Leicester City play Chelsea this weekend in a game where Maurizio Sarri should be keeping his eye on one player in particular.
It’s going to be a work in progress for Sarri as he looks to transform a team known for its defensive football into a team that can begin to mimic the dynamic Napoli side that he had.
If he wants to do that, he must address his defence and replace David Luiz. Against Leicester City he could have a player who is ready suited for the Chelsea side in Harry Maguire.
How David Luiz has managed to command such huge fees is one of the biggest mysteries in modern football. After being sold to Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea decided to buy the Brazil international back for £34 million in 2016 in order to give Conte another central defender.
During their title-winning season, his erratic play was covered up by Gary Cahill and Cezar Azpilicueta meaning that for most of the time, Chelsea looked very solid. Last year he was poor, however, and this season he just doesn’t look like the man Sarri needs to take the club forward.
In a league that is played at such a high pace, Chelsea can’t have a defender that takes so many risks. He may be good with the ball at his feet but overall, Chelsea should be looking to sign a new defender as soon as possible.
TT Grade: C
A hero of England’s run to the semi-final, Harry Maguire has made a quick rise from Leicester City’s first-choice defender to an England stalwart and quite possibly one of the better defenders in the league.
He has all the typical attributes of a defender as he’s tall, dominant in the air but also surprisingly quick for his height. He’s also comfortable with coming forward with the ball although at times he can be guilty of getting caught in midfield. Leicester signed Maguire for just £17 million, which as it stands, looks like an absolute bargain following his performances last season.
There’s no doubt that the England international is a much better defender than Luiz and would be a huge upgrade on the Brazilian. He may cost a lot of money but he’s certainly a defender that Chelsea should be looking at.
TT Grade: B+
It’s not really a hard contest to call. Luiz is such an erratic defender and often escapes criticism for his ability to play out from the back. Chelsea must look to Maguire to restore some much-needed steel at the back and help turn them into title contenders.