There certainly seems to be more of a settled air around Chelsea, with Morata, Rudiger and Bakayoko confirmed. The spine is seemingly settled with just wing backs and cover for the central midfield positions to be filled. Christensen seems to have impressed Conte enough that he will be given more of an opportunity to gain some minutes this season. The game against Bayern, whilst disappointing on result, showed our spirit when behind is still there and we were greatly improved in the second half. This is a Chelsea side remember that was missing our first choice front three from last season with Pedro, Hazard and Costa all unavailable. Matic is also out in the cold at the moment.
Lewis Baker and Nemanja Matic are our current back ups for central midfield. This is less than ideal with Matic out in the cold and due to leave and Baker without any Premier League experience. A back up is needed, which leads us to rumours today of:
Rating – 7
Impressive in running the game against us this week, Sanches is the type of player we should have been trying to sign last summer. Unfortunately, Bayern Munich were a lot more proactive than us and secured Sanches before the rest of Europe were aware as to how loaded with potential the Portuguese was. Reports suggest that we are in yet another battle with Man Utd for a player. Hopefully Conte’s positive relationship with Ancelotti will provide us with an advantage in getting a wonderfully talented player. Dynamic on the ball and forward thinking, he would add another layer to the skills we possess currently. Fabregas is wonderful but hasn’t got the ability to go past players. Kante is all over the place, the best in the league but perhaps lacks that technical ability at the highest level. Bakayoko is a beast but how good is his shooting. Sanches is very good at all of the above. A loan deal would be great. Maybe he’ll love playing in London and won’t want to leave, who knows?
A wing back or two is a must this summer. We need an improvement on both Moses and Alonso. Both were very good last year but will either get better? And with the increase in the number of games to be played next season, it’s going to be a tough ask for both to maintain a high level of performance whilst playing both midweek and weekend. We have been linked for a while now with:
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain
Rating – 8
Able to play on both the right and left-hand side? Check. Experience of playing as a wing back? Check. Able to fill in well as a central midfielder in case of an injury crisis? Check. English and therefore home grown? Check. This deal makes perfect sense for Chelsea and to see a player of such potential be wasted with links to Stoke, Crystal Palace and Newcastle is a shame. It looks like 25m will be enough to tempt Arsenal to sell, even to a rival, which is nothing to Chelsea. We would automatically have cover for both sides as well as an auxiliary midfielder if needed. Conte would be the perfect manager for The Ox. The talent is there. It needs nurturing and we have the perfect person to do so. This transfer makes too much sense not to happen.
As said before, there is certainly more of a positive air around Chelsea at the moment. Conte seems placated but cannot allow this to be the end of the spending and cannot allow the board to go for cheap back up options. We need quality and plenty of it. Signing the above two would go a long way to filling some gaps in the squad, and with real quality.