Saturday, April 1, 2023

Chelsea The ‘Dream’ Destination For Brazilian: Does He Have What It Takes?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Chelsea’s start to life under Antonio Conte has been an up and down one. They have lost 3-0 to local rivals Arsenal whereas churned out a solid victory against Premier League holders Leicester City. The Blues are slowly but surely adapting to life under their new boss. It is not an overnight process to settle into life in a new league but Conte has fared pretty well so far. However, one thing that must be concerning the manager, as well as the fans, is Chelsea’s struggle in the defence.

Chelsea once used to boast one of the best defensive setups in Europe. That has changed over the course of time. John Terry is at the dusk of his career and still remains as the best defender at Stamford Bridge which speaks volumes about the situation.

Gary Cahill seems like a shadow of the player he used to be while youngster Kurt Zouma has been spending his time in the physio room for quite a long time. Chelsea re-signed their former defender David Luiz this summer but it was quite evidently a panic buy.

It is as clear as daylight that Chelsea will look to utilise the upcoming transfer window to bolster their leaky defence and a host of players have been linked with the Blues. talkSPORT claims that Chelsea are monitoring the progress of Marseille defender Doria and it could very well materialise to a concrete bid in January. The same report also claims that the player knows the interest from the West London club and is already ‘dreaming’ about the move.

Guingamp's French forward Jimmy Briand (L) vies with Marseille's Brazilian defender Matheus 'Doria' Macedo (C) and Marseille's Czech defender Tomas Hubocan (R) during the French L1 football match between Guingamp and Marseille on August 21, 2016 at the Roudourou stadium in Guingamp, western France. / AFP / FRED TANNEAU (Photo credit should read FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Just 21 years of age, Doria will be a long-term prospect at Chelsea. He can be the player Chelsea were looking for to lead their defensive line alongside Kurt Zouma for the next decade. The Brazilian international started his career with Botafogo before switching for Marseille in 2014. After spending some time with Marseille B, he was shipped out on loan to Sao Paulo and Granada before getting his shot in the first team of Marseille this season.

Doria has started 8 of Marseille’s 9 Ligue 1 games this season completing 90 minutes each time. He is exactly the kind of defender Conte loves. Doria is extremely composed while having the possession of the ball and has an excellent eye for a pass.

The Brazilian has registered a passing accuracy of 85.1% this season and what is more impressive about the youngster is his ability to pick out teammates with long balls. 3.5 successful long passes played every game, Doria is an out and out ball-playing defender, something Conte admires.

The defender is not the kind of a defender who does a lot of dirty work which is well-reflected from him just 0.9 tackles every game. The Brazilian has averaged 1.6 interceptions every game this season while clearing as many as 6.1 balls every game. It looks like Doria has every ingredient to succeed under Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

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