Former footballer Steve Nicol thinks that Chelsea’s defence would be improved with the signing of Brighton’s Lewis Dunk following rumours linking the Seagulls centre-back with a Stamford Bridge switch.
The Times has reported that the Blues would have to stump up around £50m to lure Dunk away from the south coast. Speaking on ESPN FC about how well he may settle in as a Chelsea player, former Liverpool defender Nicol suggested that Frank Lampard needs to add quality players, and Dunk’s Premier League experience would be a key asset – though the 28-year-old’s asking price appears a little steep.
He said: “Chelsea, right now, need players to come in and hit the ground running. If you go and get somebody from outwith the Premier League, you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get. You know that Lewis Dunk is going to come in and do exactly what I’ve said. He’s going to be reliable, he’s going to be strong, he’s not going to be flashy.
“So you know exactly what you’re going to get. He’s experienced, he’s 28 years old, he’s in his prime. It wouldn’t be a bad signing, because I think they need strengthening at centre-back – but £50m seems a little pricey.”
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The Premier League table perhaps offers a positive insight into Dunk’s powers at the back for Brighton – with the Seagulls currently boasting the tightest defence in the bottom half having conceded fewer than the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal so far this year.
So it appears that Brighton’s shortcomings up front could be doing Dunk a disservice – and could suggest he is worthy of the opportunity to excel at a bigger club such as Chelsea. He has also shown his aerial threat in attacking situations this season – with goals against Liverpool and Manchester United this season (albeit in losing causes) – while it was his header that was acrobatically converted by Alireza Jahanbakhsh in their New Year’s Day draw with the Blues.
Judging by his £18m market value (via Transfermarkt), his price would certainly be a little high as Nicol suggests, though with Chelsea previously thought to have plenty to spend following the lifting of their transfer ban, perhaps this is an area Brighton will look to exploit if Chelsea’s interest in Dunk escalates.
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