Conte Looking To Sign Bundesliga Defender Who Rejected A €30m Offer In The Summer Transfer Window

Antonio Conte calls for the Chelsea crowd to increase the volume

Reports have been circulating that Antonio Conte is plotting a move for Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule to increase options in his defensive ranks. (ESPN)

For Chelsea fans, he isn’t a new name as the club was linked with the 21-year-old in the previous transfer window. Not many players turn down offers from Stamford Bridge yet Sule did. According to the player’s agent, he eschewed a €30 million move to west London to continue his development at Hoffenheim. Despite declining the offer, it’s applaudable that the young defender was wise to choose development rather than being enticed by big money moves that have derailed many tender talents’ career. The aftermath saw David Luiz returning to Chelsea from PSG on the deadline day.

Things are looking pretty good for Conte’s side, especially their defence, considering how they started the season. They held six clean sheets in a row before last weekend’s London Derby when Christian Eriksen rifled in the opener. The settled partnership of the three-man backline is here to stay unless any injuries or poor form. Thus, it’s safe to say that Sule would be one of the future as both John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic are out of contract in the summer with chances of extensions are slim.

Niklas Sule

A handful of defenders were linked earlier to Chelsea, yet Sule seems to be the top of the shortlist. His current team employs the similar three-man backline and the German international knows the role inside out. He also has a good passing vision to open up leeway for attackers before him with 89% accuracy so far this term. Apart from the style of play, what first catches the eye is his towering physique. Standing at 6′ 4″, no doubt the centre-back has great aerial prowess which also translates to threat in the opposition box during set pieces. Visualising him alongside Kurt Zouma at the heart of the defence, attackers would absolutely have a tough time finding a way through this brick wall.

David Luiz has been impeccable since returning to Chelsea yet he is rather known for sluggish tackles and fouls here and then that have cost the team. Another big uptick for Sule is he rarely gives away fouls and had only picked up four yellow cards last season.

He has also equally impressed at international level, being a part of the squad at every level since the under-16s. Most recently, he bagged a silver medal at the Olympics Games in Rio, which is said to be the moment he caught the attention of Conte.

Sule is under contract with his club until June 2019 and another European giant that has shown interest to secure his signature are Bayern Munich. Adding him to the squad in January would clearly be a boost for Chelsea to maintain their momentum in the title race but on a bigger picture, Sule has the qualities to be a successor of John Terry or Gary Cahill.

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