Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is keen to strengthen his left side this summer
The Blues are experiencing their first transfer window under new ownership and have so far enjoyed more frustration than success. Signing Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly have softened the twin blows landed on us by Barcelona in the Raphinha and Jules Kounde pursuits.
Chelsea’s pre-season outings have left much to be desired. The recent 4-0 thrashing against Arsenal have exposed the Blues’ soft underbelly and there is still much work to be done at Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2022/23 season.
Tuchel is keen to play a back three next season and is seeking a player who can play on the left side of his three-man rearguard. It appears to be the priority as we enter crunch time in the 2022 transfer window.
“We are looking for guys who can play on the left side.”
The loss of Antonio Rudiger was a bitter pill to swallow and the Blues need to urgently replace their former star. Tuchel hopes that Kopulibaly can don the role he seeks but is far from sure if the solution is tenable.
“Toni [Rudiger] played on the left side and was not a left-footed guy, so maybe Kalidou can play there because he plays in a back-four on the left side, but let’s see what is possible.”
The Chelsea boss is not keen to bring in numbers for the sake of it. He appears to be seeking the right fit for the role. It makes sense for the club to land a player who is naturally a left-footed centre-back. That should make the transition to a new-look rearguard as smooth as possible.
“It is not only about bringing players in for numbers; we need numbers, we also need quality so we will make some decisions late, not only about players but also about systems. Ideally we would have a left-footer.”
Chelsea have been linked to several centre-backs this summer only to fall short of getting a deal over the line. Matthijs de Ligt chose to move to Bayern Munich while Nathan Ake will now remain at Manchester City. Long-term target Jules Kounde also appears to be on his way to Barcelona in what is a bitter pill to swallow for the Blues recruitment team.
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An ideal player who meets Tuchel’s stipulations is Villarreal ace Pau Torres. The 25-year-old is on Chelsea’s radar and is also a left-footed ball carrier to boot. Add to it his leadership and experience and the Blues could be getting themselves a real difference maker.
Whether Chelsea will go all out to land the Spanish international or explore other avenues remains to be seen. With the 2022/23 season just nearing, there is no time to lose for Tuchel and co.
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