Chelsea’s midfield was always going to be an area in need of attention this summer, that much was clear. Last season, the Blues looked really poor, and it was evident that the departure of Nemanja Matic has a sizeable impact. The Serbian was a real physical presence in the middle of the park, and his offensive contributions – he got 7 assists during his last season at Chelsea – were seriously underrated by the Chelsea brass. According to the Sun, Chelsea are looking at Russian midfielder Aleksandr Golovin – and given that he played much of last season in a central midfield role, you’d expect that to be the position he would play at Stamford Bridge.
Naturally, N’Golo Kante is in desperate need of a new midfield partner, as a lack of a solid teammate in the ilk of Matic cost Chelsea last season. Cesc Fabregas was selected more often than not, and he had a poor campaign, whilst Tiemoue Bakayoko was also not good.
However, is Golovin the solution Chelsea need? Maybe not. Instead, perhaps Chelsea should look at Lazio ace Sergej Milkinovic-Savic.
Granted, Golovin is a fantastically creative player, but as seen at the World Cup with Russia, he’s far more effective as an attacking midfielder. He’s brilliantly mobile, and in truth, he’d be a better partner for someone like Eden Hazard. He doesn’t have the physical presence to be a unit in the midfield, especially given how different the Russian top flight is to the Premier League. It would be a mistake to use him in that way in England.
Milkinovic-Savic, meanwhile, is much more in the ilk of someone like Nemanja Matic, even if they do share a lot of differences. At first glance, they’re much more similar in the way they are built. They’re both physically gifted, and their presence in the middle of the park is hugely significant.
Despite his presence, though, there is no doubting that he is more effective than Matic going forward. He’s brilliant with the ball at his feet, and he’s as comfortable playing as a number 10 as he is as a number 6. Providing brilliant running and technical ability, he’s an excellent option to have.
In comparison to Golovin, it’s clear that he’s more effective, too. He bagged more than double the goals that Golovin did last season – with 12 in comparison to his 5 – and that’s a testament to his effectiveness going forward. Furthermore, Serie A is obviously more competitive than the Russian league, and so that’s a particularly good record in comparison.
At just 23-years-old, he’s still improving, just like Golovin, but it seems evident that he’s in a far better spot than the Russian at the moment. In terms of raw talent, Chelsea would struggle to do better. In their hunt to find someone to partner N’Golo Kante next season, Sergej Milkinovic-Savic would be the perfect choice.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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