Why Chelsea should avoid signing Hamed Traore in January
The 18-year-old has caught the attention of a number of clubs with his performances after breaking into Giuseppe Iachini’s starting line-up this season. The teenager made his debut in the Serie A last October but got limited opportunities to play over the course of the campaign as Empoli got promoted.
At the tender age of just 18, Hamed Traore is enjoying a breakthrough campaign at Empoli. But the main question arises—should Maurizio Sarri make a move for the midfielder in January?
Chelsea made a fantastic start to the new Premier League season under Maurizio Sarri but their form has faded of late, leaving the Londoners fourth in the table, 11 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool. Much of the Blues’ loss in form could be down to the profligacy of their strikers, Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
Morata and Giroud have scored goals in patches but they are yet to consistently deliver the goods this season, which has hurt the club a lot. Due to their poor form in front of the goal, Sarri has deployed Eden Hazard as a false 9 and although the Belgian has done admirably well in that role, the Italian tactician should spend on a new striker in January.
Chelsea’s interest in Hamed Traore is very surprising given the 18-year-old is yet to have a full season of top-flight football under his belt. The Ivory Coast starlet has put some dazzling displays in the Serie A this season, which has seen him become a regular in Empoli’s starting XI. But a move to Chelsea would hamper his growth significantly as Traore would have very little chance of playing regularly under Sarri with so much competition for places in the Blues midfield.
The likes of Victor Moses, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and the promising Callum Hudson-Odoi are finding it very difficult to break into Chelsea’s starting XI. Above all, Sarri already has the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Matteo Kovacic, Willian and Ross Barkley vying for a spot in the team. The Blues simply don’t have any room in their squad for another midfielder.
That said, Sarri must stop pursuing Traore’s signature and look for a centre-forward in the winter transfer window. The Italian manager needs to make some smart acquisitions who could come in and make an immediate impact at the club.
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A striker has to be prioritised by Chelsea if they are aiming for a top-four finish in Sarri’s first Premier League campaign.