Maurizio Sarri’s delayed appointment as Chelsea manager means it’s unlikely that he secured all his top targets before the window closed.
The Daily Mail reported that the former Napoli boss was keen to bring a new centre-back to the Bridge; Daniele Rugani from Juventus.
Former Chelsea man Pat Nevin has named one current defender who can make Sarri forget about multi-million pound targets; Ethan Ampadu.
He wrote for the club’s official website: “Anyone who watched our game against Lyon will be aware that Ethan Ampadu is very likely to push David Luiz, Toni Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill as much as just about any other centre-back we could have thrown £50million or £60million at.”
He didn’t mention Rugani or any other target by name, but Nevin’s message is clear. Ampadu is such a talent that he doesn’t want another big-money recruit further block his path to the first team.
That problem that impacts Chelsea’s youngsters probably more than at any other club in the Premier League.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek enjoyed an impressive World Cup but has returned to Chelsea to see two new roadblocks; Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, between him and a regular first-team berth.
Cahill’s advancing years means that Ampadu, as well as Christensen, should now be given games. Deputies to Luiz and Rudiger – who look set to be first choice under Sarri – are needed
The Italian likes being adventurous with his playing style; it would go a long way with the fans if he had similar guts when selecting young players.
With Ampadu specifically, the main worry at centre-half is his physical stature; but only gametime will show up whether that’s a major issue or not.