No team in England has matched Chelsea’s consistency in the Premier League this season. Under Antonio Conte, the Blue Brigade has been unstoppable and have rarely faltered. Whether it be the big games against the top six teams or the tricky fixtures away to the mid-table sides, the Blues have been quite invincible.
Now, with the Champions League in their sight for next season, Conte knows quite well that he would need more squad depth to endure the rigours. Unlike their ongoing campaign, where Conte had a fixed first-team throughout the season, the Italian will have to go through permutations and combinations to scrape through the hectic schedule.
And it seems that the club is already making arrangements for it as according to Daily Mail, Chelsea’s old target Hakan Calhanoglu, who plays for German side Bayer Leverkusen, is expected to make a move to the London side next summer. The 22-year-old Turkish international is currently serving a four-month suspension as punishment for breaching a contract with Turkish club Trabzonspor.
And in a recent interview with Turkish news agency Fanatik, the midfielder has stated, “God willing, I will be a Chelsea player next season… There are also a number of other clubs interested in signing me.”
After the disposal of Oscar and John Obi Mikel to Chinese giants, Chelsea haven’t yet been quite successful in replacing the duo. And Calhanoglu seems to be an ideal player to take their place in the central midfield.
The Turk is pretty strong in dead ball situations, taking long shots and dribbling past opponents. Calhanoglu could provide some of the most perfect and defence piercing passes from deep midfield. Chelsea are currently doing well with N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, who are not the best central midfielders when technique is concerned and rely mostly on their off the ball work rate to be effective.
Calhanoglu has scored six goals and provided five assists in 14 Bundesliga appearances this season. He has also been impressive in Leverkusen’s Champions League campaign scoring 1 and assisting the same in 4 appearances. The player has completed 586 passes this season with a pass accuracy of 78%, of which 76% have been forward passes.
Calhanoglu was handed his four-month ban by FIFA early in January after a dispute between Trabzonspor and the midfielder’s former club Karlsruher. After originally agreeing to join the Turkish club as a teenager, Calhanoglu didn’t keep his word and signed a contract extension with Karlsruher.