Do we have actual movement??? Recent days have shown that maybe we are actually interested in signing players. Not just backup keepers but actual first team, world class talents.
The one that we have been most strongly linked with over the weekend is Alex Sandro. He’s fairly well known after Juventus’ fantastic Champions League performance but I’ve been doing some further digging.
Pace – Anyone watching Juventus this season will have seen how well they use their wing backs. Conte has done a similar thing at the Bridge this season, using Moses and Alonso as outlets, overloading on teams and eventually wearing them down. See the first goal against Arsenal last season. Now, the one downside has been Alonso’s lack of pace and always cutting back in. Sandro offers more dynamic wing play, is able to beat a man and put a ball into the box.
Tactical Nous – Playing at Juventus is probably the best way for any burgeoning defender to learn his trade. Buffon, Chiellini and the imperious Bonucci are some of the best defensive minds in the world. Over the past two years, whilst Alex Sandro has been at Juventus, the change in his defensive ability has been stark. Once driving forward with no mind for anything behind him, he is now much more aligned with the Italian way of thinking. Still massively dynamic and still driving forward, beating players and whipping the ball in, he now picks and chooses his moments more carefully, always making sure that there is cover, always making sure he is positioned correctly should any attack break down. He has mentioned his idols as Patrice Evra and Roberto Carlos and he is making a case to be classed in the same way as the two former world class wing backs.
Flexibility – One of the key things that came out of Chelsea’s second half of the season was how flexible the team was. Willian and Pedro were both adept at playing both left and right of the wingback position, Hazard was dropping deep, Costa running out wide and Azpi filling in as a centre midfielder to help with the aforementioned overload. Where this fits with Alex Sandro is that we are not just signing a left wing back. He is more than capable of filling in the left side of the three-man defence as well as being able to push forward into the Hazard position, able to leave his defensive duties behind and show his attacking ability. Three positions for the price of one….which brings us to…
Price – 60m has been bandied about over the weekend, some saying that even that amount wouldn’t be enough to convince Juve to sell. Chelsea need at least four top class players this summer but we have a budget and we need to be careful with it. Spending over 60m would be a massive risk but, it would also fill in two gaps in the squad as mentioned above. It’s a risk we should take in my opinion. Find out what Juve want and give it to them.
It looks like we are finally looking to do business. As with last season, there could be a lot of backstage negotiations going on without TwitterWorld knowing about it. I am as tetchy as everyone but with everything like the new kit deal about to become official, we could see some real movement at the Bridge. Let’s hope so.