The 2015-16 campaign didn’t go down as a memorable one for Chelsea; falling out of the title race very early into the season, José Mourinho getting pilloried by Roman Abramovich and eventually failing to culminate their season in the top four of the league table. They struggled on and off their pitch with one issue or the other constantly draining their spirit and ultimately, they were left with nothing to clap about.
A new dawn with fresh vibes and rejuvenated will is set to rise for the wounded lions under the managerial soundness of Antonio Conte. In the process of strengthening their armoury, the Blues do need some substantial changes and recently, they have been heavily linked with the sensational Greek defender Konstantinos Manolas alongside their league rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.
Among the three aforementioned clubs who have put forth their interest to sign the fantastic defender who currently plies his trade at the Serie A club AS Roma, Chelsea are the ones who are in the dire need to ensure there is no repetition of the turmoil which they had last term. Manchester United have acquired Eric Bailly whereas their neighbours do have quite a bit of quantity as well as quality in the central defensive region which underlines that Manolas’ move to the Stamford Bridge makes perfect sense.
Defensive loopholes were perhaps the most significant reason why Chelsea succumbed last season and that’s precisely the reason why Conte is laying emphasis to sign Manolas. The 25-year-old can go toe-to-toe with the lethal strikers that Premier League has on offer owing to the attributes he possesses of a perfect defender. He can physically rattle the strikers, is quite quick, is mentally prepared for the animosity in arguably the toughest league in the world, never shies away from making necessary tackles and is one of the most resilient defenders in Serie A as well as across Europe.
He has plenty of good years ahead of him, considering the fact that the Pensioners must be now looking beyond Gary Cahill and John Terry. The former Olympiakos man appeared on 37 occasions for Roma last season, winning 49 tackles, making 71 interceptions, clocking 160 clearances and blocking on 28 instances which makes his prospective move to west London too good to miss.
Conte does have defensive insecurities to focus on and the need to find a perfect blend in the central defensive region alongside Kurt Zouma to cater to the present as well as the future needs does hold paramount importance to once again aim to re-establish them as a formidable brigade.
(Statistics Credits: Squawka)