Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Has Conte Made His First Mistake At Chelsea With This Panic Buy?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. It is in the state of anguish that can make a person do things which are beyond his wildest contemplations. Sheer panic had started to send shivers down the spine of Antonio Conte as the transfer market was edging closer to closure, owing to the Italian’s failure to persuade a quality central defender put his pen to paper. Shkodran Mustafi’s move to the north of London and failure to rope in any of their summer central-defensive targets aggravated the frustrations at the south-west based club to such an unimaginable point that they were forced to make a ridiculous move for someone they got rid of two summers ago. Yes, the unorthodox central defender with frizzy hair and a lunatic-alike grin; David Luiz.

Chelsea’s dire need of personnel at the heart of defence made them pull him back from Paris Saint-Germain, albeit for £30 million. To save themselves from being completely absurd, no one at Chelsea would even dare to try to pretend that the Brazilian was under their radar during the transfer window. The former Chelsea outcast was on the verge of being neglected at the French capital as well due to his erratic performances, and it was the central defensive pairing of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva that would be in Unai Emery’s first-team plans.

Giving the green signal to the player who helped PSG in knocking the Blues out of the Champions League in each of the past two seasons is a clear evidence of their failure to lure European heavyweights into their side, which is arguably a consequence of their failure to grab the Champions League spots. The perspectives that Luiz can play even in the midfield has the pace and experience needed at the top level, and will allow Conte to operate with three at the back (a tactical implementation which was very successful during his tenure at Juventus) seem to be the silver lining(s). There isn’t much apart from these which Luiz has on his tray.

Even in a transfer market which was severely inflated, investing £30 million on a 29-year-old appears to be a forceful acquisition to cater to the demands of the club. He is a serious liability defensive-wise which is why there is a lot of scepticism regarding the transfer, particularly among the Chelsea faithful.

The Pensioners have sealed the deal for a player who is yet to be a fully-furnished product despite being on the wrong side of his 20’s and isn’t a long-term solution for Chelsea by any means whatsoever. Drag him away from his fellow defenders, rile him up with a bit of movement with the ball and even an average defender can make him look like a complete mess. Frankly speaking, he is more of a Bridge Financing for the Blues until they recruit a high calibre centre-back.

John Terry is on a one-year deal, Gary Cahill isn’t getting any better as the days progress, Kurt Zouma is sidelined with a long-term injury and Andreas Christensen (who is on loan to Borussia Mönchengladbach) is yet to be up to the standards needed to ply his trade for Chelsea, which illustrates the sorry state of a side which was defensively rock solid prior to last season. The return of the familiar face, whose powers are on the wane, at the Stamford Bridge will definitely provide a bit of depth in the squad.

The jury will pass the verdict come May 2017 on the result of the reunion of the club and the player, but at the moment, the transfer gives an impression of Chelsea’s retrograde step to chalk a solution on the deadline day.

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