Sunday, June 4, 2023

The Next Zola Or The Next Veron? | Will Chelsea Make A Record Breaking Last-Minute Mistake?

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism.2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

Chelsea fans are pretty ecstatic at this point, considering their overall business in the summer. Having signed cult hero and crowd favourite, Sideshow Bob, otherwise known as David Luiz, back from the brink of ridicule for £30 million from PSG. This move goes to show the far reaches of Chelsea’s financial capabilities, and how no figure can be deemed nonsensical, and no transfer target unattainable. However, that luxury brings with it a whole set of drawbacks. Fernando Torres, Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Adrian Mutu, Chris Sutton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Winston Bogarde, Robert Fleck, and Mateja Kezman.

And that trend may still yet continue, as reports are rife of Chelsea spurlging the cash on 25-year-old Real Madrid also-ran, James Rodriguez, after his agent, Jorge Mendes started late discussions with the London club for a last-minute move. The price quoted is £60million, which would be a club record fee paid for any player.

Is He Worth It?

While Real Madrid Presidente, Perez and the player is keen to move on to greener pastures for obvious reasons, it may prove to be foolish for Chelsea to invest such a hefty amount on a player, who hasn’t exactly set the La Liga alight, despite his promise in Brazil during Colombia’s dream campaign, where he was a central figure.

There has been something that has been rather suspicious about James Rodriguez in his time so far, in the colours of Real Madrid – no manager seems to trust him enough. Not Carlo Ancelotti, not Rafa Benitez, and most recently, Zinedine Zidane, remains unimpressed by the youngster’s claim to stake his natural position in attacking midfield (played 3 times the past season), nevermind a first team berth.

8 goals and 10 assists in 2015/2016 is a punitive return for €80 million the most successful club in Europe forked out, and has left the hard-to-please Madridistas fuming.

Out of pace and floundering, in the neck-break counters, he has yet to fasten his bearings, in the celebrated Santiago Bernabeu PPassagesof plays seem to go past him, with him a stride or two behind the action area. His languid attacking play, based on Colombian legend, Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio, seems to be a bit of place in time.

Serie A, which produced Chelsea legend in Gianfranco Zola, happens to be an ideal platform for James to ply his laid-back playmaking style – while, if he moves to the Premier League, and into the fold of Antonio Conte’s knife-between-the-teeth football, he will in for a rude, rude surprise.

Just like the original puppet-master of the Serie A, and former Chelsea flop – another leisurely South American, Juan Sebastian Veron, who was passed off as a dud in the rigours of the English game after another Italian gaffer, Claudio Ranieri put his faith in the £24 million man – Antonio Conte should take lesson from history, and choose not repeat it with James Rodriguez.

For a price tag of 60 million GBP, Chelsea should be advised to look elsewhere. But they aren’t one for circumspection are they?

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