Is Armando Broja Running Out Of Options ! Is St Mary's Return On The Cards !
Monday, 25th Jul 2022 10:50
Three weeks ago I ran a story that Southampton had tabled a firm offer for Armando Broja, that went a little quiet and West Ham emerged as front runners, but with the Hammers now buying elsewhere the options are now limited for the Albanian striker from Slough.
Armando Broja has been linked with a lot of clubs this summer and allegedly Chelsea are keen to keep him, but he is still a long way off their first team squad even with Romelu Lukaku staying at Inter Milan for another season, they still have six forwards on the books and are likely to spend big for at least one more.
The problem is that according to the London press Chelsea are seeking somewhere in the region of £50 million plus for the player, ok this is their asking price aimed at creating a bidding war, but their problem is that not only is Broja's real value somewhere around half of that, but there are plenty of experienced strikers on the market for far less than that.
Lets be blunt if Richarlison can be bought for £50 million with a 5 year Premier League track record of which in his 4 years at Everton he averaged 11 goals a season, then Broja isn't worth the same amount.
The price eventually seemed to put off West Ham who despite holding talks with the player, baulked at the fee and turned their attention to former Saints target Gianluca Scamacca who they are about to buy at around £30 million.
At the end of the season rumours were rife about the big clubs who were looking to buy Broja, but none of those rumours materialised and it now seems that with West Ham now dropping out of the bidding the player is having to accept that if he moves then it will not be to a club playing in European football next year.
The only three names in the mix at the moment appear to be Everton, Newcastle United and presumably Southampton.
But none of these names would offer much attraction to Broja in a permanent move, Everton despite their Frank Lampard connections are not an instant draw, they struggled last year and are likely to struggle again with Richarlison gone, they have money but being under Premier League sanctions for breaches of the financial fair play rules, they are unlikely to be able to spend much of that with it being needed to reduce their debt rather than spend more money.
Newcastle have more money than anyone, but so far they have showed no signs of spending it willy nilly, they have plenty of attacking options, Joelinton who has dropped deeper in the last season, Callum Wilson who despite injuries and playing only 18 games still scored 8 times in the Premier League, Allan Saint-Maximin and Chris Wood signed from Burnley in January.
Whilst Broja would be a gamble that the Toon would be well able to afford, as mentioned they are not going to throw money away.
But if he signed for Newcastle would Broja be in any much better position than he is at Chelsea, would he be first choice or just coming off the bench.
For their part Chelsea seem keen to keep hold of Broja, they just don't see him as being good enough for their squad yet, they will sell him if they get well over the odds but are in no hurry otherwise.
So if Newcastle don't make a bid then Broja's future for next season is suddenly very limited.
It would be a choice between the Chelsea development squad, Everton on loan or Saints.
We have tabled a bid, I suspect it might break our transfer record and be north of the £20 million it currently stands at, but not enough to tempt Chelsea into a sale, although I suspect there would be the usual add ons including a buy back option.
The problem all along this summer though for potential buying clubs has been the price, although he is highly rated amongst Saints supporters, the truth is that to a buying club he is a striker who got only 6 Premier League goals last season and only two in the second half of the season.
This means that his price isn't as high as Chelsea were banking on, his poor form in the second half of last season saw questions asked by potential suitors who looked at the stats and turned elsewhere at the price being asked and his true value according to transfermarkt.co.uk is only around £19.8 million.
A couple of months ago I suggested this scenario, that Broja would not want to cut ties with Chelsea unless it is to a similar size club such as Spurs or Arsenal etc, so the key is now whether Newcastle want to shell out.
If they don't I think Chelsea will be keen to get him out on loan again and that leaves Saints & Everton in the forefront.
Broja has previously stated he doesn't want another loan but he wants to either stay at Chelsea or go somewhere permanently, but when he said that there were some big clubs being linked and that has now not materialised.
I therefore think that he will not want to cut ties with Chelsea permanently, but consider another loan move to get another season's experience under his belt and if successful persuade Tuchel he can hack it in Chelsea's first team.
Much is made of Frank Lampard's connection's but they are not as close as you would think, yes he had Broja in his brief spell as a manager, yes he gave him his debut in the Premier League in March 2020, 4 minutes off the bench in a 4-0 win at Everton, but he had never used him before or since in any competition and Broja went out to Vitesse and then Saints on loan with Tuchel not seeing him as part of the plans.
So if Everton are not as close a connection as you would think that could leave Saints as the last man standing, from the players point of view he would be going to an environment he knows and within driving distance of his family.
From Chelsea's point of view Saints are a club they know they can deal with easily either with a loan deal or perhaps even a permanent transfer with the buy back clause.
So with Ralph Hasenhuttl publicly stating that Saints are still after a new striker, it could be that Armando Broja could be a viable option, but with the season now under two weeks away things will have to move fast, we like West Ham can't wait too long, we have other targets in our sights and although we might well want Broja, we can't afford to take too much time in waiting to see if Newcastle make a move.
Chelsea however can take their time and might want to hold on to the last few days of the window to see if Newcastle or indeed any other club don't get their first choices and put in a bid.
Photo: Action Images
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