Chelsea: Armando Broja is a better option than Joshua King

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Armando Broja of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on March 08, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Joshua King is rumored to be drawing interest from some of the Premier League’s elites, but Chelsea has a group just as talented.

King is reportedly getting looks from some of the best clubs in England’s top flight. The Blues and Frank Lampard are supposedly interested, but the question is: why?

King’s managed nearly 50 goals in the Premier League since the 2015/16 season, but has failed to live up to expectations this season. Teams like Manchester United—who were desperate for a second-choice striker in January—showed interest in King because of his descending value, but Bournemouth didn’t budge. With the Cherries fighting to stay alive in the Premier League, it’s likely he gets sold after this year and stays in the top flight. However, a move to Chelsea doesn’t make much sense.

Chelsea brought another striker through the academy this season in Armando Broja. Broja made his Premier League and first team debut in the Blues’ 4-0 win over Everton before the league-wide stoppage. He’s not got a ton of experience, but the 18-year-old is clinical in front of goal. In the 32 matches he’s played on all levels—mostly U18 and U23—Broja has managed 19 goals and five assists.

The Albanian youth international is amongst the next wave of academy players looking to break into Chelsea’s first team. With Broja knocking on the door and Olivier Giroud signing a one-year extension at Stamford Bridge, there is hardly room for King behind Tammy Abraham.

King is a clinical forward who works better in a two-striker system—a formation in which Chelsea seldom plays. The 28-year-old brings years of experience to the squad and will provide goals off the bench, but the Blues already have Giroud, who offers exactly that. As Michy Batshuayi nears a likely move away from west London, Chelsea needs a third striker for the first team and Broja should be that guy. He’ll get at least a year of learning under Abraham and Giroud under his belt, furthering his development.

The 10-year difference between Broja and King is notable, but so is the transfer fee. Broja provides a free option for Chelsea’s striking force whereas King would take money away from other targets on the market. Look no further than the Blues using Jamie Cumming as a third-choice keeper this season as a precedent for how they should approach the striker conundrum in the coming months.

If Chelsea is going to spend money on a striker in the summer, it better be a versatile player who contends for a starting spot. If not, there are few players out there better suited for a third-choice striker role than the Blues’ own Broja.