What a fantastic debut season Antonio Conte is having with Chelsea in the Premier League! The Blues have won 13 Premier League games on the bounce now and are in touching distance of rivals Arsenal’s Premier League milestone of straight wins. In the process, the West London side have managed to establish a 6-point gap at the top of the table. Chelsea will get another step closer to the title if Conte’s boys can overcome in-form Spurs on Wednesday.
Conte was the undisputed king of Italian football during his time at Juventus and is likely to do everything to bring that kind of supremacy in English football. As per Express Sport, Conte is looking to reinvest the Oscar-money from his move to China into Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk. The English media house claims that the Blues have launched a £60m bid to keep Virgil van Dijk out of Man City’s clutches.
A £60m move to Chelsea will make the Dutch international the most expensive defender in the history of football. The price tag might seem stupendous but in modern football, the worth of players is estimated from how high his stock is. Each and every Premier League giant has been linked with the former Celtic man since he moved to the South Coast club in the summer of 2015.
Especially considering the fact that cash-rich Manchester City are interested in him, the same club which sanctioned a big-money move for John Stones back in the summer, Chelsea have to splash such a big amount to bring him at Stamford Bridge.
Since he joined the Saints from Celtic in the summer of 2015, Van Dijk has established himself as one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League. He has never missed a Premier League game for the Saints till date although that record will come to an end this week after his sending off against West Brom. Van Dijk is more of a complete defender who possesses each and every skill a defender dreams of having.
Conte, during his time at Juventus and Italy national team, has managed defenders like Bonucci, Chiellini, Barzagli and Van Dijk is a defender of a similar mould. The back-three of Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill has looked impenetrable in most games but van Dijk would be able to make Chelsea’s defence even more compact.
Thanks to his frame of 6 ft 4 in, he excels in the air which is evident from his 4.6 aerials won every game. The Dutchman has an excellent passing ability for a defender, something Conte loves to see in his defenders. His passing accuracy this season has been 84.9%.
This could be John Terry’s last season at Chelsea while Gary Cahill is also in his thirties. Kurt Zouma has just returned from a long-term injury and is yet to adapt to Conte’s system. Van Dijk seems like a tailor-made defender for Conte and it would be one hell of a deal for the Premier League hopefuls.