Chelsea will have scouts in attendance in Belgium today, and here's who they might be watching.
Chelsea should be very familiar with RSC Anderlecht at this point, as we've added four players from the Belgian side over the course of the last three windows. Reports out of Belgium would suggest we're not done scouting the club though, and that we'll be watching them closely today:
I don't have any sort of reliable confirmation yet, but there are fairly believable rumors that the Chelsea "scouts" expected to be attending this afternoon's Anderlecht/AC Milan game are some of the more important ones in the club's hierarchy. That would seem to make sense if players involved today happen to be real targets in January, and I have a feeling I know who we're watching.
So who exactly is it that Chelsea might be targeting? There are two names which come to mind immediately. The first would be striker Dieumerci Mbokani. Mbokani is a 26-year old striker that has been in blistering form for the better part of a year now. While he's not a household name at this point, he's the type of under the radar player that makes scouts look very, very good if he's a hit and doesn't raise eyebrows if he flops. He happens to have made some quotes about Chelsea's interest this week as well, and here they are:
"I am flattered to be linked with a great club such as Chelsea, but I am very happy here at Anderlecht. To end all speculation, I am staying here at Anderlecht until June before making any decision on my future. The press is more interested in my transfer than I am. I am relaxed about all the speculation and will evaluate everything in June."
There are many of you that probably aren't too familiar with Mbokani, so I'd highly recommend that you keep an eye on Anderlecht as the transfer window approaches. He's an interesting athlete who just seems to be developing some polish at the age of 26, but he's untested enough that he'll likely not have a very large price tag attached. Low risk, high reward, and almost certainly capable of being useful depth for a solid club at an area of need seems like a good type of player to be looking at.
There's another interesting Anderlecht player that Chelsea fans should be minding as well. This summer we took a closer look at Cheikhou Kouyate, a defender/midfielder that would also seem to fill an area of need for Chelsea. Since that writeup, we've looked poor defensively and created an even larger hole in the central midfield. Like Mbokani, Kouyate is a player Chelsea fans should be aware of in advance of the January window.
At this point, it's hard to say what Chelsea are planning for the January window. Should Anderlecht lose to Milan today though, both would seem reasonable targets who could potentially be available. If you aren't married to the idea of watching Manchester City crash out of the Champions League today, the Anderlecht/AC Milan game might be worth your time.