Glen Johnson has warned Chelsea over a ‘bonkers’ £100million deal for Evan Ferguson and believes his former club should instead look to sign Karim Benzema this month.
Despite spending in excess of £1billion since Todd Boehly’s takeover in 2022, Chelsea have endured an inauspicious start to the campaign and find themselves languishing down in ninth place in the Premier League table.
It has forced the Blues to once again scour the market for reinforcements this January and Mauricio Pochettino is understood to have prioritised a move for a proven centre-forward before the transfer deadline.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen have been mooted as potential signings up front – with Nicolas Jackson flattering to deceive since his summer arrival – and recent reports indicate Chelsea are long-time admirers of Brighton forward Ferguson.
However, it’s understood the Seagulls are in no hurry to part with Ferguson and are understood to have slapped a £100m price tag on the young Republic of Ireland international.
‘This Chelsea side at the minute needs an experienced striker. 100 per cent. They need a big name that’s going to make their opponents fearful,’ ex-Chelsea, Liverpool and England right-back Johnson told Betfred.
‘Regarding Evan Ferguson, don’t get me wrong he may eventually become the next big thing and I hope he does, but Chelsea can’t be spending £100 million on a 19-year-old.
‘They’ve spent a fortune on youngsters already and they don’t have two or three years to wait.
‘What are the chances that a 19-year-old is going to have the character and knowledge to be the main man for Chelsea? It’s highly, highly unlikely.
‘In two or three years he may be at the level to achieve that, but not right now because he’s not fully proven yet. £100 million for Evan sounds bonkers to me.’
Another high-profile name linked to Chelsea in recent days has been Benzema, with the veteran Frenchman keen to force a move back to Europe from Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad.
Despite an impressive tally of 15 goals in 24 appearances for Al-Ittihad, the legendary ex-Real Madrid attacker is desperate for an escape route and Johnson feels Chelsea could be an excellent fit.
Asked whether Chelsea should make a move for Benzema, Johnson replied: ‘100 per cent. Absolutely.
‘He’s the type of big-name striker you need because he’s won almost everything in the game.
‘He’s a goal machine, so you’d expect him to adapt easily to the Premier League.
‘If a loan deal is the only option, then Chelsea have to try and sign him.’
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