Could Messi move to West London?

Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona. Unrest at board level, an ageing squad and Champions League humiliations in each of the last three seasons have finally broken something inside the player many regard as the greatest of all time.

The 33-year-old Argentine superstar appears to want a new challenge, with multiple clubs interested.

Rio Ferdinand’s tweet that Frank Lampard is exploring the prospect of signing the Ballon d’Or holder has excited Chelsea fans.

Despite the move being unlikely, there’s no doubt Lampard would love to integrate Messi into his Chelsea squad.

Lionel Messi, Barcelona.
You can’t really blame Messi for wanting out of the Nou Camp given the Catalonian’s embarrassment in the Champions League by Napoli, Liverpool and Bayern in the last few years. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE INDEPENDENT.

Chelsea’s attack

Chelsea’s attacking options, with additions of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and the imminent signing of Kai Havertz, look to have variety, depth and star quality in abundance.

However, no player is greater, or a bigger star, than Lionel Messi. Lampard would be sure to want the Argentine, should the possibility arise.

After all, 46 goal contributions in 33 La Liga appearances dwarfs the creative contribution of his Chelsea squad last season. When a player of this scoring and creative output is possibly available, it cannot be sniffed at.

While the 33-year old is approaching the twilight of his career, he is still producing numbers comparable with any player in the world.

FILE – In this Nov. 5, 2019 file photo, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi reacts during a Champions League Group F soccer match against Slavia Praha at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY JOAN MONFORT/ AP IMAGES.

Seeing Messi on Chelsea’s team-sheet would only serve to further frighten defences already fearing the prospect of Werner, Ziyech, Havertz and Pulisic.

Experience

In a squad looking to close the gap on Liverpool, Manchester City and Europe’s best, Messi would provide an unquestionable winning pedigree. With 34 major trophies at Barcelona, Messi’s experience would no doubt benefit a young Chelsea squad.

The likes of Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi would undoubtedly benefit from training alongside the world’s greatest player.

In fact, all of the Chelsea squad would benefit but young attacking players training alongside Messi on every single day could only enhance their development. Messi is the type of player who could only raise standards at the club.

Mount, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea already have a very good forward line but adding Lionel Messi would push Manchester City and Liverpool to the boundaries of their abilities. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE INDEPENDENT.

Likelihood

I would suggest that it’s highly unlikely that Chelsea will be a major player in the race to sign Messi. Of all English clubs, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are the favourites.

Messi could yet remain at Barcelona but Manchester City could be the best move for the player. They could get close to his current salary and provide the strongest platform for sporting success as well as having a manager for whom Messi knows and loves.

Chelsea, however, will monitor the situation just as they did when Timo Werner’s next destination was in the spotlight. Werner appeared to be heading to Liverpool until Chelsea swooped in.

Therefore, while Messi is unlikely to head to Chelsea, there is no harm in being excited about the prospect of the world’s greatest ever player turning out at Stamford Bridge upon leaving Barcelona.

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