Chelsea

Boas’ First Signing Will Cost Him £35M

Rumours are circulating that Joao Moutinho is being lined up as an emergency replacement for unfortunate injury casualty Michael Essien.

New Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has been expected to raid his old club FC Porto to re-establish some of his Portuguese treble winner’s squad in West London. The likes of Hulk and Falcao have received the most speculation but the young tactician could make his first move for central midfielder Joao Moutinho.

On the first day back in pre-season training, Michael Essien suffered another injury to his knee and is widely expected to be out of action for around 8 months, effectively writing off this season for him. Chelsea will be unable to launch another assault on the Premier League and Champions League crowns without a suitable replacement as the personnel for the centre of Chelsea’s midfield looks thin.

Fitting the bill in light of the crisis would be Portugal international Joao Moutinho. Able to operate in a deep or attacking role in midfield, he is a true general of the park. He was named captain of Sporting Lisbon at the age of just 20, showing maturity of the mind beyond his years. His game is that of a typical captain’s – displaying composure in midfield with determination and work rate to match.

It would be difficult to argue that Joao Moutinho is better than Michael Essien, as the Ghanaian is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. But Moutinho could adapt well at Chelsea, slotting in alongside a number of other Portuguese speaking players, and provide another excellent option for Villas-Boas this season.

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