Chelsea have secured their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League following a 1-0 win over BATE.
Olivier Giroud netted his first goal since May in the 52nd minute which proved to be the deciding goal. The Frenchman nodded home Emerson’s cross after an uneventful first-half to score his first goal under Maurizio Sarri. Despite Giroud’s winning goal, it was Ross Barkley who caught the eye again, dominating the midfield and completing 94% of his passes.
The Blues have made a tremendous start to life under Sarri and are keeping pace with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. To take their team to the next level, Chelsea should attempt to sign Lyon maestro – Nabil Fekir – in January.
Valued at £58.5m by Transfermarkt, the World Cup winner was expected to sign for Liverpool in the summer following a sensational season in Ligue 1. Fekir was identified by Jurgen Klopp as the perfect replacement for Philippe Coutinho, and everything was in place before a medical scuppered the deal. Liverpool seem unlikely to revive their interest in the playmaker and Chelsea should look to advantage when the window reopens. Reports suggest Fekir is unwilling to extend his deal with the French side which could tempt them to cash in on their prized asset.
Fekir has four goals and four assists in all competitions so far this season with an ankle injury keeping him sidelined for a number of weeks. The 25-year-old is one of the world’s best playmakers and linking him with Eden Hazard could be a terrifying prospect for Premier League defences. With an eye for goal and the ability to unlock defences, Fekir could also help bring the best out of Alvaro Morata in the Chelsea attack.
Under Sarri’s tutelage, Fekir could develop into a Premier League superstar.
Chelsea fans, thoughts?
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