The former Premier League striker, who became the most expensive player in world football when he moved to Lazio in 2000, believes Chelsea will pay the price for missing out on Romelu Lukaku this summer.
Crespo thinks the failed deal cost them the title and it leaves them desperately needing players with their first game against Burnley just hours away.
The Argentine has called on Chelsea to sign three more – and he thinks there’s a small chance that Inter’s Ivan Perisic could be one of them.
Crespo, speaking in collaboration with Betstars, said: “It’s possible he [Perisic] joins Chelsea – but he plays on the left and on the left you have Eden Hazard, Perisic and Marcos Alonso.
“Maybe he could come in through the middle or to the right. Perisic is a good player but I don’t know if Inter wants to sell. I think ‘no’ but it depends on money. It’s always the same. It depends on money.
“If you put a lot of money down, even Inter will sell him, but they don’t want to sell him.
“Romelu Lukaku is the one but that didn’t happen. It’s a weird situation to understand Antonio Conte’s need to change or follow him in the next 20 days.
“He needs signings if he wants to repeat and win the league. He did a great job last year but if you want to keep going and win you need to put in two or three pieces.
“Where? It depends on Conte. They could do with another striker, for sure. It’s true that Alvaro Morata is good but he’s a different player to Diego Costa.
“It’s not only a striker but Nemanja Matic going to Manchester United needs them needing another centre-midfielder – and a centre-back.”
As for Lukaku, Crespo purred: “I think Lukaku is the best but at the same time it was impossible to change.
“If we want to win the league you need this kind of striker.”
But the Argentine has an answer. He thinks Chelsea’s solution could be a move for Tottenham’s Harry Kane – albeit next summer, not now.
Crespo said: “Harry Kane is a great striker but he’s just like Tottenham. You need to win. If you win you are a great striker, you need to win. He’s demonstrated he’s very important.
“Kane needs to help the team win trophies and to do it with Tottenham would be great. He tried to do it last year and didn’t. If it doesn’t happen, Harry Kane must change. He must.
“He must move to win, to a big team, to Chelsea, although Chelsea would be difficult.
“Maybe Manchester City, why not? Manchester United after signing Romelu Lukaku would be difficult. Next season, everything could change with Kane.”
Crespo played under Mourinho – “a great man” he smiles – and thinks they’re on course for a title challenge.
Although it could come at a cost. The giants Mourinho has assembled could lead to a boring playing style that upsets Old Trafford fans, he thinks.
“Mourinho will play with Lukaku and Matic – it’s a tough team,” he says. “I don’t know if, when you got to Old Trafford, you are happy to watch this kind of football.
“Maybe you prefer the Mauricio Pochettino way or the Pep Guardiola way, but Jose is always fighting.
“Last year, he demonstrated everything. Maybe they didn’t fight for the title but his team won three trophies.
“It’s very tough because the Premier League has very good managers with very strong teams. It’s very difficult. I think before the end of the transfer window, Conte will not repeat the title.
“But I think it will be between Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. I like so much Guardiola. I think he’s the best but Mourinho… I don’t want to say he doesn’t feel the pressure because he does – but he still wins.”
Liverpool are on course for less lofty heights, though. Philippe Coutinho yesterday handed in a transfer request and looks set to leave the club to join Barcelona.
Crespo thinks he could fill the void but Neymar’s shoes are big ones to fill.
He said: “Whoever comes if less than Neymar or you choose another Messi and put there, or you choose Cristiano Ronaldo and put there. Anyone else would be less.
“They are great players but less. Coutinho is a very good player but he’s not Neymar. It will be difficult to play in this position with another player.
“The same for Paulo Dybala. He is good but it’s not his position because it’s the left-foot – and that’s not Dybala.
“There’s not many players who can replace Neymar. One is Cristiano Ronaldo but it’s difficult for that to happen.”
Hernan Crespo has made the Big Call with online betting site BetStars. He is backing Manchester United to win the Premier League. #CallIt at www.betstars.uk/sites/football/crespo/
Published at Sat, 12 Aug 2017 05:19:00 +0000