Chelsea leading the race to sign 23-year-old Ivorian attacker

The winter transfer window is no more time for well-considered transfer talks than it is for smart business. That Jeremie Boga did not spend any time in the rumour mill is another scoop of silliness in the campaign. Ivory Coast international was no more or less than available than any other footballer Blues were linked with last month.

Serie A club were as likely to part with him as any of the teams who own any of the footballers that the Blues were always just on the verge of signing were. But amid Jeremie excelling in Serie A in some of the exact attributes Blues need, his reputation from his time at Cobham and his £3m buyback clause, his name never popped up.

If Jeremie can penetrate those back-line regularly with the ball at his feet while on a midtable team, Boga should be under consideration at Stamford Bridge as they seem for ways to break out of their U-shaped passing pattern dictated by their opponents’ low block.

Boga’s dribbling ability, combined with his ball retention, would be ideal for Blues possession-oriented tactics while giving them the thrust they have lacked in too many matches.

Chelsea have spent much of this campaign and all of last season trying to find ways through the defensive lines. Their current forwards have not been able to dribble into the block enough to force the back-line and create space for a pass within the penalty area.

Without footballers to run onto the ball behind the lines, their only option is to probe the lines and get repulsed gently, and then send in a cross and hope it hits somebody.