Thursday, June 1, 2023

Can Antonio Conte Finally Land This Long Term Target at Stamford Bridge?

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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.

A lot of defenders have been linked with Chelsea this winter and the latest one to be linked is AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas. The Blues have been linked with the central defender for over a year now but no deal materialised. However, with Conte heading the management and identifying the Greek international as a potential player in his defence rich setup, things might change.

Manolas has always stated his desire to stay with the Italian giants in the past, which was one of the main reasons why no club could get him despite offering good deals. However, following a recent rift between the player and the club concerning contract renewal, there might be a chance for Antonio Conte to swoop in for the highly-rated defender.

Manolas is believed to want a pay-rise to stay at Roma but the club are unwilling to meet his demands. Chelsea sure won’t be having problems paying his wages.  Although, landing the defender won’t be an easy task as the Blues will have to fend off competition from the likes of Arsenal and Everton, who are also interested in him.

Manolas could be an efficient option for Conte at the back as the Italian is desperately looking for options at the back as the schedule become more hectic with the passage of weeks. His intelligent defending could perfectly fit at Chelsea.

US Sassuolo v AS Roma - Serie A

In his 15 appearances for Roma so far, Manolas has won 11 tackles, 38 interceptions, 99 clearances and 16 blocks. With a passing accuracy of 89%, which is excellent for a central defender, he has won 2.5 aerial duels every game this season on an average, which proves that he is a force in the air. The Roma stopper has averaged 12 defensive actions every game this season, a figure that any manager in the world would love.

An 189cm central defender, who likes to play long passes from the deep, Manolas could be very similar to David Luiz in movement and approach and Conte’s back line would be quite close to be impenetrable with his addition.

Chelsea finally saw their winning streak broken by Tottenham Hotspur as they went down 2-0 at White Hart Lane. Conte felt the hectic schedule kicking in as he was forced to play his back three in the big game and the tired legs didn’t have potential backups to take the pressure. Conte will definitely have to bring in defenders who could replace the back three when the time comes.

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