AI attempts to fix Chelsea's striker problem - and it might have found the perfect £70m signing

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We asked ChatGPT to suggest some strikers that Chelsea could sign this summer. The results were... varied.

Some say Chelsea are cursed, that some unknowable hoodoo from another plane of consciousness has taken a dislike to their number nine shirt so foul that anybody who even dares to caress its synthetic fabric is damned to a life of barren toil. You may think I’m being melodramatic, but Radamel Falcao, Andriy Shevchenko, Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, Claudio Pizarro, Romelu Lukaku, Mateja Kezman, Hernan Crespo, Samuel Eto'o, Romelu Lukaku again, and Fernando Torres would all beg to differ.

It is a cyclical, Sisyphean affair; Chelsea require a striker, so Chelsea go out and spend a lot of money on a striker only for the striker they have spent a lot of money on to flounder and flop out of form and relevancy until it becomes apparent that their stint at Stamford Bridge is doomed to mediocrity, and Chelsea require a striker once again. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum.

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But maybe the problem is that the Blues are going about this all wrong. Perhaps, instead of relying on the puny brains of human scouts, with their clipboards and cagoules and emotional baggage, Todd Boehly and his boardroom cronies should embrace the future and turn over all responsibility to the robots. Artificial Intelligence is coming for us all, whether we like it or not, and if it is capable of cooking up a convincing rendition of Homer Simpson singing Starlight by Muse, then surely it has the capacity to find Chelsea a centre forward who doesn’t mope around like a hobbled donkey. We may as well get some use out of it before it enslaves mankind.

With that in mind, I asked our old buddy ChatGPT to come up with a handful of suggestions on who it thinks Chelsea should be looking to sign this summer. Here’s what it had to say...

Romelu Lukaku

ChatGPT says: ‘Lukaku has proven himself as one of the most prolific strikers in European football. He possesses strength, pace, and excellent finishing ability. Having previously played for Chelsea, Lukaku could provide both experience and familiarity with the Premier League.’

A real human says: Who says AI hasn’t mastered comedy? Lukaku is, of course, already a Chelsea player, and that ‘experience and familiarity’ that our binary code pal is talking about was partially earned through his most recent underwhelming spell as the Blues’ leading man. Currently on loan at AS Roma, it is not an impossibility that the Belgian could return to West London in a blaze of glory this summer, but you suspect that there are a number of much more likely outcomes, and the vast majority end with him finally securing a permanent exit from his parent club.

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Lautaro Martínez

ChatGPT says: ‘Martínez is a highly talented young striker who has been performing well for Inter Milan. He offers a combination of technical skill, agility, and goal-scoring ability. Martínez's versatility and potential for further development could make him an attractive option for Chelsea.’

A real human says: We might be pushing the definition of ‘young’ a little for the 26-year-old Martínez, but undoubtedly, he would represent a more realistic option than the Third Coming of Romelu Lukaku. The Argentine is a World Cup winner who has scored 23 goals in 28 Serie A outings for Inter Milan this season, and he tends to sport the captain’s armband for the Italian giants as well. Whether they would be willing to let such an integral player leave the San Siro remains to be seen, but as recently as last year he was understood to have a price tag of around £70 million attached to him, and if he was somehow available, Chelsea could surely do far, far worse.

Andrej Kramarić

Chat GPT says: ‘Kramarić has been a consistent performer for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, showcasing his goal-scoring prowess and creativity. He is capable of playing as a central striker or in a supporting role, offering Chelsea flexibility in their attacking setup.’

A real human says: A little bit of a wildcard from the algorithm. You might remember Kramarić from his spell in England with Leicester City. Then again, you might not, because he did absolutely nothing for the Foxes. Since leaving the King Power, however, he has found a new, more prosperous home in Baden-Württemberg, scoring 126 goals in 278 outings for Hoffenheim. But while Kramaric may have finally stepped out from Jamie Vardy’s shadow, he still doesn’t feel like the best fit for Chelsea. For one thing, he is 32, a little older than the Blues’ average acquisition, and for another, he has already bounced off the Premier League to limited effect once - even if he does have a winner’s medal to his name. A nuanced shout, Chat GPT, but not as strong as Martinez.

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