The Chelsea fans have been feeling miserable in the Transfer Tavern of late due to their side’s disappointing Premier League campaign, but recent reports have given them reason to be optimistic about the future.
Antonio Conte’s side still have an outside chance of finishing inside the top-four this season, but they are relying on a Tottenham collapse and a perfect end to the season for themselves in order to clinch a place in the Champions League. At this stage it’s extremely unlikely that they will be able to leapfrog Spurs into 4th place, but stranger things have certainly happened in football.
Even if Chelsea are successful in their quest for Champions League football, the current campaign has proved they need to strengthen their squad this summer to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title next season. Although the Blues have decent options at centre-back, the fact that Gary Cahil will turn 33 this year suggests they will need to bring a quality defender to Stamford Bridge this summer to prepare for Cahil’s inevitable departure.
With that being said, Chelsea should look no further than signing one of Europe’s most consistently performing centre-backs, namely Kalidou Koulibaly of title-chasing Napoli. The Senegalese international has been an ever-present at the heart of Napoli’s defence this season, and his performances have been instrumental in his club’s push for the title.
Kouliably proved that he is a big player for the big occasion by rising highest to emphatically head home a sensational winning goal in the 90th minute against Juventus last weekend to take Napoli within a point of the Old Lady at the summit of Serie A. The last-gasp strike was his 5th of a lucrative season so far.
Koubliably’s goal-scoring ability is an obvious bonus, but it’s his defensive solidity combined with his composure on the ball which is most impressive about this rising star in European football. According to Gazzetta dello Sport (via talkSPORT) Koulibaly could be available for a fee in excess of £60 million this summer, and if that report proves to be true then Chelsea would be foolish not to meet Napoli’s demands.
Chelsea have been cut adrift of the leading pack this year and if they want to avoid a repeat during the next campaign they will need to rectify their shortcomings by signing a handful of quality players. Landing Koulibaly would be an ideal place to start, even at an extortionate price for a defender.
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