In the previous article [Part 1], the Left back position was treated. This is the continuation. The next area that should be strengthened this summer is the midfield.
For the last two or three seasons, the club have been left with inferior partnerships at the base of the midfield [the pivot position]. Most players that have been used in the pivot position are either not good enough [in terms of their abilities] or not good enough to play in that area. From the likes of Raul Meireles to Frank Lampard, they’ve all been square pegs in round holes.
Chelsea got closer to perfection when the club sanctioned the deal that brought back Nemanja Matic from Portugal. Matic has been a revelation since he signed in January. There have been improvements since then. Now Chelsea have to complete the transformation by signing a creative Center Midfielder – a younger version of Frank Lampard if you will. A player that initiates attack, gets forward when necessary, score goals and mindful of his defensive duties.
There are many options out there but two stands out of the pack. These two will fit into the style Jose Mourinho has in place at Chelsea. They are Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal. Both midfielders are currently on the books of Juventus and they are exactly what Chelsea need right now – if they want to challenge for tittles on all fronts next season.
A lot of people are familiar with the story of Pogba – how he gradually became one of the best midfielders in Europe. After his unfruitful journey at Manchester United, the French player went on to become a key part of the Juventus team. Pogba has been outstanding since he joined the Turin based club. Rapidly developing his talent and potential over the last two seasons, the former Manchester united man is not even close to becoming a finished article.
Pogba is a complete machine. A dynamic box-to-box midfielder, he has all the attributes a manager can demand for. He has the pace, strength and vision. He will complement Matic well at the base of the midfield. The partnership will allow the attacking department to do their work well without thinking too much about the defence
Statistics [Serie A]
Matches Played: 36 [Sub: 3], Minutes Played: 3068, Yellow Cards: 4, Red Cards: 1, Interceptions:37, Duels won: 288, Aerial Duels won: 81, Tackles: 84, Tackles won: 63, Clearances: 36, Blocked Shots: 6, Total Passes: 1528, Pass Accuracy: 84%, Total Crosses: 73, Successful crosses: 16, Fouls Conceded: 87, Assists: 7, Total Shots: 59, Shots on Target: 29, Goals: 7.
Vidal is another midfielder that will fit in at Stamford Bridge. The Chilean who is in his late 20s has been one of the best players in his position in recent years. He ranks up there with the best. Vidal was a joy to watch in the just concluded Serie A season alongside 21-year-old Paul Pogba.
While it is understood that Pogba is still developing, Vidal is there already. A midfielder in the mold of Vidal orchestrating play from midfield together with Matic will turn Chelsea into a perfect team.
Statistics [Serie A]
Matches Played: 32 [Sub: 4], Minutes Played: 2441, Yellow Cards: 8, Red Cards: 0, Interceptions: 39, Duels won: 220, Aerial Duels won: 43, Tackles: 130, Tackles won: 96, Clearances: 17, Blocked Shots: 3, Total Passes: 1469, Pass Accuracy: 84%, Total Crosses: 56, Successful crosses: 8, Fouls Conceded: 74, Assists: 5, Total Shots: 48, Shots on Target: 19, Goals: 11.
Other names that are worth looking at are Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos and Atletico Madrid’s Koke.
One of the major reasons why Chelsea could not win some matches during the just concluded season is because there were no goals from the top. With Demba Ba, Samuel Eto’o and a disappointing Fernando Torres, Chelsea lacked the much needed fire power in front of goal. As a result, Chelsea were unable to kill games off even with a lot of chances. Chelsea have to correct that this summer.
Samuel Eto’o is on his way out of the club. One of Ba and Torres should follow. It remains unclear if on loan Striker, Romelu Lukaku will feature in Mourinho plans next season. Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, Mario Mandzukic of Bayern Munich and Edinson Cavani of PSG are all fantastic strikers Chelsea Can go for this summer.
Diego Costa has been linked with Chelsea for a long time. Some reports have even suggested the fact that Chelsea have a deal in place to sign the prolific striker. His goals propelled Atletico to La Liga glory. There’s no reason why Chelsea shouldn’t go for him.
Statistics [La Liga]: 35 appearances, 27 goals, 3 assists, 94 shots in total, 54 shots on target, 781 passes, 76% passing accuracy, 7 yellow cards, 63 fouls committed.
Mario Mandzukic is another option Chelsea can turn to this summer. He will probably be a temporary fix that could perform at a high level for the next 2-4 years. He will definitely be cheap considering the fact that Pep Guardiola wants to offload him. This choice will only work for Chelsea when there’s is another top striker in place.
Statistics [Bundesliga]:30 appearances, 18 goals, 4 assists, 65 shots in total, 45 shots on target, 525 passes, 72% passing accuracy, 5 yellow cards, 48 fouls committed.
Edinson Cavani is another interesting striker that can solve the problem in the attacking department. His exploits with Napoli in the Serie A can’t be forgotten and he has continued with his fine form at PSG [in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic]. If the rumour [that he’s not happy at PSG] is true, it makes everything easier. If Chelsea are serious about a deal, they can get it. He will be very expensive but it will be worthwhile.
Statistics [Ligue1]: 30 appearances, 16 goals, 2 assists, 77 shots in total, 34 shots on target, 718 passes, 85% passing accuracy, 2 yellow cards, 24 fouls committed.
If Chelsea can cover all the three positions [Left Back, Midfield and Attack] this summer, the club will be more formidable next season. The aforementioned players are pieces that fit quite well into Jose Mourinho’s Jigsaw puzzle.