The focus has been entirely on transfers out for Chelsea in recent weeks, with a slew of players leaving or apparently on the verge of departing Stamford Bridge. The hand-wringing over the departure of important backups like Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake is entirely justified, but with the deals now done, we can only look forward to see what can be done to reinforce the team.
The Alex Sandro transfer rumbles on, which is unsurprising given the potential size of the deal. But it’s not just the left side of defence that needs reinforcing. Victor Moses also has no natural replacement in the squad. Some have speculated that Antonio Conte intends to return Cesar Azpilicueta to the right side of a back four, but in that case Moses is hardly the ideal alternative to the Spaniard.
— The Global Herald (@TheGlobalHerald) May 31, 2017
What is needed is an affordable and talented right-sided defender, who could push forward into a wing-back role if needed, or play more defensively in a flat four. Someone who fits this bill perfectly is Bernardo of RB Leipzig.
The Brazilian had an excellent breakthrough season at the Bundesliga upstarts and made 31 starts, raising eyebrows with his well=balanced game and technical skill. He’s tall too, winning an average of 3.3 aerial duels per game in the Bundesliga last term. That’s an area that Chelsea are apparently looking to improve in.
TransferMarkt estimates his value at just €5m (£4.3m), and even if he was to cost two or even three times that, Antonio Conte could be assured he’s getting good value.
It’s a move that’s worth looking into, and sooner rather than later as the Blues look to begin adding some much needed depth to their rather thin squad.