Chelsea’s striker dilemma: Aubameyang or Morata?

The signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco has reignited Chelsea’s summer.

After a stuttering start, the signing of Bakayoko along with Antonio Rudiger from Roma has put a new light on Chelsea’s dealings so far.

However, it has not been plain sailing. Antonio Conte has missed out on his primary striker target Romelu Lukaku, who has jumped ship at Everton by signing a lucrative deal Manchester United. This has led Conte and Chelsea to search for other targets.

Two names have appeared continuously over the past few weeks. These names are Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of German giants Borussia Dortmund and Alvaro Morata of European and Spanish Champions Real Madrid.

Both players are expected to cost between 70-80 million pounds. The question here is which player would be better suited to Conte’s philosophy at Chelsea.  


Another stellar season

To begin, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has just completed another stellar season with Dortmund, as he finished as the top goal scorer in the Bundesliga (31 goals in 32 games), while adding the German cup to his successes.

The Gabonese international has seen his stock rise every season since joining Dortmund as is to no surprise, he has been linked with a big money move around Europe, with AC Milan, PSG and Chelsea linked with the target man.

But why should Chelsea invest in Aubameyang? Firstly, since arriving in Germany, Aubameyang has scored an impressive 85 goals in 128 Bundesliga games, which is only bettered by Bayern Munich’s talisman Robert Lewandowski.

Secondly, Aubameyang played in an altered 3-5-2 formation last season, which should make it easier for him to adapt to Chelsea’s style of play.

Interestingly, Aubameyang can be deployed on the right wing, which can give Conte the opportunity to experiment his team’s formation as Aubameyang is flexible across the forward line.


The issues with Aubameyang

Despite his impressive form, there is a few issues to address.

First, Aubameyang has just turned 28 and although he is at the peak of his game, spending an excess of 70 million on a player of that age can be seen as risky.

This may put Chelsea in a hesitate position as they would not want to depart 70 million on a player, who will be 30 in two years. This has backfired on Chelsea before, with the acquisition of Andriy Shevchenko in 2006.

Secondly, Aubameyang does not have any experience in the Premier League. Although that does not indicate he isn’t capable of performing in England, not all players who arrived from other major European competitions have gone to succeed.

Nevertheless, Aubameyang would add star quality to any team.


Mixed campaign for Morata

In contrast, Alvaro Morata had a mixed season.

Despite having his best goal tally to date (20 in 43 games), Morata has been deployed as substitute for the majority of the season.

However, this has not put off Chelsea, who Morata seemingly fits their style of play.

Likened to Fernando Morientes, Morata is noted for being good in the area and capable of holding the ball while under pressure. This would benefit Chelsea’s wingers Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian who like to cut into the centre of the field, while on the offensive.


Still seems suitable and has time to develop

Morata is 1.89 metres, which gives an ideal height for resilient forwards, while troubling opposition defenders. Moreover, Morata is 24 years old and still has time to develop.

Additionally, Morata has also played in the 3-5-2 formation from his time at Juventus, which is a plus for Chelsea.

However, like Aubameyang, Morata has no Premier League experience and has spent the majority of this season playing second-fiddle behind Karim Benzema.

Secondly, Morata’s strike rate is nearly half of Aubameyang over the last three seasons (Morata 47 goals, Aubameyang 104 goals). Yet, with youth on his side and the experiences of playing in Serie A and La Liga, not many clubs would turn down the opportunity to sign him.


Chelsea must make a move swiftly

To conclude which player suits Chelsea’s style of play, the analysis indicates that both players are good candidates. With both experienced in the 3-5-2, both players would not require time to adapt to the formation at Stamford Bridge.

Although Aubameyang has a better goal tally, Morata has youth on his side and is expected to develop into a world class striker in the coming years. However, Chelsea do not have time to hesitate.

With rumours circulating that Morata is in talks with AC Milan and Aubameyang has been given an ultimatum by the club to sort out his future, Chelsea must act fast or they may end up with one recognised striker come the start of the season.   


Written by James Reidy

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