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Chelsea: Malo Gusto the priority target

Chelsea: Malo Gusto the priority target - Chelsea News

Chelsea have made right-back Malo Gusto their priority target to sign before the end of the month, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Lowdown: Right-back problems

The Blues this season have been hit by a lack of depth at right-back with Reece James suffering a heavily injury-hit campaign to date, missing a total of 17 games so far with two separate knee injuries.

This has led Graham Potter to experiment on the right-hand side with Cesar Azpilicueta predominately used there with him deployed at right-back nine times this campaign.

It’s caused a real headache for the Englishman who even played Christian Pulisic at right-wing back in the 4-1 Premier League horror show defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Latest: Gusto approach

Chelsea have turned their attention to the 19-year-old Lyon talent Gusto to provide cover for James, with the Daily Mail reporting they’d launched a £30m bid for the teenager.

Speaking on House of Champions, Romano gave an update on the Blues’ pursuit with him emerging top of their shopping list, saying:

“The real priority for Chelsea now is Malo Gusto, the right back playing for Lyon, many clubs have been following him for months but now for Chelsea is a very big opportunity because they had an opening bid rejected for €20m.

“But I am told that they will return, they will try again with a new proposal, they agreed personal terms for the player, so there is a good chance for Malo Gusto to join Chelsea, let’s see if they will be able to reach an agreement with Lyon, but this is their priority.”

Should Chelsea go all out for Gusto?





The Verdict: Get it done

The Blues have splashed an incredible €178.50m (£155m) already this winter window and look set to continue that spending with Gusto possibly being the brightest of their moves so far.

Potter desperately needed a new right-back option with James only playing six games under his new boss so far.

Gusto has proved to be one of the breakout stars of the season with him playing 15 times for Lyon and deployed either at right-back or right-midfield, showing his versatility that Potter will crave with the Englishman switching between a back four and back three of late.

The 19-year-old’s output is immense with him in the top 15% for assists and top 5% for passes attempted amongst full-backs over the past year (via FBref), showing his willingness and creativity on the ball.

He’s also in the top 12% for interceptions amongst peers showing his capability at the other end, he could prove to be Chelsea’s best bit of transfer business especially if James is unable to return to full tilt soon.

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