Chelsea manager Graham Potter will be looking to use the January transfer window to add a couple of new faces to his team and assemble his squad how he sees fit ahead of a vital few months.
He might not be under severe pressure just yet, but the previous few weeks before the World Cup break saw the London side defeated by Newcastle United, Manchester City, and Arsenal in the Premier League and improvement will be needed after Christmas.
Not only do they face competition on the pitch, but Chelsea are in a fight with Tottenham Hotspur over a potential move for Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol.
That’s according to Corriere dello Sport, who claim that the defender has caught the eye of Tottenham with Potter facing a battle to secure the services of the youngster.
Indeed, Chelsea had an offer rejected in the summer and a move for the RB Leipzig star would now cost around €80 (£68m), which considering his potential and performances already this season, could be a very shrewd investment for the future.
The 20-year-old has shown maturity beyond his years in the Bundesliga this season, losing possession on average just 6.5 times per match, while winning an impressive 2.5 duels per game at a success rate of 62%.
The £68m price tag will now surely be down to his World Cup displays for Croatia, as Gvardiol has been a key part of a defence that has conceded just once in three matches.
He has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.3/10, making 1.7 interceptions per game, 1.3 tackles, and taking a staggering 88.3 touches on average across the three group stage matches.
This clearly suggests he is extremely comfortable on the ball despite playing in high-pressure situations and by winning 64% of his total duels over the games, his physicality is one of his main strengths.
It’s no wonder he has been decreed the Erling “Haaland of defenders” by talent scout Jacek Kulig. The youngster has clearly had the same blistering impact on world football as the Norwegian striker, just at the opposite end of the pitch.
Journalist Zach Lowy even dubbed him as a “sensational centre-back” while declaring that the player had been the best player on a pitch that contained Kevin De Bruyne and Luka Modric, no mean feat.
If Potter wants to remain with the club for the long haul, signing talents like Gvardiol will make his job that little bit easier, while also signalling a massive statement of intent toward the rest of the league.