Report: Chelsea now keen to sign 'unbeatable' defender who is 'so fast', he's been compared to Puyol

Chelsea are reportedly attracted to the idea of signing Barcelona’s young defender, Ronald Araujo.

This is according to Sport, who suggest that Barca are well aware of the interest surrounding Araujo from the Champions League holders.

Araujo’s adventures

The 22-year-old joined the Spanish side in 2018, leaving Boston River for the larger canvas of La Liga.

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He initially linked up with Garcia Pimienta’s B-team, but it did not take long for the Uruguayan international to earn a promotion.

This came as little surprise to those working within the club, who instantly recognised the centre-back’s talents.

“He’s an excellent defender, he was when he arrived at Barcelona,” said Pimienta on Araujo.

“He’s fast, strong, divisive, aggressive, good in the air. He reminds me of (Carlos) Puyol.

“In open space he’s unbeatable because he’s so fast, quicker than Puyol.”

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That is one hell of a comparison to make, with certain expectations to follow suit.

Puyol was arguably the finest centre-half of his generation, so to even be mentioned in the same breath as him is an honour.

Of course, Araujo has quite a stretch ahead of him to reach the Spaniard’s levels.

Yet, the early signs are promising.

He has since played 53 senior matches for Barca, following his elevation from the youth ranks.

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A hamstring injury caused him to miss five matches this season.

Other than that, Araujo has been a regular in the team, either as a starter or appearing as a substitute.

But where do Chelsea come into the equation?

Well, their maths is pretty simple.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta could all be deducted from the squad if their contracts are not renewed before January.

This subtraction is looking most likely for Rudiger, whose wage demands are reportedly causing a problem.

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Take away the German from the calculation – and possibly another of his colleagues – then the Blues will need to double their transfer efforts.

Hence the apparent likening of Araujo, who only has two years left on his current Barca 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.