Saturday, August 13, 2022

Chelsea Interested In This Brazilian Olympics Star; Why Conte Simply Has To Make It Happen

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

According to reports, Chelsea are in hot pursuit for Santos star Thiago Maia, who is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in Brazilian football, having shone in his homeland and for his national side as they took gold at the 2016 Olympics.

There are, however, many others in the line to land the central midfielder and Chelsea won’t have it easy. Among the biggest names are Manchester United and Paris-Saint Germain.  It doesn’t end here as Antonio Conte will also face stiff competition from Serie A champions Juventus who are also preparing a bid.

PSG are, in fact, having an edge over the other suitors as PSG player Marquinho is apparently a good friend of the 19 years old midfielder. Maia already seems very familiar with the PSG squad and the French capital appears to be his most likely destination instead of a move to England. PSG are also looking for Thiago Motta’s long-term successor in midfield and Maia fits the bill properly, according to reports.

Conte is looking at major changes in his side coming January and the summer transfer window. The Blues are currently having a brilliant run in the Premier League with 6 wins in a row. The fact that they are out of the League Cup and did not qualify for the Champions League has also helped their successful league run to much of an extent. Conte might be able to pull players to his side if the Blues stand at a strong position in January for qualifying in the Champions League next season.

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Chelsea at Riverside Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Maia has shown good maturity at his age for the position of anchorman, which requires the blending of offence and defence. His passing prowess from the deep midfield has attracted many suitors and his timely tackles have led many to tout the short midfielder as the next big star.

Antonio Conte has turned Chelsea very sound defence-wise, which was a shamble last season, and he would surely admire a player who can change gears from defence to attack so effectively and accurately. The Blues are looking to offload midfielders like Cesc Fabregas and Oscar in January as Conte has not found their defensive contributions fitting his tactics. While Oscar made a 90th minutes substitution in the weekend’s match against Middlesbrough, Cesc Fabregas was left on the bench, which indicates that their days are numbered.

With N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic doing well in the midfield role, Maia will have tough competition to break into the first team.

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