Thursday, March 30, 2023

Chelsea Linked With Premier League Winner To Fortify The Defence: A Wise Move By Conte?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Chelsea Boss Antonio Conte came under pressure after his team surrendered the momentum they gained from their wonderful start to the season when they lost successive matches to Liverpool and Arsenal. The team looked to be having problems at the back with their players making costly individual mistakes.

The Italian manager also found it hard to strike the right balance with his use of personnel as the dilemma of having defensive stability or midfield creativity continued to trouble him. The manager looked angry and disappointed with his players after the Arsenal game and also warned his players that unless they rectify their mistakes they would have another disappointing season this year.

The last game against Hull brought a much needed victory as the team played well but Conte is not a person to get carried away with one result and he has identified some of the problems which need to be fixed and the problem area is the defence.

It is not a secret that Chelsea will be submitting bids for possibly both a fullback and a central defender in the January transfer window but now if recent reports are to be believed, there can be some very interesting developments in the goalkeeping section as well.

Apart from the defenders, the Blues have suffered in the goalkeeping section with their keeper Thibaut Courtois, having a sharp dip in form which has been evident since last season. This season, despite all the early euphoria of starting the Premier League campaign with three wins in a row, it was the Belgian who looked to be average throughout and that has been the case so far with the exception of last Saturday where he gave a commanding performance in the Premier League after a long time.

Arsenal's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez (L) runs in to score the opening goal past Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 24, 2016. / AFP / Ben STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Statistically, it has been proven already that Courtois has the worst save percentage of all the goalkeepers in the Premier League this season with a shocking 47.1% with Manchester City keeper Claudio Bravo at the top with 77.8%. This is a worrying stat for Conte and the Belgian has already made matters worse with his comments of missing Spain and feeling half Spanish with highlighting all the melodrama about leaving Atletico Madrid when he said goodbye. It hasn’t gone down well with the Chelsea fans and with Conte being spotted at Turin watching the home team beat Fiorentina, it can be bad news for the Belgian.

Torino now has England’s no.1 keeper Joe Hart on loan from Manchester City and the Chelsea boss can make a move for him in the winter to bring him back to England once again.

Hart was considered to be surplus to the requirements at the Etihad with Guardiola stating the Englishman is not fit for his method of building play up from the back, Conte might not think the same way as he can integrate Hart into his system easily.

It remains to be seen what happens on that front if Chelsea do decide to move for Hart in the future but at the moment it seems like the position of Courtois at Stamford Bridge is a bit uncertain.

We have already seen that Cech, who was surplus to requirements to Chelsea, achieving success at Arsenal and perhaps Hart can follow a similar path which ends with him moving to Chelsea!

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