In the recent fixtures of the Champions League Chelsea were given a reality check whilst Barcelona got lucky as Celtic exposed the defensive frailties at the Catalan club. Chelsea will be the more worried as Shakhtar Donetsk taught them a lesson in how to play impressive football with Willian pulling the strings in a very Brazilian east Europe team.
Considering that for this game Chelsea had their captain/leader/legend back wearing an anti-racism armband, which can’t be too far off Nick Griffin wearing an I love Freddy Mercury t-shirt, helping shore up their defence made it all the more worrying for Di Matteo.
Barcelona had both Puyol and Pique watching from the stands and I can’t imagine they were too happy at watching Celtic’s goal which came from a set piece and looked like something from a Rangers game. On top of that Barcelona have conceded 9 goals in their last 4 games and thanks to the likes of Messi and Villa they have been able to get out of those situations but the need for a new centre back is now getting serious.
According to Talksport the Catalan club have targeted the man being watched by Chelsea and currently playing for Udinese, Mehdi Benatia. The 25 year old has been one of the highlights in a poor season for Udinese so far, laying 12th in Serie A. In the past he has expressed a desire to move to Manchester United, and how they could use him, but with the financial muscle of Barce and Chelsea the club from the north west may as well not bother.
It’s hard to say at this point which club would be the better for Benatia as both need a new centre back and both have similarly ambitious aspirations. However, any neutral sorry logical human will say that a move to Spain would be much more beneficial for him as a player and a human. The recent Terry gate scandal has really shown the depth of the player power at Chelsea and anyone with a functioning brain would go for a move to the club that could be remembered with fondness when looked back on and not as a dark corner of footballing history.
Whereas some footballers are intelligent, only very few footballers are logical and indeed ethical. The majority allow greed to direct them and greed is blind so there could well be a strong possibility that Benatia could end up with London club after all.
In terms of football Barcelona should be in desperation mode with regards to needing a new defender. As previously stated Puyol and Pique are injured at the moment meaning Barcelona have been starting with left back Adriano as the heart of defence. Chelsea however have Terry banned for a further 3 games in the league making Gary Cahill and David Luiz the only recognised centre backs at the club.
If Benatia has any sense then he will move to Barcelona and the fact that Alexis Sanchez has had decent success at the club since moving from Udinese two years ago will only make the move more realistic. If he does decide to go to Chelsea, it’ll be similar to when Tommy Carcetti went back on all his pre-election promises in the final season of the Wire. Kind of.