Chelsea will host Arsenal on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge aiming to do the double over their London rivals in the Premier League. The Blues went to the Emirates and won 2-1 thanks to two second-half goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham. The goals came in the final seven minutes of the match and cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half strike. Now, Chelsea and Arsenal will meet again as the former looks to solidify their place in the top four.
Could Dries Mertens arrive in the Premier League?
While Chelsea and Arsenal will meet on the pitch on Tuesday, the two clubs are set to do battle for the signature of prolific forward Dries Mertens. The Napoli forward is out of contract next summer but could still re-sign with the club.
Mertens has had a down season, which can be said about most of Napoli’s players, having scored just four times in 16 Serie A appearances. The Partenopei sacked Carlo Ancelotti in December replacing him with former AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso. Results have still been mixed and Napoli is likely to undergo a re-build in the offseason.
The Belgian signed for Napoli in 2013 and rose to prominence with the club. Mertens has bagged 118 goals and 71 assists in 304 matches in all competitions for Napoli.
Although no deal between Mertens and Napoli has been agreed, the two sides have opened dialogue once more over a possible new contract.
Chelsea are in desperate need of adding to their forward line. Abraham has carried the load for the Blues this season but Frank Lampard hasn’t had a second-choice striker to push his target man. Chelsea have looked weak in front of goal without a forward to replace Abraham late in games.
Mertens can also play on the left or right flanks as well as a second striker. He offers options to both Chelsea and Arsenal going forward and would improve either side.
The Belgian will turn 33-years old in May. His age could be a problem for both clubs. Chelsea and Arsenal have shown in recent seasons that they will not offer long, lucrative deals to players over the age of 30.
West Ham have also shown interest in Mertens this month. The Hammers may have the money to sign the forward, but it is more likely he would select a team capable of competing for European qualification this season.
Should Dries Mertens be on Chelsea’s and Arsenal’s shopping list?
Mertens may only have four goals but that would make him joint third-top scorer for Chelsea. Meanwhile, his four league goals would place him third for Arsenal as well.
So, would Mertens improve either Chelsea or Arsenal? He will be 33-years old this summer and there has been a decrease in his league goals this term. Mertens has declined in goals each of the last three seasons. He tallied 28 Serie A goals in 2016-17 before tallying 18 in 2017-18. Last season, Mertens then tallied 16 in Serie A. Mertens could be a forward that both Chelsea and Arsenal pass on.