According to The Guardian, reigning Premier League champions, Chelsea, are understood to have opened talks to sign West Ham United striker, Andy Carroll. Antonio Conte’s side are desperate to beef up their attacking arsenal and introduce a Plan B which they have been missing this season. But even then, their interest to make Carroll their priority signing does seem slightly surprising.
Chelsea have played out their last three games as goalless stalemates before the penalty shootout win over Norwich City today and there has been prima facie evidence of fatigue from the display of their attackers. While Alvaro Morata has gone five games without a goal, as he has been squandering his chances more often than not, Eden Hazard has hardly hit his stride of late. On many occasions, the Blues have looked absolutely toothless up front, which certainly needs to be addressed.
In his tactical nous, Conte has been reluctant to implement his backup striker, Michy Batshuayi, who was signed from Marseille for a whopping transfer fee of £33.2million in the summer of 2016. But owing to the growing concerns over the form and fitness of Morata, Chelsea are attempting to sign Carroll to bring about a dynamic change in attack with adept crossers like Azpilicueta, Willian and Zappacosta in the team.
Carroll’s career has been blighted by injuries ever since his move to the ranks of the Hammers from Liverpool in 2013 for £15million. He has made only 7 starts this season in the Premier League, along with 5 cameos off the bench and has scored merely 2 goals so far, both of which came in West Ham United’s 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion earlier this month.
Under the tutelage of David Moyes, Carroll has been given some opportunities to thrive and the Pensioners have to really stretch their limits to persuade their local rivals to sanction a move for the Englishman. Conte’s side have FA Cup, Premier League, League Cup and UEFA Champions League commitments to cater to and they see Carroll as someone who can be an option for them up front.
Chelsea do need a striker and they were keen to land Fernando Llorente in the summer but the Spaniard chose a move to Tottenham Hotspur instead of Chelsea. With Manchester City running away with the title and Manchester United hitting their strides once again, it will be intriguing to see how Chelsea react to this intense competition in the coming days.