Another season gone, £97.5 million spent and Thomas Tuchel is back to square one when it comes to solving Chelsea’s striker conundrum.
The Blues splashed out the club-record fee on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge last summer but it turned out to be a monumental flop, given how the Belgian striker has been loaned back to Inter Milan – the club that sold him to Chelsea in the first place.
With only Timo Werner and Kai Havertz relied upon to lead the line for Chelsea, Tuchel could now look to 20-year-old Armando Broja as the man to solve his side’s striker woes.
Armando Broja has caught the eye of a number of clubs after impressing on loan at St Mary’s
Sportsmail understands the Blues are to hold further talks regarding his next move, with the Albanian striker not scheduled to link up with Chelsea’s squad in the USA until next week, allowing time for further discussions.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly held a meeting with Broja’s representatives last week and another took place on Wednesday, with the club still weighing up plans for the player for the coming season.
Broja, who rose through the ranks at Cobham, has yet to be given the chance to shine at Stamford Bridge and has instead been loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem and Southampton to get minutes under his belt.
It was at St Mary’s where he caught the eye, netting six goals in 15 Premier League games for the Saints has now seen his valuation rise to £30million and the Albanian forward has plenty of suitors.
Broja, who rose through the ranks at Cobham, is yet to be given the chance to shine at Chelsea
Those leading the charge with formal interest are Everton and West Ham who, like Chelsea, are hoping to strengthen up top and Broja is seen as an attractive prospect given his age and what he brings to the table.
While David Moyes is more than content with Michail Antonio leading the line for the Hammers, the Jamaican international is getting on and will need help with sharing the goalscoring burden, given that he is their only recognized striker.
The 32-year-old netted 10 times in 35 appearances in the Premier League last season, providing eight assists to help the Hammers secure Europa Conference League football for the upcoming season.
While Antonio remains the focal point of Moyes’ attack, the Scot is now considering bringing in the youthful Broja as his understudy.
Like Antonio, Broja brings speed and strength to the equation and showed exactly what he could offer while playing under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
David Moyes (left) is considering bringing in Broja as his Michail Antonio’s (right) understudy
The 20-year-old netted nine times for Southampton last season, providing one assist
ARMANDO BROJA’S LAST SEASON STATS
He flourished in a system that saw him work hard both on and off the ball, bringing the rest of the team into play when carrying the ball into the opponent’s final third.
This would see him thrive in a counter-attacking team like West Ham’s, where he would offer similar characteristics to Jarrod Bowen who enjoyed a stunning campaign for the Hammers, scoring 17 goals and grabbing 13 assists in 50 games across all competitions.
It is clear why Moyes is targeting someone like Broja but they will face competition from Everton and Newcastle, Sportsmail revealed earlier this week.
Everton have a vacancy in their attack following the £60m departure of Richarlison to Tottenham last week and Frank Lampard has been left impressed by the youngster, whom he knows well from his time as Chelsea manager.
Everton are also weighing up a move for Broja after Richarlison (pictured) joined Tottenham
Richarlison stepped up in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence last season and with the England forward also looking for a move away from Goodison, Lampard will be intent on bringing in reinforcements up top.
However, while Chelsea would want £30m for their academy graduate, Tuchel could end up keeping him around.
Tuchel is wanting to assess him in pre-season first before making a decision on his future, with the striker due to return to Chelsea later this week following his summer break.
And with Lukaku back at the San Siro for the season, Tuchel may just take a punt on the Albania international.
Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson has backed the idea of keeping Broja around, rather than risk wasting £80m on Lukaku’s replacement.
However, Broja could stay put at Stamford Bridge and become Romelu Lukaku’s (pictured) successor
Thomas Tuchel wants to assess Broja in pre-season before making a decision on his future
Johnson thinks Chelsea will be concerned about spending big on another forward and he feels the west London side would be better off giving Broja a chance in the team.
‘I think Chelsea are going to be reluctant to spend scary money again considering what happened with the Romelu Lukaku signing,’ he told GGRecon.
‘If it was up to me, then I’d give Armando Broja a chance rather than spending £80m on a replacement.’
Johnson has admitted that the Albanian striker still has more to do to fully prove himself, but he expects Broja to find the net more regularly if he is given a run in the Chelsea first team.
I’d rather get it wrong with a player that I’ve already got, rather than get it wrong by spending £80m. Broja is technically good in front of goal but I don’t know how good he is yet.
Broja brought speed and strength to Southampton’s attack and was a focal point for the Saints
The sky’s the limit for Broja but it remains to be seen where he’ll be playing football next season
He did score some fantastic goals for Southampton but, let’s face it, Southampton aren’t Chelsea. He’s going to get more goal scoring opportunities at Chelsea and he’s technically good enough to score more next season,’ Johnson added.
Chelsea have agreed a £50m deal with Manchester City for Raheem Sterling and have also been linked with a move for Leeds star Raphinha, with Tuchel aiming to strengthen his options in the final third.
Neither of these players are out-and-out strikers, though, which will further play into Broja’s favor of finally getting a chance with the Blues.
While the sky is the limit for this talented forward, it remains to be seen exactly what type of blue shirt he will be donning once the new season gets under way on August 5.