5 centre-back options Chelsea can pursue
With John Terry not getting any younger, Cahill losing his mojo and Zouma out, Chelsea needs re-enforcements at the back.
Chelsea completed the worst title defence in Premier League history last season as they finished a miserable 10th in the table. Though the attack did not have the bite of the previous season, a major part of Chelsea’s misfortunes lay in their shambolic defensive displays. The Blues conceded a massive 53 goals last season compared to 32 the year before.
John Terry, who had played every single minute of the league in 2014-15 was expected to lead the side again to league glory. But it was not to be, as his age finally caught up with him. Terry was never praised for his speed, but his reading of the game won him plaudits over the years.
Last season, Terry was often left stranded unable to catch up with the fast attackers, or sometimes he would switch off which was something very unlike him. Added to Terry’s performances were Kurt Zouma’s injury and Gary Cahill’s dip in form .
No proper reinforcement in the defensive area last summer meant that Branislav Ivanovic had to often deputise at centre-back which didn’t help Chelsea’s cause. The fans were often left wondering what had become of their defence which was so famed. A number of players have been linked with the Blues this season to become John Terry’s successor. However, no player comes cheap these days with clubs asking for astronomical prices for every position.
We take a look at five players who could be an option at centre-back for the Blues.
#1 Leonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci has developed into one of the best centre-backs in the world in his time at Juventus. The Italian, who came to the limelight when Antonio Conte was the manager of Juventus, has been one of the key figures in the Italian side’s five consecutive Serie A titles.
Described as a ball-playing centre-back with great technique and passing range, the defender could prove to play a vital role for the Blues in the transition from defence to attack.
Bonucci impressed in Euro 2016 in the three-man defence of, and if Conte adopts the 3-5-2 in Chelsea as well, the 29-year-old would fit seamlessly at the centre with Zouma and Cahill on either side.
However, Bonucci would not come cheap, with Juventus apparently insistent on not letting the world-class stopper go at any cost. A swap deal for Nemanja Matic, whom Juventus is said to have an interest in, and a few extra million could see the Italian moving to London in the summer.