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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Orlando Sa: The Next Man in Chelsea Football Club?

(This entry was first published in this blog on December 10, 2008. It is based on information of that time.)

Just a few days back, Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said that he would like to have a new striker in his squad in the January transfer window. Now, it seems the striker could be a little known Portuguese striker Orlando Sa, who currently plays for Portugal U-21 and Portuguese club Sporting Braga. Reports also have it in the media that Chelsea is planning to offer Sporting Braga a £4 million deal for Orlando Sa, who scored a hat-trick for Portugal U-21 against Spain U-21 in last month (November 2008).

Chelsea suffered a lot due to several injury problems over the last one year or so and this is natural that Scolari wants an extra striker for replacement in case of any more injury woes in his attacking line up. Chelsea’s star forward Didier Drogba has recently come back in action after spending a number of weeks in the sideline due to injury. Michael Essien is still injured out, while Joe Cole recently came back in action after recovering from his ankle injury.

Goal.com reported:

The injury list this season has been a long one, with Scolari losing at some point an impressively high quality list of players. Essien, Ballack, Didier Drogba, Ricardo Carvalho, Ashley Cole, Juliano Belletti, Deco, Petr Cech, Joe Cole, John Terry, Jose Bosingwa, Carlo Cudicini and John Obi Mikel have all been injured at some stage this season.

However, Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon knocked out suggestions of any new signing in January transfer window. Amidst global credit crunch, Chelsea owner Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich seems to cut short his spending spree and does not want any big signing during January transfer window. However, herein lies the indication that Chelsea is very much interested to sign 20-year-old striker Orlando Sa for whom Chelsea does not need to spend a lot. Moreover, Orlando Sa could be an useful asset for the club if the player continues his development as a footballer.

So, it is pretty much clear that Chelsea is very much interested in Orlando Sa, a seemingly perfect signing for the West London club considering a perfect balance between money and requirement. In the presence of Drogba and Anelka, Chelsea does not need any more star striker at this moment; rather they need a young striker who can be used both as a useful substitute as well as a back-up of any major injury.

Born on 26 May 1988 in Portugal, Orlando Sa has become one of the most notable young talents in Portugal. The young prospect has so far been excellent with Portugal U-21 team. I have already mentioned that the striker scored a hat-trick in Portugal U-21 team’s 4-1 recent victory over Spain U-21 team last month.

Reports available in the media suggest that Orlando Sa impressed manager Scolari in a secret trial taken by the club. Scolari is now very much interested to see Orlando Sa at Stamford Bridge.

Mirror reported:

But Scolari is hoping that because Orlando represents a young prospect for the future, Chelsea will buy him after watching the hitman score a hat-trick against Spain Under-21s last month. Former Portugal boss Scolari wants extra firepower after missing out on Robinho in the summer to leave him with only Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba as centre-forwards.

Sporting Braga president Antonio Salvador, however, has not indicated any sign of negotiation with Chelsea about a possible deal for the Portuguese striker. He rather said that Braga did not need to sell any player.

Telegraph reported:

Should Abramovich give the nod to initiate negotiations, Chelsea will come up against competition according to Braga’s president Antonio Salvador, who said: “We know Scolari wants the player but we don’t have to sell.

“It’s not only Chelsea who want to sign the player.”

Well, that is not the end of the story. There are reports available in the media suggest that agent Jorge Mendes is trying to make the deal done between the two clubs. Rumors have it in the media that Braga might want to sell Orlando Sa for a deal in which he will be sold to Chelsea, but he will stay at Braga on loan till the end of this season. Well, I do not know to what extent it is true, but Chelsea may not want Orlando Sa to stay at Braga for the remainder of the season. However, the player is very much happy with a possible deal with Chelsea. I am quoting his reaction from Telegraph:

Excited about what the future may hold, Sa said: “This is an enormous opportunity for me, but everything depends on my club.”

Still, I think, Orlando Sa is a good player to buy, considering his potential as a player and age. I do not think that making a deal for Orlando Sa should be a problem for Chelsea financially. So, Chelsea should not lose this opportunity of signing a future asset.

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