We are now five days into the January transfer window and it’s so far been, well… incredibly uneventful.
Indeed, only four signings have been made in the Premier League this month and only one from a club in the top half of the table – second-placed Leicester City snapping up Championship prodigy Demarai Gray from Midlands rivals Birmingham.
But amid a Premier League campaign not quite like any other, where the Foxes are gunning for the title and Chelsea are looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone, something tells me we’ll see plenty of business before the winter window slams shut.
That could prove to be as much as a curse as a blessing for the Premier League’s top sides. After all, the January transfer window is laced with booby-traps; big money flops in disguise as superstars, mercurial starlets primed to become panic buys and trusted veterans who secretly only have eyes for a final pay day.
With that in mind and fallen giants Chelsea expected to be one of the window’s biggest spenders, here are FIVE rumoured targets they should avoid this month.
No doubt, Spain international Isco is an incredibly impressive talent – one that would most likely thrive in practically any starting Xi that isn’t Real Madrid’s. Nonetheless, should the Blues really be in the market for a new No.10 this month, the position the 23-year-old hopes to make a career out of?
Of course, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas haven’t been up to much this season, taking plenty of stick for Chelsea’s troubled campaign. But both are still exceptional playmakers and both showed what they are capable of in more offensive set-ups against Crystal Palace last weekend, grabbing one goal and two assists combined.
Likewise, Willian, Pedro, Eden Hazard, Kenedy and youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all capable of performing in that role, whilst Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira appears to be all-but-officially a Blues player already.
So why should Chelsea shell out another £30million-plus on another No.10 that Real Madrid don’t even want to sell? The money could be much better spent in other departments.
There are certainly plenty of reasons why Chelsea should launch a bid for rumoured target Saido Berahino this month.
Indeed, he’s young, home-grown, versatile and effective in front of goal, giving the 22-year-old all the requisites to one day become a regular England international – even if it’s yet to make an appearance under Roy Hodgson thus far.
Furthermore, West Bromwich Albion appear more than happy to sell this month, with the Burundi-born striker falling afoul of Tony Pulis to the extent that he’s made just eight Premier League starts out of a possible 20 this season.
Yet, that raises serious question marks over Berahino’s attitude and particularly whether it’s the right attitude for a club like Chelsea.
As we all know, the youngster’s much-anticipated move to Spurs fell through during the summer. But his response has been a rather underwhelming one to say the least – in fact, he’s largely behaved like a spoilt brat.
With the Baggies wanting a whopping £25million, Chelsea might be better off steering clear of this one.
One can only hope it’s a typical tall tale from the tabloids rather than any genuine interest on Chelsea’s part.
Indeed, Emmanuel Adebayor may prove an expedient short-term solution to Chelsea’s recent struggles to find the net, having bagged 97 goals in 230 appearances throughout his Premier League career, but he may also prove to be the waste of space that drove Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur fans completely crazy.
The free agent probably can’t do too much damage in the space of six months, should the Blues sign him until the end of the season as speculated by London Evening Standard.
But the Togo international has demonstrated time and again that money is his underlying motivator; he’ll view any contract offer from the west London club as little more than yet another payday.
Although practically every Premier League fan has warmed to the record-breaking form of division top scorer Jamie Vardy this season, the Leicester City striker is the walking definition of a flash in the pan.
Indeed, he’ll turn 29 years of age later this month and there are already signs that the former non-leaguer is coming off the boil, finding the net just once in his last six Premier League outings.
Unquestionably benefiting from Leicester’s kick-and-chase style of football, it’s unlikely Vardy will be able to transition his lethal form, netting 15 times in 20 league outings this term, to another Premier League side.
No doubt, Chelsea will be on the lookout for added firepower this month with Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao both seemingly out of favour – whilst serious doubts have emerged over Diego Costa’s long-term future in west London.
But rated at around £25million by the tabloids, Vardy simply isn’t worth the risk for the Premier League champions.
Don’t get me wrong, this is certainly not some sort of hipster condemnation of John Stones’ potential and ability.
The England international is the most exciting home-grown defender since the days of John Terry and the Blues could certainly do with a few reinforcements at the back this month, having already conceded a whopping 29 times this season.
Yet, the Everton prodigy is still just 21 years of age and the current situation at Chelsea is a very difficult one for a young player to walk into. There’s no long-term manager, disruptions in the dressing room and underlying angst amongst the fan base.
Likewise, the Toffees will expect a huge premium if they’re to sell Stones in January, especially with Euro 2016 – where his value could further escalate – just around the corner.
The combination of a monolithic price-tag, the chaos at Stamford Bridge and switching clubs midseason suggests an incredibly unaccommodating scenario for the youngster. Chelsea and Stones would be far better off waiting until the summer.