Former Chelsea strikers could come back to haunt Mourinho
Romelu Lukaku will be looking to make his mark against former club Chelsea when his current side goes head to head with the West London outfit this Saturday. Many questioned Mourinho when he sold the exceptionally promising 21 year old to Everton, however with the arrival of Diego Costa after his scintillating season in Spain last year, it makes sense economically for Chelsea and also for the sake of Lukaku’s personal development. The Belgian is yet to get off the mark yet this season and has perhaps looked a little rusty in his opening two games. His ‘replacement’ of sorts has scored in both of his competitive games, helping to win over the Chelsea fans early on in his career in England. Costa’s two goals have – with the greatest respect – only come against newly promoted teams, so it’ll be interesting to see how he copes against a more organised and disciplined defence in the shape of Everton. The likes of Sylvain Distin and Leighton Baines have played against the top players the Premier League has to offer for years (with varying success), so we can help gauge how successful the tenacious Costa is likely to be over the rest of the season.
Everton win – 5/2
Chelsea win – Evens
Draw – 47/20(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)
Everton also made the move of Gareth Barry permanent after his promising loan spell for The Toffees last season. Though he doesn’t have too many seasons left in the tank, Barry is a dependable and consistent performer who also boasts European and International experience. It must be said, he is more of a ‘7/10′ in most areas, as opposed to being someone who particularly excels at any one part of the game. He managed to bag 3 goals last year (his highest tally for the last 5 seasons), but used to score more freely in his time at Aston Villa and will certainly hope to improve on that this year. Everton’s other acquisitions are 18 year old Brendan Galloway from MK Dons and highly rated Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic, while they were joined last night by another former Chelsea frontman, Samuel Eto’o. The Cameroonian found the net nine times in the Premier League last season, and while at 33 years of age and with no goals away from Stamford Bridge last year, he will hope to thrive on Merseyside in a similar manner to experienced strikers like Louis Saha in the past. With Lukaku looking to match or improve upon his 15 league goals last year and Arouna Kone close to a return from injury, a potentially uninspiring transfer window is now looking far more positive for the Toffees.
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea have invested the money made from the extortionate sale of David Luiz and the aforementioned Lukaku. Costa was the real marquee signing, despite last season being his first real prolific campaign in terms of his goal return. Another forward who has already won the Chelsea faithful a thousand times over also returns. Getting Dider Drogba in on a free could turn out to be a spectacular piece of business. He won’t be expected to weigh in with breathtaking performances, but the guidance he can offer to the younger players in the squad – and even the more senior ones – will be profusely beneficial going forward. Chelsea also raided Atletico Madrid for their left-back Filipe Luis. With the departure of neutral fan favourite (ahem) Ashley Cole, another top class left-back was required. Luis had a great season last year and was instrumental in Atletico’s transformation into a major contender at European level. There’s also the small matter of Cesc Fabregas’ return to the Premier League. Whilst he had some fiercely positive displays for Barca, he was never really able to assert himself as a consistent regular. Already providing a spectacular pass in the opening game to help create a goal against Burnley, Fabregas is another top class option to have within Chelsea’s midfield. This may disjoint the progression of Oscar, or it may spurn him on to try harder to reclaim his place in the middle of the park for Chelsea.
Out of the two clubs, Chelsea’s signings naturally stand out more. They have already hit the ground running in their opening games and will be expecting stellar performances like that for the rest of this year. However, places are far less secure at Stamford Bridge and the demand is much higher; being a big name doesn’t ensure you’ll live up to the hype. Everton have helped secure the future of their squad and have invested sagaciously. Time will tell if either overpaid for their famed strikers or if they have turned out to be an absolute steal.
Betting Instinct tip – Romelu Lukaku to score the first goal against Chelsea is 7/1 with Coral.