Transfer News: Attila Szalai of Fenerbahce eyed by Chelsea amidst centre-back crisis
According to Football Insider (h/t ESPN), Chelsea are interested in getting the services of Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai since they could get subjected to an overhaul in the centre-back position. He could feature for his side later today when they take on Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League.
Szalai is a regular at his club and has garnered 18 appearances in the 2021-22 season. With five clean sheets to his name, he has been rock solid at the back and has turned heads around Europe. He has played 40 matches for the Turkish team and has received just five yellow cards, showing his composure at the back.
Having joined the club in the winter transfer window of 2021, he has quickly become a crucial part of the team. His displays have attracted interest from the Blues, who have been keeping tabs to prepare for a worst-case scenario.
Thomas Tuchel’s side could lose up to four of their centre-backs at the end of the season, which would leave a glaring gap in the defence. The Hungarian has been identified as a potential replacement if such a situation arises.
Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger will become free agents in the summer of 2022 if they don’t renew their current deals. Marina Granovskaia has to prepare for the worst just in case an extension cannot be agreed upon.
Jules Kounde of Sevilla is another defender who has been shortlisted, and the English club could return for him in January. A defensive overhaul is the last thing that we would need as Tuchel has transformed the backline to make it one of the best in Europe.
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The backline is fully integrated, and the players understand each other, which has enabled us to win the UEFA Champions League and strut our stuff in the Premier League this season. Our UCL success last term was down to the commanding backline, and restructuring it would not always be an easy solution.
The Hungary international’s addition could be a useful signing indeed. But in an ideal scenario, we would want to keep hold of our players, who have already given us success.
After all, integrating players into a new set-up can take time, especially with regards to a player who does not have the experience of playing in the Premier League. That is not to say that he would not be a good signing, but that the task of replacing experienced centre-backs at a club like Chelsea can be a big ask for a youngster.
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