Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed the contract extension of Leon Bailey. The Jamaican international was linked with a move away from the Bundesliga after he admitted his desire of playing in the Premier League. But, it seems as if the lad is happy to stay at Leverkusen, having signed an extension that will keep him at the club till 2023.
Chelsea, in particular, were one of the clubs hugely interested in the services of the Jamaican whizkid. But, his contract renewal will come as a huge blow for the Blues, who still run the risk of losing Eden Hazard in the near future with the Belgian unwilling to commit to a long-term future yet.
Thus, signing a young attacker could become imperative for Maurizio Sarri’s men despite his side’s start to the season, And here, we will discuss three alternatives to Bailey, Chelsea should target as they aim to reinforce their offensive department in the next couple of transfer windows.
Highly regarded as one of the most promising young players in world football, Federico Chiesa could turn out to be an interesting piece of investment for Chelsea.
Since making his debut in a 2:1 defeat to Juventus during the 2016/17 campaign, the Fiorentina starlet has flourished in the Italian top flight for the past 12 months or so. Even at a tender age of just 20, Chiesa has made over 70 appearances for the Violas scoring 10 goals whilst mustering 12 assists.
Last season, the 20-year-old was involved in 15 goals for Fiorentina in 36 games and also racked up impressive statistics. While he may not be as fluid as Hazard when it comes to dribbling, he still managed over 2 dribbles per game along with 1.6 key passes. He also mustered 1.6 shots on goal per game, which is quite impressive for a winger.
However, what makes him such an appealing target for Chelsea is his versatility. Generally deployed as a right winger, Chiesa can be used in a deeper role and even as a wing-back, if necessary. His tally of almost three attempted tackles per game reflects his defensive contributions and shows that he could indeed turn out to be a viable addition for the Blues.
Arguably the least risky choice on this list, a move for Wilfried Zaha could make a world of sense for Chelsea. The former Manchester United starlet is regarded as one of most lethal attackers in the Premier League, who has been consistently performing at a very high level for the past couple of years.
Much like Hazard, Zaha likes to take on opposing defenders at full pace. His body frame helps him sustain his balance during his mazy runs into the opposition’s defensive lines. Last season, the 25-year-old averaged a stunning tally of 6.8 dribbles per game.
Just to put things in perspective, Hazard, with all his gifts, could manage only 5.8. Thus, it’s rather evident that Zaha is a talented winger, whose exceptional dribbling qualities could aid Chelsea in the final third. But, it’s his experience of playing in the English top flight, which makes him such an appealing target for the Blues as they aim to bolster their offensive department.
Arguably the most talented attacker in the German top flight at the moment, the American whizkid has matured a lot since making his debut back in 2016. Since then, the 19-year-old has made almost 100 competitive appearances for Dortmund, scoring 12 goals whilst providing 20 assists.
A product of the Dortmund youth academy, Pulisic is essentially old-school, who, unlike modern day wingers, likes to utilize his pace to get to the byline and provide dangerous crosses. But, he is also quite fond of taking on defenders though his success rate is considerably low when compared to Hazard or Zaha.
Having said that, there are no doubts over the fact that Pulisic is an incredible talent, who is more than ready to make the next step in his career.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored