Raul Meireles’ switch from Liverpool to Chelsea slipped under the radar on another hectic deadline day but it could prove to be one of the deals of the summer…

The former Reds midfielder emerged as a target for Andre Villas-Boas when Chelsea missed out on long running target Luka Modric but at just £12million, Meireles provides better value.

The Croatian of course was valued at over £40million but his goal and assist record does not support his sky high valuation. There is no doubt Modric is a top player but most of his work comes from deeper positions, somewhere Chelsea are well stocked, with Mikel, the injured Michael Essien, Ramires plus starlets Oriol Romeu and Josh McEachran.

It is no secret that the Blues lack a certain creative spark at the top end with Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka seemingly in the midst of a terminal decline reinforcements were needed. First Villas-Boas added Valencia schemer Juan Mata while the pursuit of Modric rumbled on.

Daniel Levy vowed not to sell Spurs’ prized asset and Chelsea were forced to turn to Meireles who had dropped down the pecking order at Liverpool and their busy summer. But why? Why was Meireles forgotten by Dalglish? After all it was the Portugese who made it a dream return for the Scot.

Meireles had shown glimpses of his ability during Roy Hodgson’s ill-fated spell at Anfield but embarked on a goal rush in Dalglish’s early days at the helm. his first Premier League goal came in Dalglish’s first game in charge, against bitter rivals Everton, and four more goals would follow in the next four games, including a superb strike against Wolves and the winner at Stamford Bridge. In fact along with Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez, Meireles was Liverpool’s star performer last season but has still fallen victim to King Kenny’s influx of Brits in the Red’s midfield.

Meireles also contributed five assists last term and thrived in a more advanced position in the Liverpool midfield. This is precisely the area Chelsea are lacking. Of course the Torres factor is also vital.

Upon his arrival Juan Mata vowed to help Torres return to his best with a more measured approach to the game. The plan now is for the Mata and Meireles to slide passes through for Torres, allowing the Spaniard to run beyond the opposition’s defense.

Luka Modric on the other hand would be too deep to directly supply Torres on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Meireles is a better player than Modric but merely a better option for Chelsea especiaslly at a third of the price.

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