To say it’s been a season to forget for Chelsea so far would be an understatement, with the Blues already reportedly seeking summer reinforcements for Mauricio Pochettino. As Todd Boehly prepares to splash the cash once again, talks have supposedly opened to beat Newcastle United and Arsenal to a midfield target.
Chelsea transfer news
It’s a rare occasion when Chelsea aren’t in the headlines for their transfer activity, but January was a quiet month for those at Stamford Bridge, barring departures such as Armando Broja and Ian Maatsen. This comes despite Pochettino’s December admission that his squad were lacking something. The Argentine said via The Premier League’s official website:
“After the first half of the season, we need to check. That is the reality. If we are not receiving enough, maybe we need to do some movement. That is the thing to analyse with the sporting directors, to see if we can change this dynamic and improve in the second half of the season.”
Two months later and there was, of course, no movement when it came to incomings, as the Argentine was forced to stick with what he’s got amid a stagnating period in mid-table. Transfers could prove to be worth the wait, however. According to Spanish outlet Sport via TeamTalk, Boehly and Chelsea have made contact to sign Amadou Onana from Everton, alongside London rivals Arsenal, with both clubs in talks.
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In a tight battle to secure the Belgian’s signature this summer, it could come down to who’s willing to match Everton’s reported £70m price-tag, in what could prove to be one of the most expensive deals of the transfer window. Given that Chelsea splashed out to sign Moises Caicedo just last year, it will be interesting to see where Onana would slot in at Stamford Bridge, should they complete a deal.
“Unique” Onana can add balance to Chelsea’s midfield
By solving their midfield, Chelsea may see most of their current problems come to an end. The talent is certainly there too, with a World Cup winner in Enzo Fernandez and another player whoa arrived at over £100m last summer in Caicedo. But the Blues are arguably lacking one more standout star in a role that Onana can step into at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian could slot in next to Caicedo to form a pivot in the middle of the park, handing Fernandez the freedom to move forward, in the process.
Stats (via FBref)
It’s no surprise, given the numbers, that former Belgium manager Roberto Martinez was so full of praise for Onana when he completed his Everton move. Martinez said that Onana has a “unique profile” before going on to say:
“Someone with such physical presence and dynamism is needed, just think of [Marouane] Fellaini in 2018. He is also a leader on the pitch who has made strides in his career. From Germany, to France and now the Premier League… He deserves this.”