ITAsportspress suggest Andre Villas-Boas has already made his January intentions known by approaching Real Madrid for Spanish central defender Raul Albiol.
Having signed for Real Madrid at the start of the 09/10 season, he became a mainstay in the team but it was largely due to injury problems for Pepe. Since Pepe’s return to both fitness and temperament, combined with the recruitment of first choice Ricardo Carvalho and prospect Raphael Varane from RC Lens, Raul Albiol looks to be limited in his opportunities in Madrid now.
Raul Albiol is not first choice at the Bernabeu nor for the Spanish national team but it remains to be seen if a potential move to Chelsea would fix either of those problems. Spanish players find it tough to be selected for the national team, particularly a starting role, if they are playing outside of La Liga. The likes of Mikel Arteta, Cesc Fabregas and Carlos Cuellar are proof of this.
If Chelsea are to succeed on all fronts this season, it could be argued they need one more body in defence. Whether or not recruiting a likely-to-be Champions League cup tied player for a likely expense of above €10m is the answer, it is not clear.
Chelsea’s first choice centre-back partnership seems established. John Terry is a shoe-in and David Luiz is a real fans favourite. He’s an exciting player who can make things happen – even if he is a little on the erratic side. Alex and Branislav Ivanovic lay in reserve, although Ivanovic could be considered more of a right-back for Chelsea. Nevertheless, both have equal ability in stepping up to play as a first choice defender.
Either way, perhaps the best defensive recruitment policy Chelsea should take this January is to echo what Manchester United and Real Madrid have done – find someone younger to train up. There are plenty of options out there.
What is your opinion? Should Chelsea be looking at Raul Albiol and should the Spanish World Cup winner really think Chelsea is the place to get his career back on track? Do Chelsea need another defender?
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