Chelsea crashed out of the Carabao Cup last night and have now fallen into seventh in the Premier League so it would be no surprise if the club takes a look at the transfer market in January, with a new update emerging on a potential target.
According to reports in Italy (via Caught Offside), Chelsea are considering a January move for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez.
As per the report, Graham Potter will be looking for players who can come in as part of a rebuild for the squad with many players out of contract next summer and will use the next few transfer windows to get the team back to its best.
It is claimed that Atletico could be in financial turmoil after failing to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League and could be under pressure to sell some of their best assets, with Chelsea looking to take advantage of a potential opportunity to sign Gimenez.
Previous reports suggest the Spanish side could be willing to do business at €60m (£52.3m).
There is no doubt that Chelsea are in desperate need of re-evaluating their defensive options in the team, as a number of the defenders in the squad are coming to the latter stages of their career.
Although still a supreme operator, Thiago Silva is 38 years old and will be out of contract next summer, César Azpilicueta is now 33 years old and Kalidou Koulibaly is 31 years old, so there is definitely an opportunity to inject some younger players who are also rich in experience playing at the highest level.
Gimenez is the perfect profile of player to give the Blues exactly what they need to further improve their backline, and at 27, he can offer longevity as well as crucial attributes.
Over nine La Liga appearances this season, the Uruguayan ace – who was dubbed an “outstanding defensive talent” by David Cartlidge – has won 62% of his duels combined, as well as averaging 1.2 interceptions, 1.4 tackles and a whopping 4.6 clearances per game, proving that he is a solid and consistent defensive presence.
Gimenez could be the perfect partner for Koulibaly in the centre-back pairing if Potter settles for a back four instead of a back three when he has finally established his team’s best formation.
The newly-signed Chelsea defender is stronger in his ability to progress the ball and is more attacking-minded compared to Gimenez, ranking in the top 2% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for dribbles completed whilst the Atletico Madrid star ranks in the bottom 48%.
However, Gimenez has outperformed Koulibaly in many defensive attributes this season so far with a better tackle completion against dribblers (70% v 69.2%), while he has enjoyed more touches in the defensive third (273 v 254) and has completed more blocks (13 v 10).
With that being said, the pair could combine their varying talents in both attacking and defensive play to form a formidable centre-back duo that could get Chelsea back on track in the second half of the season if a deal can be done in January.