letting Slimani leave on a loan and are holding out for a price, the Chelsea will have to meet.
Slimani and his attributes
Having moved to England in 2016 on a record deal of £26.5m from Sporting, Slimani made a decent start to his career in the Premier League, mustering seven goals in 23 league outings last season. However, he has completely fallen out of favour under most managers that have taken over the club after Claudio Ranieri, who brought him to the King Power.
Known for his strength in the air and in hold up play, Slimani is a lethal finisher, who hardly misses chances. He is adept at setting up teammates on goal by layoffs but is at his best, playing on the shoulder of the final defender, waiting for crosses and through balls to latch on to.
He is not a player who will run the lines but is an expert in playing as a target-man, where he can hold the ball up in the final third, to bring his team into attack. He is smart with his positioning and makes more tackles than a normal centre-forward, and at 29, is an experienced player.
He has 48 goals and 14 assists in 82 Liga NOS appearances and 26 goals in 55 appearances for the Algerian national side, and has shown time and again that he is a prolific goal scorer when played in the right system.
Chances at Chelsea
The Blues are in desperate search, of not just a backup to Morata, but a player who can act as a target-man, coming off the bench. Andy Carroll is reportedly their first choice, but an injury to the West Ham striker has pushed them further into the transfer market.
The likes of Peter Crouch and Ashley Barnes have also been linked with a move to the club but Slimani is a better choice than all those names. At 29, he may not be a long-term option but is exactly what Chelsea are searching for.
He is a risk, having failed to find consistency at the King Power but if given enough chances, Slimani can turn into a match winner for the Blues. He is not cup-tied and can play in the UCL as well and though Chelsea might have better options if they splash the cash, Slimani is definitely a risk worth taking.