With rumours comes expectations and with expectations comes impatience. Chelsea fans from all over the world have been dying to hear the latest gossip and news surrounding their club by refreshing their Twitter page any time they can. The latest journalists are the focal point this summer as their newest updates from their page makes instant soundwaves to the football world. Chelsea has been linked to a variety of targets that none are short of drama. The Blues are constantly getting different news from a diverse set of sources but only a few give out the correct details. There is a known shortlist for Chelsea with the main concern this window being Left-back, Centre-Back, and Goalkeeper. The slow and methodical progress of a Kai Havertz deal has also left Chelsea fans fuming with anxiety as each day passes with little advancement. People have to realize that a deal of this magnitude requires calmness and patience. In this article let us discuss several transfer targets that have been put into the spotlight as of late and analyze whether they fit into our squad.
- Thiago Silva – Centre-back
One of the latest breaking stories that have been revealed is the interest between the Brazilian defender, Thiago Silva, and Chelsea. Silva’s agent is reportedly working overtime to secure a future for the Brazilian center-back as he enters Monday a free agent. The 35-year-old has been regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe for quite a while and is surely still one of the best despite his current age. Chelsea was reluctant to give Willian a 3-year deal before making a move to our North London rivals, Arsenal a couple weeks ago. It is still unknown whether the Blues are going to offer Silva a multi-year contract but it is without question that Chelsea is considering bringing the veteran defender to Stamford Bridge to help reinforce our backline.
Thiago’s stats prove that he still brings a lot of quality attributes that Chelsea lack at the moment such as leadership and sharp defensive awareness. The inconsistency of our defense shows that making a move for the Brazilian is not a terrible idea as he can help our young defenders sharpen up areas that need improving. At the age of 35, Silva has averaged a 7.2 overall rating in the Champions League proving he’s still one of the most skillful defenders today. He has also hasn’t had a tackle success rate lower than 50% since his 2013-14 season. There is the possibility of him deteriorating skill-wise as he turns 36 in September but if Chelsea does acquire the Brazilian, he will surely boost our defensive ranks.
- Nick Pope – Goalkeeper
One of the biggest questions that have derived this past season is the future of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Kepa’s huge drop in form has put his Chelsea career in doubt and could possibly be moved this window. Several names have been rumored such as André Onana from Ajax, Dean Lille’s, Mike Maignan and Burnley’s goalkeeper, Nick Pope. The 28-year-old English goalkeeper was one of the best keepers in the 2019/20 season finishing second in the golden glove race with 15 clean sheets behind Manchester City’s Ederson 16. Pope displayed his amazing goalkeeping ability when he notched 8 impressive saves against a powerhouse Liverpool side as his saves denied them from winning the match. Pope has had a prolific last two seasons breaking into the England national team in early 2018. His surgent form has made him a potential target for the Chelsea this window as Lampard is looking for goalkeeping replacements.
Kepa finished as the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League with an abysmal 54.5% save percentage rate, the worst in league history (FotMob). The stats also show that he has conceded 8% of Chelsea’s Premier League goals since 1992 in 2 years. For 14/47 goals conceded this season, Kepa did not move in 30% of those goals. These are shocking statistics with Lampard’s motive for a new keeper can be justified given this data. We could very well see a move for Pope in the coming weeks if Chelsea do indeed want to replace the Spanish goalkeeper. Pope’s premier league experience will already be a boost if a move is made with his impressive save stopping ability and tall stature at 6’3 could help us enhance our defensive woes.
- José Gimenez – Centre-back
Another high profile name that has been linked to Chelsea is Atletico Madrid’s, Jose Maria Gimenez. The Uruguayan defender is another well-established center-back known for his strength and pace that has won him several titles in his career thus far. The South American is a bonafide rock in terms of defensive quality as his excellent pedigree demonstrates why acquiring his services would be just. The only worrying factor is his health history as he often is prone to injury. He sustained 6 muscle injuries in the 2019/20 season with his notable toe injury keeping him out for a total of 47 days. This could be a key factor in the final verdict of bringing in the 25-year old to London as his injury history could prove troublesome for his future. One of the biggest upsides for acquiring Jose is his consistency and experience at such a young age with a move to Chelsea only improving us further.
When at his best, Gimenez thrives in numerous areas especially in the air. Jose has not had an aerial duel rate lower than 72% since his move to Atletico Madrid in 2013 (Fbref.com). He is also very efficient on the ground possessing an 80% tackle rate in his 2019/20 campaign. Jose was impressive in the Champions League despite Atletico’s elimination in the quarter-finals as he was able to track down the off the ball runs and win 9 out his 13 duels against Leipzig’s attackers. Gimenez’s recent interview with La Liga revealed that he grew up watching the Blues when he was young and that he would have loved to play with Frank Lampard during his playing days. This was music to Chelsea fan’s ears as a possible move to Chelsea could be more feasible after his reported liking to the club. These rumors all stemmed from a report from Chelsea early in July as Lampard seemingly sent scouts to evaluate the Uruguayan defender. It is still unknown if the interest from Chelsea is accurate but any move for the defender will be well received in the fanbase.
This transfer window is far from over with many possible deals getting ready to reach its conclusion by the end of the month. Chelsea could very well see up to 3 new acquisitions by September and see some current Blues exit from our clubs. With the signings of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Frank Lampard is seemingly getting the trust of the Chelsea hierarchy, something we haven’t seen since the Jose Mourinho days. It is quite refreshing to see the manager getting backed after the past turmoil between past managers and the board. This new trust between the front office and the managerial staff could signify bright exciting things for Chelsea’s future.
–FotMob football statistic app, onefootball app, Fbref.com, LDN Football (Twitter), UEFA.COM, Premier League app.