TCC View: Chelsea should consider 27-year-old title winner as new replacement for Chilwell, he's a free agent in June

Wing-back is the buzzword for Chelsea this month.

Injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell have forced the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to survey the continent in search of suitable replacements.

Their search has led them to Merseyside, Barcelona and Lyon.

Who have Chelsea indentified?

Everton’s wantaway man Lucas Digne looked like he might make the move to London, but Aston Villa had other ideas.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Sergino Dest is still under consideration, yet the American international reportedly wants to keep peace with Barcelona and stay true to his contract.

An early recall for Emerson Palmieri remains an option, with Chelsea willing to pay Lyon a compensation fee in order to cut his loan spell short.

Whilst all three of these players are being juggled up in the air, we have kindly located another full-back alternative that the Blues might want to consider.

Remember the name Reinildo 

Sticking with the French theme, Lille’s Reinildo Mandava is seemingly going under the radar in terms of transfer targets across the profession.

Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

This feels strange, considering only last season he helped Lille to their first Ligue 1 title since 2011.

During that triumphant campaign, Mandava played 35 times across all competitions as the club’s primary left-back.

Although Lille’s defence has stuttered and spluttered, the 27-year-old defender continues to prove a worthy asset.

According to WhoScored.com, Mandava has made more tackles (37) than any left-back in the French top flight this term.

Stats tell a story

He also first for blocked crosses (eight), joint second for interceptions (26) and second outright for clearances (35).

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Ironically, the man beating him in the latter department is none other than Emerson.

In fact, the pair have been in a statistical standoff for most of the year.

Mandava is one ahead in the aerial battle (35 duels won compared to Emerson’s 35), although the Italian leads the way for passes (830 to 626) and key passes (17 to four).

Whilst the Chelsea loanee arguably offers more offensively, Lille’s number 28 is a defensive force to be reckoned with.

Plus, Mandava is out of contract in the summer, meaning the Blues could find the route to his signature more straightforward than their other January assignments.

We’ve done the scouting report for you, Marina, it’s now up to you to seal the deal.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.