Friday, September 29, 2023

Chelsea Linked With A Move For Swedish Defender: A Good Long-Term Option?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola has reported that highly rated Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof is a target of Chelsea and Antonio Conte is very much interested in bringing the defender to Stamford Bridge. The 22-year-old is currently a player of Benfica and has enjoyed his breakthrough season in the Primeira Liga with 15 appearances in the league as his team clinched the title at the end of the 2015/16 season. It’s no secret that Chelsea are in the market for a defender and has targeted several established names already. That’s why this news comes as a bit of a surprise, and with plenty of doubts.

So, let’s get straight into it. Lindelof is a defender of real promise and has had an amazing 2015/16 season for club and country. The 22-year-old made his debut for the Sweden u-21 team in September 2014 but was not selected for the UEFA European U-21 Championships for June 2015 held in the Czech Republic.

An unfortunate back injury to Emil Kraft allowed him to be named as a last minute replacement and the 6 ft 2 in defender took his unexpected chance in some spectacular fashion. Not only did he feature for his team in the whole tournament, he gave brilliant performances at the back and converted the final penalty of the shootout to secure a historic win for his side against Portugal in the final.

His graph has since then been on the rise and after his exploits with the U-21’s, Lindelof was promptly called up to the senior Sweden side and played all the three matches in the Euro Cup 2016 in France. Last season he won the domestic league title and the Portuguese League Cup (Taca Da Liga) with Benfica. After getting much more exposure at senior level, the defender is starting show signs of his quality which has made him a hot prospect attracting the interests of some very big clubs across Europe.

Manchester United and PSG were said to be interested in him but United has already signed Bailey, thus Chelsea now seems to have moved ahead of the race with a bid. It remains to be seen if Conte is ready to take a gamble on a young player despite him being talented and having the potential for the manager prefers to field experienced campaigners at the back. Either way, it would become clear as the transfer window approaches its deadline, till then we have to bide our time to know if the Premier League the new home for Lindelof or not.

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