Welcome, Loïc Rémy

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Updated: September 1, 2014

On July 19, Jose Mourinho declared that “the market is closed” for Chelsea. That was misleading, to the surprise of no one. With Fernando Torres headed to AC Milan on a 2-year loan, Chelsea moved quickly to secure a third striker: Loïc Rémy. I’ve argued before that acquiring another striker was necessary, so from that standpoint it’s comforting to see the club act swiftly to complete this deal.

Rémy, the French-born striker, has been plying his trade in the Premier League since he was purchased by Queens Park Rangers in January 2013. He almost joined Liverpool earlier this summer, but the move fell through due to his failed medical. It appears that did not deter Chelsea, however. Exactly what does Rémy bring to the table?

The most important angle of this signing is the role Rémy is being brought in to fulfill. Chelsea have already spent big on their #1 striker in Diego Costa, and the returns on that investment have been excellent so far. However, the concern was depth. Costa cannot be expected to start 55+ matches, and Didier Drogba at his age cannot realistically start many games. Simply rotating players would have been a challenge, much less coping with a lengthy absence from either striker. Rémy alleviates those fears. A proven Premier League striker with a decent goal return, he will be an effective backup.

Of course, there is a drop-off in quality from Costa to Rémy, but acquiring another striker of such prolificacy would come at a sizable financial commitment. I have previously discussed the probable cost of Edinson Cavani, and Manchester City (or Manchester United, who the hell knows at this point?) are reportedly in talks with Monaco to sign Radamel Falcao for £55 million. Signing Rémy is a much more prudent option.

Aside from making the occasional start, look for Rémy to come off the bench often. Mourinho, like many managers, is fond of the time-honored “bring an extra forward on” strategy. It’s effective for seeking goals, and for a team like Chelsea who typically plays with one striker, bringing on an “extra” one mid-game changes the look and the dynamic of play. Rémy is perfect for this. His ability to play the wings will allow him to play off of Costa efficiently, making for a dynamic duo. This is more or less the role he played for France in the World Cup, though he only played in two matches.

One area of concern for fans is his health. After all, he failed his medical with Liverpool due to a previously-known heart condition. It’s hard to understand why that derailed the move, however. Not only was the issue identified early in his career—and therefore not a surprise—but it has not affected his ability to stay on the field. From 2008-2009 until 2012-2013, he made at least 35 appearances each season. The report of the failed medical even caught his now former manager, Harry Redknapp, by surprise:

“For this to come out isn’t fair. It can’t be a medical issue, because he’s never failed a medical. He’s never had a problem with his fitness. You couldn’t meet a fitter lad.”

Last season his appearances dipped to 27, due to a string of missed games from February to April. Still, he managed to play more than Samuel Eto’o, Chelsea’s first choice striker last season. His availability should not be an issue.

When Chelsea fans hearken back to the tremendous 2009-2010 double-winning side, Nicolas Anelka may not be the first name that comes to mind. However, the French striker played a vital role in that campaign, scoring 15 goals and assisting a further 11 in 45 appearances. What made his contribution so valuable was his versatility. Whether deployed on the wing in a supporting role, or chosen to lead the line himself, his smart movement and decision-making often caused problems for the defense. Rémy’s playing style projects very similarly. Aside from the uncanny likenesses—French strikers of comparable size

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and speed—Rémy should be able to play the same roles that Anelka did.

Throughout last season, Mourinho made it clear that he was underwhelmed with his strikers. He has now completely overhauled his strikeforce, and so far his moves appear to be paying off. The sooner Rémy can earn the confidence of his new boss, the better for Chelsea.

4 Comments

  1. Olalekan Alaba

    September 1, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    nice to Diego coasta farbegas and all the team work

  2. wascolex

    September 2, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    good luck to loic remy pattern diego coated nd didier drogba

  3. mosesjosep4

    September 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Good signing from mourinho sigining remy to support diego costa and didier drogba when we need goals in some of our championsleague games we have enough strikers that can give us what we want

  4. Lekan

    September 10, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Good signing, bring on anybody

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