Having failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, Chelsea are now a club that might struggle to land top transfer targets this summer. Antonio Conte’s future is also in doubt and could scupper a few deals in the transfer market. But that has not stopped the club from scouting for potential start to add to their squad and the latest name doing the rounds is Alessandro Florenzi.
The 27-year old started his senior career with Roma back in 2012 and established himself in the first team after spending just a year on loan at Crotone. He also broke into the Italian side at a tender age, making his debut in 2012 and has already made 28 appearances for his country, establishing himself at the highest level.
He suffered from a serious knee injury at the start of the season but managed to overcome it, making 26 Serie A starts and playing each of AS Roma’s games in the Champions League in their run to the semi-final. He already has 184 Serie A appearances and is widely regarded as the future captain in Rome but reports now suggest that he could be heading towards the exit door this summer.
Stories from Italy claim that AS Roma are not ready to meet his wage demands on a new deal and that negotiations over a contract extension for Florenzi have hit a snag. This has seen clubs like Juventus and Inter Milan show interest in his services. Chelsea are now the latest name linked with a move for the 27-year old, but what will he bring to Stamford Bridge?
A versatile player, who started his career as a right-back, Florenzi has been effectively used as a wing-back and also as an attacking winger to decent effect in the last season. He played 29 games as a RB, showing his wide range of passing and chance creation. As a full-back, he loves the overlaps in the final third but is disciplined at the back, hardly ever leaving space behind him on the flank.
He is not too strong in the air but his positioning and ability to read the game allow him to get the better of even the best players in the game. He fits into Conte’s system at Chelsea well, but it is to be seen if the Italian manager will be in London next season.
The Blues have Victor Moses as the first choice wing-back while Davide Zappacosta and Cesar Azpilicueta are also options for that role. But Florenzi adds more balance to the side in this role and could also walk into the first team. He has just a year left on his current deal and will not be expensive and is a player Chelsea should definitely look to sign this summer.