Monday, September 26, 2022

Chelsea Locked In A 3 Way Battle For This Bundesliga Defender: What Will He Add To Tuchel’s Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent tweet, SportBILD journalist Christian Falk has mentioned that Chelsea are locked in a three-way battle for Red Bull Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate. It is understood that the Blues could face competition from Liverpool and Manchester United in pursuit of the French centre-back.

Konate’s Injury-Prone Season At Leipzig 

The Paris-born defensive ace has endured an injury-ravaged season at the Red Bull Arena but deserves credit for producing some commanding displays on the defensive end of the field. Konate has made 13 appearances for the German outfit this term, registering one goal and two yellow cards across various competitions.

The 21-year-old has caught the eye by averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 2.2 clearances and 0.5 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League group stages this season. He has also distributed the ball relatively well out from defence after completing 82.4% of his attempted passes in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).

Despite his injury struggles, Konate has proven himself to be a valuable member of Julian Nagelsmann’s match-day squad. Hence, he could turn out to be a shrewd buy for Chelsea if they can find a way to win the race for his services.

Chelsea locked in a three-way battle for Ibrahima Konate who is seen in the picture
Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig in action during the Bundesliga match between TSG Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig at PreZero-Arena on December 16, 2020 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)

What Will The French Defensive Ace Add To Thomas Tuchel’s Team?

Konate is a great tackler of the ball and has got the hunger to win possession back for his team. He has decent pace in his locker that allows him to pull off some important recovering runs at the back. The French youngster is also not afraid to put his foot through the ball to make a clearance when needed. He is a decent ball-playing centre-half as well, which makes him a wise choice for the Blues to consider during the summer transfer window. Standing at 1.94m, Konate has got a real presence about him and can be a hard man to knock off in the air.

Currently, Tuchel has got Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva making up his central defensive department. However, Thiago Silva’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of this campaign, so he could leave some space in Tuchel’s squad for someone like Konate, who has got the potential to become a future star in European football.

As long the Frenchman can steer clear of injuries in the coming seasons, he has a decent shot of becoming a world-class centre-back under a good man-manager like Tuchel, who might have the ingredients to unlock his true potential. With all things considered, Chelsea should think about engineering a move to bring the Leipzig prospect to the English capital when the transfer window reopens later this year.

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