Mauricio Pochettino demands ‘Ward-Prowse type player’ as Chelsea boss claims Blues have just one set piece taker

MAURICIO POCHETTINO wants a dead-ball wizard to make Chelsea better at set-pieces next season.

The January window closed on Thursday without any new arrivals — but the Blues’ head coach is already plotting for the summer.

James Ward-Prowse is an esteemed Premier League set piece taker


James Ward-Prowse is an esteemed Premier League set piece takerCredit: Getty
Mauricio Pochettino was quick to praise his impact at West Ham


Mauricio Pochettino was quick to praise his impact at West HamCredit: Getty

Chelsea have scored only five goals from set-pieces this season, way off front-runners Arsenal’s 14.

So boss Pochettino is now eyeing up a set-piece specialist like James Ward-Prowse.

Ahead of hosting Wolves tomorrow, he said: “We work a lot on set-pieces.

“After that, it is about the quality of the player and takers. We don’t have a specialist.

“Ben Chilwell is good in the delivery but, after that, we lack a specialist.

“We are trying to find one for next season. Look at West Ham.”

The Hammers are sixth in the Prem table and renowned for their strength at corners and free-kicks.

They signed Ward-Prowse in the summer and though he is yet to score a free-kick this season, the midfielder boasts 17 in his Prem career — one off David Beckham’s all-time record.


Pochettino said: “Look before at West Ham and after. What changed? When you add a player like him, you increase the percentage. That is football.”

Chelsea are a whopping 12 points off the Premier League’s top four —  and languish tenth in the table.

But Poch insists he is happy that the only keynote transfer dealings in January were loans taking striker Armando Broja and defender Ian Maatsen out of the club.

The Stamford Bridge chief explained: “Maatsen and Broja’s moves are not going to affect the performances.

“Of course they are good players who wanted to play more.

“Maybe they didn’t see that they could play more here and that is why they are moving. It is about two parts.

“We didn’t find anyone that can improve us. We didn’t decide to sign anyone because we are happy, I think.

“It’s about opportunity, situations. We have the players  we want. Of course we can perform better and, for me, it is not a problem not to sign anyone.”

Chelsea need to bounce back after Wednesday’s 4-1 drubbing at Liverpool — but Pochettino believes they can.

The ex-Tottenham chief added: “At Tottenham I didn’t sign anyone for 18 months.

Maybe it was because we were so good at helping players to evolve.”

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