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Chelsea could unleash Anelka 2.0 in Marcus Thuram

Chelsea are a club in transition, with a new manager and new ownership during 2022 resulting in a very different sheen to the Stamford Bridge outfit, and the ongoing January transfer market must now be utilised in order to spearhead success at the new era of the club…

What’s the word?

Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram has been in electric form this season and has consequently come to the fore as a new major force on the European striking scene, and with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign, the shark tank of suitors will surely intensify their efforts to land him.

Manchester United have been the notable suitors vying for a deal, but French publication Foot Mercato are now reporting that Chelsea manager Graham Potter is determined to land the 25-year-old before the conclusion of the winter transfer window at the end of the month.

If Chelsea were able to snag Thuram and bring him to Stamford Bridge, it would represent a shrewd and exciting acquisition, landing a new talisman to lead the line and possibly arriving for a cut-price fee of roughly £10m, according to reports from Bild.

Anelka 2.0

The 25-year-old has 13 goals and four assists from 17 outings for Gladbach this term, casting off the cobwebs of an injury-stricken 2021/22 campaign and coming joint-second in the scoring charts in the Bundesliga.

Indeed, Chelsea-bound Christopher Nkunku is the only player to have scored more than Thuram’s ten league strikes this term, and the Blues could certainly do with the striking exploits of that pair right now. Chelsea have only scored 20 goals in the Premier League this season – the fewest of any team in the top half – with no player in Potter’s squad scoring more than six goals across all competitions.

Would Thuram be a good signing?

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Yes

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If Chelsea manage to complete the transfer, they would have a fresh face in the mould of former Stamford Bridge star Nicolas Anelka, with Thuram’s nomadic countryman a forward bearing many similar attributes to the touted Blues target.

Anelka signed for Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers for a reported £15m in January 2008 – a winter signing, which Thuram could also be.

With Anelka exemplary in the craft of selfless centre-forward play, he dazzled with his pace, elegance and aerial dominance, scoring 59 goals and supplying 36 assists in 184 appearances for the west London giants.

Thuram could emulate his compatriot by bringing a host of skills to dominate in the talismanic centre-forward role for years to come, with eyes on a repeat of the Premier League title and two FA Cup triumphs in which Anelka basked while at Chelsea.

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Cesc Fabregas in action for Chelsea

How much did Chelsea pay to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, 2014?

As per FBref, the “world-class” Thuram – as once dubbed by Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schäfer – ranks within the top 7% of forwards in Europe’s top five leagues in 2022 for non-penalty goals and the top 6% for dribbles completed, highlighting his cutting edge and transitional prowess.

Hailed as a “beast” by Atul Kasbekar, the nine-cap phenomenon would be a worthy addition for Potter’s side; and if Chelsea are serious about righting the wrongs of the season so far and forging a path to success in 2023 and beyond, then signing Thuram is of paramount importance.