Chelsea’s new boss Antonio Conte has already started stamping his authority on the squad at the Stamford Bridge to help him in his adventure in the Premier League next season. The former Italian boss has his own set of requirements at the new club and is in the market for a defender and a striker to add to his squad. But he is also set to let go of a number of fringe players this summer and one such player who is on his way out of the club is youngster Baba Rahman. The 22-year old joined Chelsea from Augsburg just last year and made 23 appearances for the club last season slotting in the left back spot under Guus Hiddink to provide relief from injuries.
However, it is now understood that the new manager is ready to let the youngster move back to Germany this summer with reports revealing that he is currently undergoing a medical at Schalke ahead of a season-long loan move to the Bundesliga. With the 22-year old now out of the squad, Conte will need enough back up to his first team stars to cover for contingencies next season. Though they are not in Europe, the manager wants a strong squad with healthy competition for places so let’s take a look at 3 players who Conte can sign to replace Baba Rahman in the squad for the next season:
Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven):
24-year old Columbian international Santiago Arias has been on the radar of the Blues for over a week now. Arias, who is comfortable playing on either side of the defense made 32 appearances for the Dutch outfit in the last season, his third with the club and was impressive as the season progressed. Also, it is reported that Conte recently sent scouts to watch the 24-year old in action as he tries to make a move for him as a replacement for Baba Rahman.
Arias is surely an upgrade over Rahman with his experience and skill helping Chelsea to a stronger defense. He has been capped 27 times by his national team and is an established yet versatile full-back that can be of great value at the Stamford Bridge in years to come.
Ricardo Rodriguez (VFL Wolfsburg):
Chelsea are linked with a move for a player from yet another German club in Ricardo Rodriguez from Wolfsburg. The Swiss international was one of the most impressive players in the Swiss side in the recent EUROs and has attracted interests from top European clubs this summer. The 23-year made 25 appearances for the German outfit last season in his favourite left back spot and will be a superb addition to this Conte side.
His dribbling, passing and crossing abilities make him a dangerous wing-back while his defensive discipline is his biggest asset. However, Chelsea might have to spend big to land the Swiss international this summer.
Victor Lindelof (Benfica):
The 22-year old Swedish defender is one of the brightest prospects in world football at the moment. After impressive outings in the EURO16 in France, Lindelof has now attracted interests from top clubs in Europe. He is a versatile defender who can play as a full-back or a center back and this will add some dynamism to Conte’s squad at Chelsea. He made 14 appearances for the Benfica senior side last season and is not too far away from a move to a top European club. Chelsea are linked with a move this summer and will be delighted if they can get their hands on the 22-year old who has shown great potential in recent times.
It will be interesting to see who Conte chooses to bring to his squad this summer.