Chelsea had a breakthrough campaign under Antonio Conte last season after getting mired in controversies and altercations galore, following a horrendous title defence resulting in Jose Mourinho losing his job seven months into his third season at Chelsea. It has almost become typical of Chelsea; losing the plot after a successful season as was evident on so many other circumstances, resulting in an invariable change of management.
Weirdly enough, in the Abramovich era, the lack of sustainability hasn’t deterred Chelsea from being successful. If Chelsea’s cycle of managerial changes can be represented by way of a crude pattern, it would read something like this: Successful season- slump (back to square one)- mid season sacking of manager- appointment of an interim manager to see out the rest of the season- appointment of a new manager… and encore.
The current Chelsea Head Coach seems to have identified the aforementioned vicious cycle of managerial roundabout prevailing at the club and the cause behind it. In a season where Chelsea were the better team by a distance winning a record 30 games in the league; Conte, ever the perfectionist with an obsession to win at all costs, made it clear to the board that The Blues can not afford to rest on their laurels and must improve their squad in the summer transfer window.
The fact that Chelsea’s success was mostly down to its tenacious manager wasn’t lost on football experts and a discernible audience. Ask any football expert or a fan, at least more than 50% would say Chelsea’s title win was down to their formation change.
In the 3-4-3 formation envisioned by Conte, the wing-backs play a crucial role. Which is why Alex Sandro’s name featured among the foremost among Chelsea’s transfer targets. Juventus’ increasing reluctance in parting with Sandro may force Chelsea to look elsewhere, and FC Porto’s Alex Telles could turn out to be just the player Chelsea are looking for.
At 24 years, the Brazilian has his peak years ahead of him. Quite similar to his compatriot Sandro, Telles is equally at ease in defence and in the midfield featuring mainly on the left flank. Telles’ main attributes are his precise passes and crosses, yielding a remarkable 8 assists and a goal in 32 appearances.
FC Porto aren’t the easiest of clubs to deal with but Telles could prove to be a bargain as compared to Sandro’s £65m valuation, which Juventus have reportedly rejected. It remains to be seen if Chelsea deem Telles an ideal alternative to Sandro.