This summer has been a disappointing one for Chelsea fans so far.
Given the awful season just gone, supporters were expecting the club to kick on and reorganise a squad that looked devoid of quality last season.
Instead, very little has happened. There have been no major outgoings or incomings – although that could change soon with Michy Batshuayi nearing a switch – and the club look to be treading water as they wait for Antonio Conte finish his stint with the Italian national side.
The main rumour that we have been discussing here on the FootballFanCast is Chelsea’s supposed quest to bulk up their central midfield, as they reportedly look to make a deal on Radja Nainggolan.
If recent rumours are to be believed, however, the deal looks dead in the water; with Roma digging their heels in to keep ‘The Ninja’.
This has lead Chelsea down a different path, with the Daily Mail reporting that the club are now looking at Axel Witsel as an alternative.
Whilst he is not as big of a name as Nainggolan, he certainly has all the qualities to succeed in west London.
Here are FIVE reasons why Witsel could be the ideal summer addition for Chelsea…
Beginning with the qualities that Witsel will bring to the side, it is easy to see how easilythe midfielder will fit in at Chelsea.
He offers determination and commitment in the midfield, often playing as a ball-winning enforcer with the job of cutting out opposition attacks and pushing the ball forward.
He has proven his quality over the years, serving as the backbone to successful XIs at Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg.
In a Chelsea side that looked devoid of defensive stalwarts last year, he is exactly what the side needs.
On the topic of Chelsea’s midfield failings; Nemanja Matic was the player upon which the brunt of fan opposition fell last year.
It seems likely that the once dominant midfielder might be on the way out of Stamford Bridge this summer, and so a replacement is needed very quickly.
Even if he chooses to stay this summer, his performances last year proved that he cannot play at a high level consistently, and so the club desperately need to invest in some back up.
Chelsea have certainly tried to bring in that back up for a flailing Matic, but crucially up to this point they have been unsuccessful.
We’ve already talked about the club unsuccessfully chasing Nainggolan, but other players, including Paul Pogba, were also mentioned. Yet, but nothing has come of either rumour.
In truth, the Blues are simply running out of options and need to look to seal up a deal quickly.
Witsel could be the answer.
Compared to other Chelsea targets, Witsel also makes the most sense financially.
Pogba is incomparable of course, as he’s likely to cost close to £100m, but even Nainggolan looks to be a £40m player.
With the club losing out on the profits made by Champions League football, money certainly isn’t going to be freely available this summer; and so typically they won’t be able to afford a player of that cost without selling first.
Witsel will likely be available for closer to the £20m mark, and so signifies value for a player that retains many of the qualities of other Chelsea targets.
A commodity in the modern game, you also have to look at Witsel’s experience on a global scale.
He has been a star of both Benfica and Zenit’s recent sides, and has been successful during his period with both clubs. Some would argue that they aren’t top teams, so it doesn’t matter, but to be able to produce quality all over the world shows that you have the ability.
At international level he has also picked up nearly 70 caps, and in a side that has so many quality players; that is a testament to how good he is.
At 27, he is just coming into the prime of his career, and with so much experience behind him already; the only way is up for Witsel.