Pretty much every newspaper in Britain has run with a story involving Chelsea’s search for defensive reinforcements over the last few weeks, with the Blues having conceded nine goals in their last five games across all competitions – albeit one being a clean sheet win over Hull City just before the international break.
Now it’s the turn of The Sun, who claim the Blues will have to shell out at least £50million – in other words a club-record transfer fee – to land AC Milan’s prodigious defender Alessio Romagnoli. The west Londoners were heavily linked with the Italy international, despite Antonio Conte leaving him out of his Euro 2016 squad, during the summer with The Daily Mail reporting on a £35million bid in late August – just days before they David Luiz instead.
We at FootballFanCast aren’t privy to a crystal ball but the 21-year-old’s potential remains undeniable. The Sun‘s report comes less than a week after an incredibly impressive debut performance for Italy against Spain, in which he made a claim for Man of the Match as Azzurri’s best defender on the night, as shown below (courtesy of Whoscored):
He’s a centre-half by trade and that will surely be his ultimate position. But left-footed, quick and famed for his elegance on the ball, Romagnoli’s also proved effective at left-back for AC Milan, which appears to be one of the main reasons Chelsea have been drawn to the youngster.
He not has the potential to address their concerns at left-back but would also suit a wider role in a back three (the defensive system he played in against Spain and Conte used in the 2-0 win against Hull City) perfectly. If that remains Conte’s plan going forward, £50million may not be such an outlandish investment over the course of the next five years – provided the Italian stays in the job for that long!
Here’s a look at Romagnoli in action against Spain: