Antonio Conte is on his way to Chelsea, and he is expected to bring his Italian brand of football to SW6.
An Italian style of play is not all that is expected; with numerous reports linking a number of Italy internationals with moves to Stamford Bridge.
One such player is Matteo Darmian, with Bleacher Report suggesting that Conte is looking to raid Manchester United for their full-back.
Whilst this deal has seemingly come from nowhere, it definitely makes sense for the Blues to be after him.
Here’s FIVE reasons why Conte signing Darmian would be a WISE move.
Chelsea’s defensive woes last season were widely talked about in the media, and with good reason.
Last season the Blues conceded 53 goals – a huge increase compared to the 32 that were conceded just a year prior.
The club had a number of failings last season on the pitch and many of these stemmed from having such a poor defensive record.
It is no surprise that the club are going after more defensive talent, given the fact that the defenders that are currently on their books are woefully out of form.
Darmian is a world renowned defensive full-back; and would slot in at the club and immediately tighten up the club’s leaky defence, adding some much needed consistency to the backline.
It is also of no surprise to suggest that Branislav Ivanovic’s time as primary Chelsea full-back simply has to come to an end.
The vast majority of Chelsea’s defensive failings last season came down that right hand side, with top teams easily exploiting his slow and lethargic defending style.
He has been an excellent servant for the club, but his time as a full-back is up.
Darmian will provide some much needed cover in the position, offering exactly what we lacked under Ivanovic; pace, raw ability, defensive quality.
This would also allow Ivanovic to slot back into his more natural centre back position, where is he significantly more talented and reliable. This is particularly important given the question marks over both Gary Cahill and John Terry with Kurt Zouma injured.
Another key trait of Darmian’s is the fact that he already has a year under his belt in the Premier League.
This might not seem to be a big deal, but it means that there will be no transitional period for the Italian.
This is particularly important when you look at players like Abdul Baba Rahman, who has failed to adjust in his first year.
Darmian will likely be able to fit right into the team, and not have to spent the season getting used to the Premier League style; as would be with the case with any other available defensive signings.
With Conte coming in, you can expect a number of Italians to end up at Stamford Bridge.
Conte is familiar with these players and trusts them as a result of his time with the Azzurri set-up, and this will as a result allow Chelsea to build a core of Italian talents to form the basis of the new look Chelsea team.
This is significant in a number of ways. It helps new players settle in their new surroundings of course, but it also means that all of these players are familiar with each other; meaning there will be no need for a ‘gelling’ period between the new group.
We saw last night at the European Championship just how talented this new crop of Italian players are; and many of them could end up at SW6.
As important as it is for players to be familiar with each other; it is also significant to note that they will be familiar with their new manager, Antonio Conte.
As with their familiarity with team-mates; this simply gets rid of any adjustment periods between the new players and their manager; meaning Chelsea will be able to hit the ground coming next season.
With Conte also expected to play a rather unusual formation in 3-5-2; it means that these players will be completely familiar with this system; allowing them to both fit in easily, and also teach their new team-mates how the system works.
On top of that, if Conte trusts these players; it simply means they must be talented. And proven, trusted talent is what Chelsea need right now.