Chelsea are reportedly monitoring a number of players to bolster their defence including Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake.
The five goals conceded in yesterday’s loss against Liverpool highlighted Chelsea’s defensive problems under Frank Lampard.
Although Kepa Arrizabalaga stole the spotlight due to his overall poor performances this season, the defenders were not entirely blameless either.
There were arguably not much they could have done about Naby Keita’s screamer or Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick, but the remaining Liverpool’s goals, especially the Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal from a corner-kick were far from unstoppable.
And according to a report from the Telegraph, Chelsea have scouted several potential centre-back targets.
Jose Gimenez – Atletico Madrid
The first name mentioned was Atletico’s Gimenez.
The 25-year-old has had injury problems, but it’s difficult to argue against his quality when he is fit.
Standing at 6ft1inch (185cm), Gimenez has won 76.4% of his aerial duels in La Liga this season (FBref) which would make him fit Lampard’s idea of getting taller defenders to boost Chelsea’s set-piece defence.
The Uruguay international has £109million release clause in his contract, and Chelsea will have to negotiate to reduce the price should they want to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
Declan Rice – West Ham United
The second name on the Telegraph report was West Ham captain Rice.
The former Chelsea academy player predominantly plays as a defensive midfielder, but with his stature (185cm) and defensive qualities, he would have no problem playing as a centre-back.
He has also played as CB once for West Ham this season (Whoscored).
However, West Ham are reportedly not interested in parting with their ace and they value him at £80m.
Nathan Ake – Bournemouth
The third and the final name on the report is a former Blues, Ake.
The report said he would by far be the cheapest option, but unlike the previous two, Ake (5ft 11inch – 180cm) does not really have the height Lampard could want.
The Bournemouth defender also won just 52.5% of headed duels in the Premier League this season (FBref).
At the moment, Lampard has Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma as his centre-back options, with Cesar Azpilicueta also capable of playing in a back three.