Have Chelsea identified the next Frank Lampard?
Chelsea to this point have never been able to replace Frank Lampard and his goalscoring exploits ...
Chelsea to this point have never been able to replace Frank Lampard and his goalscoring exploits from midfield in my view but according to various reports, it looks as though Chelsea have identified someone who could offer goals from that position and will turn to the Bundesliga to try and lure him to Stamford Bridge. The player in question is Henrik Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund.
Henrik Mkhitaryan fact-file.
The 27-year old Armenian attacking midfielder came to the fore in his time spent at Shakhtar Donetsk when he signed for the Ukrainian side for 7.5m Euros in 2010. In the 2012-13 season, Pat Nevin the former Chelsea player turned Pundit spoke of Mkhitaryan and said:
"Eleven goals in eight league matches already is fantastic, but when you add that he is a midfielder, it is phenomenal. You may not have heard of him yet, even if all the scouts at the top European clubs have, but you soon will. He has pace, skill, a rocket of a shot and the ability to arrive in the box like Frank Lampard. This all singles him out as a player who must be watched or more importantly marked"
He had won numerous awards for his performances there and was named in UEFA's top 100 players that year. In three seasons he had made 104 appearances scoring 44 goals and he had built his reputation enough for Dortmund to pay 27.5m Euros (£23.6m) in the summer of 2014.
At Dortmund however, Mkhitaryan has built on his reputation under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp for two seasons and now under the new management there. His first season was impressive scoring 13 goals in 46 appearances but the following season, the last under Klopp was disappointing registering only 4 times in 41 appearances. This season, the attacking midfielder is back to his best and to date has scored 23 goals in 49 appearances.
Apart from the second season in Germany, Mkhitaryan has demonstrated his ability to score goals from midfield and has built a reputation for arriving late just at the right time in the box. Remind you anyone?
The way the game is evolving and the strength of our league now, it's vitally important that you have a team with players that can score goals from any area of the pitch. You cannot simply rely on the strikers to weigh in over the course of a season. Chelsea's problem has been exactly that this year and but for our title winning season last term, it's plagued us in seasons before.
If he was to become available this summer then you would imagine that Klopp would be back in for his services to try and lure him to Anfield but will face stiff competition for his services from Chelsea and Arsenal according to recent reports because 'he fancies a move to London'.
The problem Chelsea would have is the lack of Champions League football whereas our North London rivals maybe able to offer that providing they finish inside the top four. That's the problem Chelsea will face in the summer trying to lure anyone of note here to work under Antonio Conte as he takes charge after the Euros.
What do you think of him? Is he someone you would like to see at Chelsea next season? Could he score goals for us as Frank Lampard on a regular basis in the prime of his Chelsea career?