When the news broke that Chelsea were sanctioning the departure on loan of their £50m flop Fernando Torres, the rumors had already begun to swirl about who they would look to sign to replace him. In his three seasons at Chelsea, Torres scored 20 goals in 110 league appearances. Löic Remy, a 27-year-old signed from QPR, who spent last year on loan at Newcastle, scored 14 goals in the 2013-2014 season alone. Indeed, Chelsea’s impotent strike force of last season amassed a measly 19 Premier League goals between them. That trio of strikers has since been transferred out of West London – Demba Ba to Besiktas, Samuel Eto’o left Chelsea on a free transfer and now plays for Everton and Torres is on a two-year loan at AC Milan.
Despite signing in-form striker Diego Costa, who has scored four goals in his first three matches for the Blues, and former talisman Didier Drogba, who is not necessarily hungry for minutes and understands he was brought in to fill a role, Chelsea needed another proven, versatile Premier League striker. They also needed to make an affordable purchase. In Löic Remy they have found such a player. The Frenchman has shown a penchant for crossed balls – of Remy’s 14 league goals, all but two were scored inside the area, and three were scored with his head. He’s also exhibited an ability to play in a variety of different attacking roles, having created 30 chances from wider positions last season. His versatility will be key, especially if Mourinho decides to employ a two-striker formation – something he’s been rather keen to do, especially if his side are chasing the game.
Remy stated his desire to play Champions League football this season, and he will most certainly get his chance at Chelsea. Costa has struggled with a hamstring injury since the final weeks of last season and twice already this year reports of minor injuries have emerged from Chelsea’s training ground. Considering the fact that not even a full month of the season has passed, Remy’s debut will not be long forthcoming. The French frontman has also stated that he will be fighting for a place among the starters, regardless of how impressive Costa’s start to the season has been. According to Chelsea’s official website, Remy is aware of what is needed from him in order to break into the first team. “We have two great strikers here already and I don’t have a choice if I want to be in the first team – I have to play at a very high level.”
Linked with a move to Liverpool earlier in the summer, Remy’s deal with the Reds fell through after reports of a failed medical. Still, he insists he is fully healthy and admits to being rather confused by the decision of last year’s Premier League runners-up. Speaking with the Daily Star, he said “I did not understand, myself. A problem during the medical examination? They [Liverpool] put it that way, it must be it.” Scoring impressively during the international break for France in their match against local rivals Spain, Remy certainly looked completely healthy. Even former boss Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports, “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.”
Remy could feature, and make his home debut, as early as this Saturday when Swansea City travel to Stamford Bridge to take on the joint league-leaders. If Diego Costa has not regained full fitness following his hamstring issues, Chelsea’s new man will certainly be looking to get off the mark. If so, it will surely be a dream start for the Frenchman. The Blues take on the Swans Saturday at 10AM EST on NBC Sports.