Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne

Chelsea’s transfer intrigue regarding Southampton’s Luke Shaw is well known, but they’ve also been sporadically linked with fellow Saints full-back Nathaniel Clyne over the last 18 months.

The 22 year-old earned his footballing stripes with Crystal Palace, making his senior debut way back in 2008 and eventually making 122 Championship appearances for the Eagles before switching to St. Mary’s in a £2million deal in summer 2012.

During his four campaigns in the Selhurst Park first team, Clyne twice earned the Young Player of the Year award, in addition to the Player of the Year award in 2011. During his final term in South London, he took pride of place in the PFA Championship Team of the Season.

Since joining the South Coast side, the former England U21 quickly established himself as a regular fixture in the starting XI, racking up 34 appearances last season.

This year, he’s continued as the resident No.2 at St Mary’s and maintained his high level of performance, as part of a backline that currently dons the fourth best defensive record in the top flight.

Along the way, he’s averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 1.1 successful dribbles per game from 11 Premier League starts, also claiming two assists and proving a useful overlapping threat in the final third.

During the summer, the Blues were linked with a £7million bid for the England junior, who is a boyhood Chelsea fan. If Clyne continues to impress, a big-money move to Stamford Bridge could be not far off, especially with current right-back Branislav Ivanovic turning 30 years of age next month.