In a recent print edition, Record has mentioned that Chelsea have joined the race to land Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes this summer. However, it is understood that the Blues could face competition in the form of Manchester City and Manchester United in pursuit of the Portuguese defender in this off-season (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).
Mendes’ Solid Season In Portuguese Football
Mendes has enjoyed a brilliant season at the José Alvalade Stadium after producing a series of impressive displays down the left flank. The Sintra-born prospect has played in 35 matches for the Portuguese giants this term, registering one goal and two assists in various competitions.
The 18-year-old has performed well to average 1.7 tackles, 2.1 interceptions, 1.1 clearances, 0.6 shots, 1.1 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per game in the Liga NOS this season. He has even distributed the ball relatively well from the left-wing after completing 79.3% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).
Mendes is a player on the rise and has the potential to become a future star in European football if he can continue to improve himself with each season. Hence, he will be a massive coup for the Blues if they can get a deal over the line for him during this summer transfer window.
What Will Mendes Add To Thomas Tuchel’s Team?
Mendes boasts excellent pace and can pull off some eye-catching dribbles down the left flank. He has transformed himself into a decent defender inside his half and is a hard man to beat when left isolated in a 1v1 footchase with the opposition.
However, the Portuguese whizkid needs to add more goals and assists to his game if he wants to succeed at a club like Chelsea in the future. Mendes is already good enough to rival Ben Chilwell and Marcos Alonso for a place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI. There is no doubt that he will add more quality to the Blues’ defensive department and could help them compete for multiple trophies in the coming seasons.
At 18, Mendes is still quite raw and would need time to hone his skills and make an impact in the Premier League where he might struggle to cope with the physical nature and high intensity of English football. Hence, Tuchel should consider adding Mendes to his squad this summer so that he has a strong squad capable of competing for the league title next season.
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