Reports: Chelsea plot surprise move for Italian fullback

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League
Conte's summer fortunes seem to be taking a turn for the better
Shambhu Ajith
Modified 22 Jul 2017

What's the story?

After a sputtering start, the summer seems to be growing kinder to Antonio Conte as he focusses on adding the final touches to the Chelsea line-up. Thanks to the arrivals of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata, Chelsea can now hold a funeral to their woes in the middle and up front. According to Metro, the Stamford Bridge outfit, who fear losing out to City in the race for Danilo are interested in Inter Milan full-back Antonio Candreva.

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Chelsea's time in the summer has been marred by the Lukaku debacle and Conte's subsequent vexation. But finally, everything seems to be falling in place and Chelsea want to focus on something they have put on the back-burner - getting a full back.

Chelsea were reportedly in pursuit of Danilo but the Brazilian now seems Manchester City bound. But Conte is not going to veg out and has already identified his alternative in the 30-year-old Italian Candreva and is reportedly ready to meet his valuation of £23m to land him. Alex Sandro is yet another full-back who was heavily linked with a move to West London but the situation is still cloudy.

Also read: 5 alternatives to Danilo for Chelsea

The heart of the matter

Chelsea had a spectacular 2016/17 campaign. With almost the entire squad firing on all cylinders, they ascended to the throne of the Premier League without a hitch. The inspiring performances of their full-backs; a much improved Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso were highly significant in both their metamorphosis into a 3-4-3 formation.

But now that the West London side are back in the Champions League, they need to add depth to their line-up lest they drive their stable to the ground. To serve this very purpose, Conte is willing to bring the Inter Milan right back, who is valued at £23m, to Stamford Bridge. Candreva who joined Inter from Lazio last summer was quite impressive on the flanks and picked up 6 goals and 10 assists in the Serie A. The 30-year-old also scored once in the Europa league.

A fact that works to Chelsea's advantage is that Conte has worked with Candreva during his stint as the Italian national team coach.


Author's take

With no bouts to pop up at in Europe last season, the Chelsea squad could go all out in the Premier League. Their players were considerably less fatigued than most of their competition and this is something the West Londoners capitalised on. However, now that they're returning to Europe's elite competition, they will need to get reinforcements of the premier (pun intended) quality as any slip-ups will be unbidden at Stamford Bridge.

Candreva, at 30, while being no permanent solution could still be a worthy addition to the Chelsea line-up. The Italian can play on both flanks and has at times even showed that he can be sturdy in the centre too. Chelsea should go ahead and sign him up.

Published 22 Jul 2017
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