After an unexpected run in the Euros with his unfancied troops, former Italy boss Antonio Conte has taken over a Chelsea side who flattered to deceive last season. While the arrival of the new boss was slightly ho-hum in the face of the media blitz over at Manchester, the manner in which he rallied the Italy National team has set Stamford Bridge buzzing with expectation.
Chelsea have bolstered their striking options after the departure of Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao by signing Michy Batshuayi from Marseille and also added N’Golo Kante in order to cure the lack of running and industry in the midfield last season.
And then Chelsea have been linked with Lazio winger, Felipe Anderson throughout the summer. Anderson first burst onto the European scene a couple of years ago but has failed to live up to his billing in the 2015-16 season. The player was nailed on for a move to Manchester United last season but somehow inexplicably the deal fell through at the finishing line.
With the current unrest at Lazio, which has seen their head coach Marcelo Bielsa sensationally resigning two days after being announced, Anderson is said to be looking to re-ignite his career elsewhere.
He has recently changed his representative to Giuliano Bertolucci, who has close links with Chelsea and they are rumoured to be working on a deal to make the move to Chelsea possible. With the player not living up to expectations, Lazio are eager to cash in on the player this season.
The Brazilian predominantly plays on the left of the forward line and is known for his dribbling skills. He looks to lay off the ball for his teammates and is capable of shooting from distance himself. He has scored 7 goals in 35 games last season and further created 27 chances for his teammates. With this much said, he will look to improve on his ability to fight in the air, as the physical nature of the Premier League demands so and his ability to hold on to the ball has also been singled out for criticism.
Chelsea have Eden Hazard as a nailed-on starter on the left side of attack and any move which may materialise will probably see him initially as a backup to Hazard. But at the age of 23, he certainly has the potential to improve further and develop his game in the Premier League. With uncertainty over Cuadrado’s future amid Milan interest and the doubts on whether Moses could cut it in the competitive nature of this Chelsea team, Anderson would bring in freshness and the eagerness to impress and re-ignite his career.
With Lazio known to be tough negotiators, a fee of around £25.6m is quoted as a minimum to compel Lazio to sell. Chelsea could do with a back-up for Hazard and nurture Anderson’s game further so that he can ultimately establish himself as a starter in the team.