Check your chocolate-filled advent calendars, boys and girls – we’re now officially three days into the countdown to Christmas.
Holiday sales commercials, cheesy movies, carol singers and the smell of freshly baked mince pies will be invading your every senses for the next few weeks, whilst excited kids from up and down the country consider what outrageously expensive gifts they want delivered by Merry old St. Nick as they prepare their Christmas wish lists.
And despite it often being dubbed a juvenile tradition, it’s a little know fact that Premier League managers also write annual letters to Santa Claus. After all, who is in need of some Christmas magic more than the unfortunate gaffers who ply their trade in the ever-unpredictable and chaotic world of the English top flight? Especially with the January transfer window just around the corner.
With that in mind, here’s TEN stars from throughout world football who should be topping Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s wish list this year…
Regardless of whether Jamie Vardy is the real deal or simply enjoying an incredible run of form, every Premier League manager would want the Leicester City star leading their line for the second half of the season.
What’s not to like? He’s home-grown, works sensationally hard and is currently producing a goal a game. With Euro 2016 just around the corner, the 28-year-old will be desperate to continue impressing Roy Hodgson until the summer.
The Foxes, however, are understandably keen to tie down the Premier League’s top scorer to an extended contract before the January window opens.
With serious doubts over Branislav Ivanovic’s place in the Chelsea starting Xi, a new right-back certainly wouldn’t go amiss this Christmas.
Alessandro Florenzi as emerged as one of Europe’s most exciting since becoming Roma’s first-choice No.2 at the end of last season, his stunning strike against Barcelona in September making it onto the shortlist for this year’s Puskas award.
Famed for his industriousness, intelligence and versatility, Barcelona are keeping tabs on the highly-rated 24-year-old and Chelsea would be wise to follow suit.
Having flourished under Diego Simeone’s likeminded philosophy at Atletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann would almost certainly become a huge hit at Stamford Bridge.
The France international has claimed 35 goals in 71 appearances since moving to Vincente Calderon in summer 2014, proving himself equally adept at centre-forward and the winger role he enjoyed with former club Real Sociedad.
Chelsea may not even need Santa’s help in signing the 24-year-old, with his contract including an admittedly rather steep €80million release clause.
What Premier League manager wouldn’t be delighted to discover Dele Alli quietly sitting at the bottom of their Christmas tree on December 25th?
The 19-year-old arrived at White Hart Lane from MK Dons just a matter of months ago but has already made himself a permanence in the Spurs’ starting Xi and a fixture in Roy Hodgson’s plans for the England squad.
An all-action centre-mid who enjoys tackling, passing and shooting in equal measure, Alli would provide Chelsea’s engine room with youthful enthusiasm and a balanced link between struggling duo Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic.
Amid news that Diego Costa’s future at Chelsea is currently under review, the Blues couldn’t ask for a better midseason replacement than Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon international has scored the most league goals of any player involved in Europe’s five leading top flights this season, producing an incredible 17 from just 14 appearances.
Also laden with blistering pace and all-round athleticism, the 6 foot 1 forward has often been tipped to prove a huge hit in the Premier League.
Having seen three bids rejected for him during the summer, Chelsea’s interest in Everton defender John Stones is no great secret.
It’s not hard to see why either; the 21-year-old is one of the most exciting centre-backs in world football and the Blues desperately need defensive reinforcements, having conceded nine less Premier League goals than the entireity last season after just 14 games.
The home-grown prodigy would add vital pace and ball-playing ability to Chelsea’s backline. But the Toffees are determined to hold onto the England international until after Euro 2016.
Another prodigious centre-back known to be in Jose Mourinho’s transfer thoughts is Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane – having once described him as ‘the best young defender in the world’
Quick, powerful, competent on the ball and an astute reader of the game, the France international is already the total package at just 22 years of age and has played in a number of high-profile matches – most particularly the 2014 Champions League final.
Convincing Los Blancos to sell, however, could well require an unprecedented fee. I’m not sure Santa’s budget will stretch that far.
If the rumours prove true and Real Madrid are indeed preparing a sensational swoop for Eden Hazard, then Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus must be topping the list of potential replacements.
One of the most potent attackers in Europe, the German international has claimed 44 goals and 28 assists in 93 Bundesliga appearances for the Black-Yellows, proving himself equally effective as a striker, a winger and a No.10.
He resisted the temptation to leave Westfalenstadion in the summer but the 26-year-old seems destined to join one of Europe’s top clubs at some point over the next few years.
Since swapping Old Trafford for the Old Lady in summer 2012, former Red Devil Paul Pogba has emerged as one of the most complete and sought-after central midfielders in Europe.
He’s gangly, powerful, skilful and knows how to find the net regularly, helping fire Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles with 22 goals in 102 league appearances.
Chelsea courted the France international during the summer and with midfield duo Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas struggling for form, they require his imperious services now more than ever.
Agent Mino Raiola, however, has insisted Pogba won’t leave Turin during the January window.
Chelsea were linked with Thomas Muller earlier this week and I’m sure Jose Mourinho would be delighted to unwrap the Bayern Munich star on Christmas day.
The German international’s eclectic mix of physicality, industriousness, intelligence and technical quality has seen him bag 140 goals in 325 appearances for Bayern and ten strikes at the last two World Cups – firing Germany to the title in 2014.
Capable of playing anywhere across the midfield or the forward line, Muller is a manager’s dream and one of the most unique attacking threats throughout world football.
The Bavarians want to make him a one-club man, but the 26-year-old is currently stalling on a contract extension at the Allians Arena – which could give the Blues a way in.