Chelsea are now five Premier League games into the 2019/20 season, and if anything is crystal clear about The Blues so far, it has got to be the fact that we are extremely vulnerable at the back. Chelsea have conceded 13 PL goals so far this season, and only Norwich City have conceded more, which is an extremely worrying stat. Despite a sizeable injury list which definitely is holding us back a bit, we cannot make excuses. The bottom line is, despite having some young talented centre backs already at the club, Chelsea have been crying out for a long term leader ever since the departure of our Legend, John Terry. With a big summer of transfers looming in 2020, the club have many decisions to make regarding recruitment, including the high possibility of signing a new centre back, which in my own opinion, they should look no further than Ruben Dias of Benfica.
Ruben Dias is a 22 year old Portuguese centre back who plays his share of football for Portuguese Champions Benfica, in the Primeira Liga. After representing his local club Estrela da Amadora for a couple seasons, he got accepted to Benfica’s youth set up in 2008. after about almost ten seasons playing for Benfica’s youth sides and the B team, he got a chance to make his breakthrough in early 2017, where he made his senior debut for The Eagles in a league match against Boavista. following his debut, he has since played 60 matches for the club between 2017 and the present, scoring six goals along the way, and picking up the Primeira Liga young player of the year award in 2018, following his impressive breakthrough campaign.
Like a few other Benfica players I was blessed to watch during the UEL last season along with Chelsea of course, Dias instantly stood out to me among others, and I am quite sure he would be an amazing fit for us in the Premier League. Standing at 187cm, Dias is an incredibly calm defender – whether it’s playing out of the back or making a recovery tackle. His ball playing abilities remind me a bit of David Luiz’s; confident, crisp, ground passes, coupled with accurate long balls and even some perfectly weighted through balls. defensively, the Portuguese player is not someone you would want to face as an attacker. he is an incredibly patient 1 v 1 defender and will almost always end up winning the ball off an attacker. What fascinates me most about him his how confidently he can make last ditch recoveries and tackles. Something in which the Chelsea Faithful would dream of seeing in a centre back.
Is He Worth It?
In terms of whether he’s got the ability to play for us, I have full confidence in the lad. there is already so much to his name that can prove that. For starters, he captained benfica at youth level on countless occasions, which all but confirms his status as a natural leader on the pitch. Internationally speaking, he is already a mainstay in the backline of the Portuguese National team, currently on 13 appearances. Furthermore, two of those appearances came in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, where he played the full 90’s of both the semi final and final. Would you like to take a guess at who was awarded MOTM on the night of the final in which Portugal won? That is right, the man of the moment, Ruben Dias. for a 22 year old centre back to walk home as the player of the match in a big final for his country, it was an incredible feat, and is just one of many suggestions that he really has IT.
In terms of a price tag, he obviously won’t come dirt cheap. Having been impressing on the European stage for two fulls seasons, his stock has drastically increased. Clubs such as Lyon, Arsenal, and Juventus were all once linked with him, before he penned a new contract with Benfica in 2018 for five more years. though his current market value lies around £30 million, his club would unlikely sell for less than about £50 million. However in todays market, that is not necessarily too bad for a player in his position, as we have recently seen players such as Matthijs de Ligt, Harry Maguire, Lucas Hernandez, and Virgil van Dijk all sign for prices over at least £75 million.
If you were to ask me if I would want a £50+ million defender who is 22 years of age and already proven, you already have my vote. For a player of his quality – including leadership, potential, supreme talent, and best of all, big game experience, he could be exactly what we would want in a true marquee signing for the backline. Our defence is in dire need of improvement, and should we sign him, I believe he potentially remain here for at least a decade and have a similar impact to that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.