| Crespo well-suited to English football’s physical demands
London: Argentina striker Hernan Crespo signed for Chelsea in a £16.8 million ($26.28 million) deal on Tuesday.
Crespo, who has joined the big-spending English Premier League club from Inter Milan on a four-year contract, was presented to the Stamford Bridge fans at halftime in their 3-0 victory over MSK Zilina.
The victory rounded out a 5-0 win on aggregate in the Champions League’s third qualifying round tie and means the 28-year-old striker will be playing for Chelsea in the group phase of European club football’s flagship competition.
Before then, Crespo could make his debut for the Premier League club in Saturday’s home game against Blackburn Rovers if his international clearance comes through in time.
Chelsea’s Italian coach Claudio Ranieri said: “He is another very good player and a very important player for us. He is a fantastic striker, very fast, very good in the air and scores a lot of goals.”
Ranieri said that Crespo, the second top scorer in the Champions League last season, would have no problem fitting in with the rigours of the Premier League after Serie A.
“I think Crespo has all the characteristics that are good for English football,” said Ranieri. “He will be like a little lion.”
The move took the west London club’s spending to nearly 100 million pounds since Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich took over last month.
Crespo will team up with compatriot and fellow newcomer Juan Sebastian Veron, who has already made his mark in midfield after joining from English champions Manchester United. “I am sure that they will play very well together,” said Ranieri of the South American pair. “They have known each other since the under-21 days in Argentina and they will link very well together.”
Like Gianluca Vialli and Gianfranco Zola before him, Crespo arrives at Stamford Bridge with a track record as one of the top forwards in Italy’s Serie A.