Chelsea is plotting a surprise transfer for a new striker in January, with Karim Benzema and Roberto Firmino among the potential arrivals. The Stamford Bridge side has had a noted lack of goals under Mauricio Pochettino. The club signed Nicolas Jackson in the summer to be the focal point of the attack. However, the Senegalese striker has underperformed. He has seven goals in the Premier League through 19 games, but that includes a hat trick against nine-man Tottenham.

Chelsea’s inability to score reliably from its striker has the club active in the market again. Its leading scorer is Cole Palmer, who traditionally plays in the attacking midfield. The leading candidates to provide goals are two of the most prolific strikers of the last decade.

The first of those is Roberto Firmino, who played for Liverpool for eight seasons. Firmino totaled 111 goals in his time at Anfield. There, he helped the club win the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. Roberto Firmino had an indelible legacy at Liverpool, where he made an incredible connection with fans. The success with the Reds certainly helped.

Then, Chelsea developed rumors with Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. Like Firmino, Benzema moved to the Saudi Pro League this summer. The Frenchman was a dominant force with Real Madrid, where he scored 354 goals.

Firmino and Benzema are affordable options for Chelsea

Part of the reason Chelsea wants Roberto Firmino and Karim Benzema is because they are not overly expensive. Present market values list both of the strikers under $15 million. Chelsea has been under the microscope when it comes to spending. Despite paying over $500 million in transfers for the 2023/24 season, Chelsea recouped some of that spending by selling $215 million worth of players. Any further spending, though, would raise more concerns over violating financial fair play regulations in the Premier League.

For example, Chelsea has long had connections with Victor Osimhen. The Napoli striker is one of the best in Europe, and he won Serie A Player of the Season for the 2022/23 season. He is the first African player to win the award.

Having that success raises the price Napoli is willing to release the striker for. Chelsea would have to spend over $100 million to bring Osimhen to Stamford Bridge. The Nigerian is open to joining Chelsea, per reports. However, his price is simply too much for Chelsea.

Disappointing tenures in Saudi Arabia

Both Firmino and Benzema see Chelsea as a way to get out of bad situations in the Saudi Pro League. Benzema was left off the Al-Ittihad mid-season training camp because of a row with officials at the club. According to the reports, Benzema has failed to report for duty on several occasions.

Firmino has not scored for Al-Ahli in 18 games. He had great success with Liverpool, and a return to the Premier League could provide a turning point in the latter stages of his career. With Nicolas Jackson away for the Africa Cup of Nations, Chelsea needs any reinforcements up top that it can get.