Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged Chelsea to look inwardly in their search to find a striker to provide competition and support to first-choice forward Alvaro Morata.

Amidst reports of Chelsea expressing interest in target men Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch and Ashley Barnes, the former England defender suggested that Tammy Abraham, the young Blues forward who is currently on loan at Swansea, may be a better option.

“Andy Carrol just got injured and Peter Crouch has been a great player over the years but is coming to the end of his career,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “Chelsea have had Tammy Abraham in their ranks, who is a tall, rangy player. You’d put him on the side of being a target man. So maybe he fits that bill – why isn’t he being brought back from loan to fill that part?”

Chelsea growing ‘desperate’ in striker hunt

Leading frontman Morata has not been in the best of form recently, and Antonio Conte’s lack of alternatives was exposed as Chelsea drew three successive Premier League fixtures 0-0 this month for the first time in their history.

According to media reports, Conte does not have faith in Michy Batshuayi and is prepared to let the Belgian leave the club on loan this month. Both Crouch and Barnes are far from being ideal options to replace the 24-year-old, and it could be suggested that Chelsea may have become a little desperate by even entertaining potential moves for them.

Crouch will soon be 37 years old and although he was undoubtedly a good player during his day, he is now well past his best. He has performed decently this season, though, and with Stoke in the relegation mix, they may not be open to letting him go as they will need to use all of their resources wisely in order to avoid the drop.

Header image: “07 Tammy Abraham, Samuel Clucas & Tom Ca” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald