According to Sportmediaset’s Claudio Raimondi (via Calciomercato), Chelsea are leading the race to land AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie if he decides to leave the Italian club as a free agent next summer. However, it is understood that the Blues are set to face competition from their London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur in pursuit of the Ivory Coast international.
Kessie’s Excellent Form At San Siro Last Season
Kessie had a productive season in Italian football after he managed to put in a run of solid performances at the heart of Stefano Pioli’s midfield. The 24-year-old registered 14 goals and six assists in 50 matches for the Milan giants in the previous campaign across all fronts.
The Ouragahio-born sensation proved himself to be a valuable contributor at the red half of Milan as he averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.3 clearances, 1.3 shots, 0.8 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per 90 minutes in Serie A last season. He also took care of possession relatively well when distributing the ball from midfield based on his pass completion rate of 88.9% in the top tier of Italian football (stats via whoscored).
Kessie has shown plenty of positive signs at San Siro over the past 12 months, so a lot will be expected of him this season now that AC Milan are back in the UEFA Champions League. At 24, the best is yet to come from the Ivory Coast talent, so Chelsea can expect to make the most out of his talents if they can successfully manage to get him on board on a free transfer next summer.
What Will Kessie Bring To Stamford Bridge?
Kessie is a tough-tackling central midfielder who can sense the danger quickly and clear his lines when required. He has got the tenacity to chase the opposition down and win the ball back for his team at the centre of the park. The 44-time Ivory Coast international is a pure striker of the ball and can create a few inviting goal-scoring chances for his teammates in the attacking end of the field. Furthermore, he hardly gives away the ball and is proficient at making some energetic dashes towards the opponent’s penalty box.
Kessie is under contract at Milan until next summer, so if the Italian club fail to tie the player down to a new contract, he would be free to join any club of his choosing at the end of this campaign. Hence, the Blues are in a strong position to sign the AC Milan star as Thomas Tuchel would have the luxury to offer him a lucrative, long-term contract.
Kessie has what it takes to serve as a decent long-term replacement for someone like N’Golo Kante who is entering the final stage of his playing career with the West London club. We can expect him to bring a lot of quality to Tuchel’s midfield at Stamford Bridge and offer some serious competition for Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Saul Niguez (if he signs with Chelsea permanently) in the coming seasons.