Last week, Chelsea transfer target Radamel Falcao re-signed with FC Porto, extending his contract and raising the release clause from €30m, to a reported €45m. This development has all but ended speculation that the Colombian striker will be at Stamford Bridge next season. Falcao became linked to a move to Chelsea almost immediately following the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas. The 25-year-old was extremely productive in his second year under the Portuguese boss, scoring a total of 39 goals in all competitions, including a record 18 in the Europa Cup. I am certain that any supporter would welcome a player, especially on the back of those numbers, that would help Chelsea improve as a team. Had Falcao come to West London, he would have been a valuable asset and a key to any Chelsea success. Having said that, Chelsea will be absolutely fine without him in the line-up. Why?
Makes funds available elsewhwere
While a release clause of €30m (or even €45m) is not a bankrupting sum in this day and age, it is still a substantial amount to spend on one player. It would have been money that really needs to be used to help strengthen other aspects of the team, where more attention is required. Many have attributed Chelsea's under performance last year to a lack of creativity in the midfield and Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric has become a prime target for the Blues as a direct result of this. Furthermore, with Michael Essien ruled out for at least the first half of the new season, it has left John Obi Mikel as the only true holding midfielder. It is unlikely that he will be involved in all games and, if he were to sustain an injury, it could really strain the bench.
He's surplus to requirementDider Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Torres, Salomon Kalou, and Daniel Sturridge: these are the forwards currently in the Chelsea squad. Of these, Drogba and Anelka have led Premier League scoring for Chelsea in recent times and, with Torres, have at one point in their career been argued as the best striker in the world. Sturridge has progressed to the point where his position as a future star is looking brighter than ever. It is also safe to assume that Torres' struggles will not continue. He is too good and too talented not be able to find the back of the net. I, for one, believe he will flourish in a Chelsea shirt this new season. The question then becomes: where would Falcao fit into this system? As it stands now, some shuffling of players will have to take place and eventually some will be sold, if Villas-Boas is to continue with his 4-3-3 attacking formation. Drogba, Anelka, and Kalou are all comfortable on the wing, but like Torres, Falcao only makes sense in the middle. Where is the sense in that? Unless, of course, one or more of the listed players were to exit the club, which I don't think will happen. Yet...
Villas-Boas is a man of principles
I admire the way Villas-Boas has conducted himself thus far at Stamford Bridge. He has been an example of class and respectability as he has not come in, gutted the squad, and bought loads of players. His promise to the current players is that he is happy with them and does not feel the need to make radical changes. Good for him and it makes sense if you look at this track record. When he arrived at Porto, he only brought in a one or two players that had a major impact in the season. Moves that were only made to replace players who had left for bigger clubs. He also promoted players within the system already - evidence of this has already be seen in the run outs for Kalas, Chalobah and Clifford last week. If he were to bring in Falcao, he would be telling the other forwards that he does not necessarily believe in them. The likes of Anelka and Drogba may be offended by such a move and Torres could well have been discouraged. This reason, more than any, is perhaps why Villas-Boas did not actively (or at least publicly) go after the Colombian. Maybe he noticed that the only thing Chelsea were lacking is some confidence in themselves.