Chelsea are reportedly keen to buy Valencia right wing-back Joah Cancelo and it looks as if the deal could happen.
Chelsea transfer target Joao Cancelo could be moving to the blues this summer as Valencia are under pressure to sell in order to meet Financial Fair Play requirements.
The 22-year-old is a regular starter for Valencia and for the Portugal national team.
Valencia are willing to sell the star for around £26million in the summer and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is keen to buy him.
Conte tried to sign him in January according to reports but Valencia were unwilling to sell. He is also being targeted by Barcelona in order to solve their right-back options.
The Chelsea transfer target has made 26 appearances this season and averages 2.6 tackles per game. But it’s his attacking play that will attract Chelsea and his ability to fit in as a right-wing back. Offensively he’s made two assists and he makes 1.9 completed dribbles per game.
While Chelsea’s Victor Moses has done well as a converted winger to right-back, his influence in games has faded recently. It’s easy to see that he needs some rest, but Chelsea really don’t have any right-backs on the bench.
Lately, Conte has been taking off Moses in the last few minutes of the games as he can see that Moses is tiring due to his role of virtually running up and down the touchline all game. But he brings on French centre back Kurt Zouma as the right centre-back and moves Cesar Azpilicueta over to right wing-back.
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This is obviously not an ideal situation and Chelsea are in dire need of getting wing-backs in for squad depth and the Chelsea transfer target Joao Cancelo is a wanted man.
Chelsea’s system and formation relies so heavily on the wing-backs getting forward to provide width in attack. Eden Hazard and Pedro tend to drift in-field in attack and so the width that Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses provides gives Chelsea more options to attack while giving more space to the forwards.
Cancelo will fit in as a perfect wing-back as he’s good offensively and while he’s not the best at defending, Chelsea’s system means that the two holding midfielders N’Golo Kante and Matic can provide cover for the wing-backs when they get forward.
And if either one of Victor Moses or Marcos Alonso get injured, Chelsea will be in trouble. At times this season, in the FA Cup, Chelsea have used Pedro as a left wing-back to give Alonso a rest. Yeah, you read that right, Pedro.
Although Pedro hasn’t done a bad job there, he’s mostly played there in easy FA Cup games where the opposition barely attack. I shudder to think of Pedro playing there in a Premier League game if Alonso got injured or banned.
This is why it’s crucial for Antonio Conte to sign at least one…if not two wing-backs this summer, especially considering Chelsea will have Champions League football to deal with.
There aren’t really a lot of good world class wing-backs out there to be honest but Joao Cancelo is up there with the best.
Although, Chelsea will face a battle with Barcelona to sign him, given their troubles in that position as well.
Chelsea will have a lot of money to spend this summer with reports claiming that Antonio Conte will be given £200 million to spend to prepare his squad for Champions League football next season.
It’s likely Chelsea will sign 3-4 players including a striker ( Lukaku), a central midfielder (Naingolan or Vidal) and possibly two defenders.
While Antonio Conte will likely not make Cancelo the top Chelsea transfer target he will be eager to sign a decent wing-back. So it’s up to the board now to give him the money and to get the players he needs.