Thrifty Chelsea search through Golden Bin for Quaresma
Since Roman Abramovich arrived with his millions from Russia, Chelsea have been used to shopping in the transfer market’s version of Harrods for glitzy new players.
Monday’s deadline day snaffling of Ricardo Quaresma, a player recently voted the worst performer in Serie A, suggests Chelsea are suddenly hunting in the thrift stores with the rest of the struggling population, self-consciously sifting through the bargain bucket.
Chelsea fans have become accustomed to arrivals such as Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Ballack in recent years, players at the top of most clubs’ shopping lists.
How things have changed. Quaresma, unwanted by Chelsea’s former boss Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan, has signed on loan until the end of the season but hardly looks equipped to revive the club’s fading title hopes.
In December he was awarded the “Golden Bin” award by an Italian radio station, a dubious honour bestowed on Italian soccer’s most disappointing player. He was even heckled by Inter fans last week after a run of poor performances since his 19 million euro-arrival from Porto.
Chelsea fans will hardly be dancing down the King’s Road at yet another Portuguese import, especially after Deco’s average showings this season.
Instead of a player with the “Golden Bin”, maybe Chelsea would have been better pursuing a player once known as “Golden Balls” and who is doing very nicely at AC Milan.
David Beckham, who joined Milan on loan from LA Galaxy in a bid to prolong his England career, would have been the ideal solution to Chelsea’s lack of width. Instead the Londoners have gambled on a cast-off from a club they are supposedly vying with for European honours.
Chelsea fans will hope it is not a sign of things to come as the credit crunch hits home, while rival supporters around the land will be chuckling at the idea of Chelsea going down-market.
PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Ricardo Quaresma (R) is challenged by Panathinaikos’ Giorgios Karagounis during their Champions League Group B match in Athens, Sept. 16, 2008. REUTERS/John Kolesidis