As the clock keeps ticking, the end of the transfer market is coming upon us. Many top clubs around Europe have already settled for their squad for the new season while some clubs are still hunting in the market for fresh arrivals, one of which is Chelsea.
The Premier League champions have been rather slow in the market this season, having failed to land top transfer targets. Antonio Conte, however, is not done with the market, as they swing their interest towards Bayern Munich full-back Rafinha if rumours from SportBild are to be believed. But does it make sense for the defending champions to hunt for Rafinha? Here’s a SWOT report on the Brazilian fullback.
Rafinha is a clever defender. He is not like any other fullback, who just loves to roam forward while leaving acres of gaps in behind. He knows his strengths and takes well-calculated risks when it comes to roaming forward with pace. While he might not be the most speedy wingback, but what he lacks in pace, he makes up for it with his smart footballing mind.
Playing for Bayern for so many years, Rafinha’s passing skills have improved a lot. He can either station himself in the opposition half or scour behind the defensive line and work tirelessly.
Rafinha is clearly one of the most underrated right backs in the Bundesliga and is perhaps the best Bayern have at the moment, following the retirement of Philip Lahm last season. While he might not be the one with the most flashy performances, but his industrialism at the back is often the thing which gets overshadowed by the great offensive players Bayern have in their team.
The Brazilian is also an experienced defender – having played over 400 Bundesliga matches in his time with Bayern and his former team, Schalke, during which he has won many trophies including five Bundesliga titles, three DFB cups and a Champions League.
His age. Rafinha is already 31 years old, which doesn’t offer a great deal of promise for the future. Although he hasn’t shown any sign of deterioration just yet.
Also, despite raving about his qualities as a right back, we also must admit the fact that he is no Philip Lahm. He lacks in offensive quality when attacking the opposition, thus, his crosses are not as accurate as others. Rafinha’s mentality has also caused him some trouble in the past. A rough mentality has always been a reason for him getting sent off by the ref in crucial moments.
Considering the squad Chelsea have, it seems as if Rafinha will have to settle for a backup spot. Marcos Alonso and Azpilicueta are at the peak of their game at the moment, and it doesn’t seem practical for Rafinha to be starting ahead of those two talented individuals.
However, Azpilicueta was seen playing as the right sided centre back for most period of last season, therefore it might open a door for Rafinha to play as the right wing-back for Chelsea, with Victor Moses as the only competitor.
As previously mentioned, Rafinha isn’t getting any younger and that raises a question of whether or not Bayern will sell their most prominent back-up or even a replacement for Philip Lahm. So far, Joshua Kimmich has outperformed the Brazilian as the club’s number one right back choice but soon, when injuries start to haunt, Rafinha could turn into a first choice RB for coach Carlo Ancelotti.