Chelsea got a bit of a reprieve from their recent streak of mostly dreadful play on December 9th, beating Porto 2-0 in a Champions League match. The win pushed the Blues to the top of Group G and earned them a favorable spot in the UCL round of 16. The football club ultimately finished the group stage with four wins, one draw, and one loss-not so different from the 4-2-0 they managed in the groups last year when they were running away with the Premier League frontrunner title.
In other words, Chelsea FC still have a lot of potential-even if they aren't showcasing it on a week-to-week basis in their Premier League matches. That potential is personified in the form of Willian, the Brazilian winger who scored five goals for the Blues in the Champions League group stage. To put that number in perspective, Willian is tied for fourth among the UCL's top scorers, with the same number of goals as worldwide greats like Luis Suarez and Thomas Muller, as well as Premier League standout Olivier Giroud.
Still, even with Willian pulling off a frankly remarkable accomplishment in the Champions League, Chelsea are still going to need to go fishing for reinforcements when the transfer window opens again in January. Despite his UCL greatness, Willian hasn't brought the same level of play or goal scoring consistency to the Premier League. His teammates-2014/15 season standouts like Eden Hazard and Diego Costa-are also struggling to make a mark this soccer season.
Chelsea didn't do much in the transfer market last summer, with the highlights of their squad shakeups being the arrival of Pedro from Barcelona (for £21.4 million) and the departure of Petr Cech to Arsenal (for £10 million). Neither of those deals have worked out particularly well for Jose Mourinho's side. Pedro has suffered a few minor injuries that cut down on his play time while the Blues have ended up needing Cech, thanks to the lengthy injury spell of their first choice keeper, Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea's Transfer Prospects
Perhaps the biggest transfer target for Chelsea right now is the one least likely to make any kind of transfer before summer (if at all). Reports indicate that both Chelsea and Manchester United are looking to sign Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller in the near future. Muller has rejected contract offers from United in the past, though, and is currently signed with Bayern until 2019. Chelsea could use Muller as a replacement for Diego Costa-who could be on his way out, either in January or in the summer-but it's tough to imagine why he would leave Bayern Munich at this point, or why they would let him go.
In terms of more achievable transfer prospects, Chelsea are looking at Alexandre Pato-also probably as a potential replacement for Costa. A Brazilian forward currently on loan to Sao Paulo from Corinthians, Pate has scored 38 goals in 95 appearances since arriving at Sao Paulo in February 2014. Pato's loan spell is set to end this month, and he was recently spotted at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea's Champions League win against Porto. In other words, if one new player is going to be donning the Chelsea home jersey 2015/16 come January, this quick and agile offensive football star is probably the one.
Mourinho and company are also reportedly considering Blaise Matuidi, a defense midfielder who currently plays for Paris Saint Germain. An athletically impressive player with a good work rate and a solid track record, Matuidi could be a smart addition to Chelsea's sloppy defense. The Telegraph also says that PSG are willing to let Matuidi go-but also noted that the transfer might be more likely to happen in the summer. Were Matuidi to transfer to Chelsea in January, he would be ineligible to compete with his former club, which would bar him from participating in the Champions League.
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