Saturday, April 1, 2023

Chelsea Could Find The Long-Term Partner For Kurt Zouma In This Excellent Youngster

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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).

Antonio Conte would have envisioned a better start to his tenure at Chelsea and the key reason behind the lacklustre start is Chelsea’s struggle in defence. Chelsea have not found it hard to score goals thus far this season but they have had serious trouble in keeping away the opponents from scoring which became even worse when skipper John Terry missed through injuries.

It’s more of a public knowledge that Chelsea were after a number of central defenders during the summer transfer window but failed to bring either of them before making a panic buy by signing David Luiz on the deadline day.

Chelsea will definitely look into the transfer market once it reopens in January to bolster their defensive ranks and a player who has been strongly linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge is young defender Presnel Kimpembe, if reports from Metro are to be believed.

The 21-year-old has been impressive for the French Champions this season after finally getting a run in the first-team afforded to him by David Luiz’s move back to Stamford Bridge.

John Terry is into the final year of his contract with Chelsea and it is still doubtful whether Conte will offer him another extension before this summer as he will turn 36 this December. Both Gary Cahill and David Luiz have struggled for form while Kurt Zouma is still out with injury. A central defender and more importantly a young one who can be a long-term prospect at the club, is what Chelsea need right now and Kimpembe would be a brilliant option.

Nancy's French forward Christophe Mandanne (R) vies for the ball with Paris Saint-Germain's French defender Presnel Kimpembe during the French L1 football match between Nancy (ASNL) and Paris (PSG) on October 15, 2016, at Marcel Picot stadium in Tomblaine, eastern France. / AFP / JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN (Photo credit should read JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Tall, strong and fast, the young Frenchman has everything a defender dreams of. The 21-year-old is not the biggest of defenders but his composure and ability on the ball is impressive. Conte loves to have defenders who have an excellent eye for pass and Kimpembe is a tailor-made defender for him with his 90.7% passing accuracy. Chelsea’s wide attacking wide players, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and Willian, will love the fact that the young Frenchman can pick out long-range passes.

The French under-21 international, who has already been called up by the senior team lately but yet to make his debut, has played 2.9 successful long passes every game which is an impressive figure for a defender.

Kimpembe has averaged 2.4 interceptions, 2.6 clearances and 0.9 tackles every game. From his stats it is evident that he rarely has to do the dirty work. However, one thing the Frenchman lacks is experience. The 21-year-old has just played 18 times till date for PSG and needs to learn a lot. He has all the promise to become a long-term partner of his compatriot Zouma at the heart of Chelsea defence.

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