It’s often said in football that you should ‘never go back’, but Chelsea don’t seem to be taking any notice as they look set to re-sign Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian striker is said to be close to completing a surprise return to Stamford Bridge this summer, with the Inter Milan man rumoured to be on his way back to west London in a £97.5million deal.
There are some question marks over how the Belgian will fit into Thomas Tuchel’s attack, and whether the 28-year-old will make a success of his second spell with the Blues.
But European football expert Andy Brassell believes that, if he is partnered with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner next season, Chelsea could be very difficult to stop.
“I think if you look at Havertz, Lukaku and Werner, you’ve got three strikers who can switch positions to pretty good effect, and that can all score goals as well,” he said on Danny Kelly’s Trans Europe Express.
“I think that will be very difficult for any team to deal with if they decide to go that way.”
But how would a front three of Havertz, Lukaku, and Werner compare to their Premier League rivals?
Liverpool have famously had one of the best front threes in world football over the last few years, with Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane helping them win a Premier League and Champions League since they formed their trio.
However, over the last couple of seasons, Firmino has flattered to deceive, with the Brazilian struggling to replicate the form he first showed when he joined the Reds.
Former Wolves winger Diogo Jota has now arrived at Anfield and could be the future of Jurgen Klopp’s attack, if the Portuguese can continue to score goals as frequently as he did at times last term.
Manchester City have also added to their attack this summer, after the £100m signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.
There have been talks that the England international could play in central midfield, but they would still have the likes of Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, and Gabriel Jesus who they can utilise in a front three.
Pep Guardiola still has interest in Tottenham striker Harry Kane, with the England captain keen to find a new club this summer.
However, the north London club are unwilling to sell and, if he doesn’t go to City, there may be some questions about Jesus’ ability to lead the line for Guardiola.
The City boss played a false nine at times last season but it’s evident that he wants Kane to be his new goalscorer.
Talking of Tottenham, and their front three could be completely different by the end of the transfer window, depending on whether Kane stays or goes.
If he stays, his partnership with Heung-min Son makes them an extremely dangerous frontline – especially after the addition of exciting, Spanish youngster Bryan Gil.
If he leaves, however, they may have to rely on a new signing to replicate Kane’s goals next season, which is almost impossible.
Spurs’ north London rivals, Arsenal, could also see one of their centre-forwards leave this summer, with Alexandre Lacazette attracting interest from Roma.
This could help Mikel Arteta in the transfer market, with Roma’s interest in Lacazette meaning they end their pursuit of Tammy Abraham, who is said to be a target for the Gunners.
If both of those deals do go through, a front three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Tammy Abraham, and Nicolas Pepe could do some damage next season.
Manchester United’s signing of Jadon Sancho puts them in a lot better position, when it comes to their attack, next season.
The Red Devils now have Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood as options on the wings, as well as Edinson Cavani as their centre-forward and Bruno Fernandes as a No.10.
Cavani and Rashford are meant to miss the start of the season, though, which could mean that there is more pressure on Sancho to hit the ground running on his return to the Premier League.
A good front-three doesn’t necessarily make a good team, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win the league.
However, if Tuchel can get an attacking trio of Havertz, Werner, and Lukaku working, Chelsea will undoubtedly come close next season.
Premier League front-threes compared
Chelsea (possible): Werner, Lukaku, Havertz
Liverpool: Mane, Firmino, Salah
Man City (false nine): Foden, De Bruyne, Sterling
Man United: Rashford, Cavani, Sancho
Arsenal (possible): Aubameyang, Abraham, Pepe
Tottenham: Son, Kane, Gil
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