Friday, August 12, 2022

Chelsea Have Reportedly Agreed A Deal For This Hungarian Centre-half – Smart From The Blues?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from the Turkish outlet CNN Turk is believed to be true, Chelsea have struck a transfer deal for Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai. Atletico Madrid were also keen on the Hungarian centre-half (as claimed by Todofichajes, cited by CNN Turk). However, the Blues have won the race and are likely to welcome him at Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

Szalai, 23, joined the Turkish giants from Apollon Limassol earlier this year for a minuscule fee of around £1.8m. Although he is contracted until summer 2025, the Yellow Canaries are willing to let him leave for such a hefty profit. His rapid rise after the EURO 2020 has grabbed the attention of many suitors and Chelsea, impressed with his emergence in recent months, are ready to pay an annual salary of around £3.4m.

The Hungary international joined Rapid Wien’s youth ranks from Vasas back in 2012. But he made only one senior appearance for the Austrian outfit before returning to his homeland with Mezőkövesd. A brief stint in Cyprus earned him the Fenerbahce move and the youngster is now close to joining the European champions in a fascinating six-year deal.

Chelsea-linked defender Attila Szalai in action for Hungary
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – SEPTEMBER 8: Attila Szalai of Hungary warms up prior to the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Hungary and Andorra at Puskas Arena on September 8, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Why It’s A Smart Move For Chelsea Despite Ample Defensive Options

Chelsea are well-equipped across the pitch including the defensive third. Kurt Zouma, Marc Guéhi and Fikayo Tomori left in summer for first-team football and the gaffer is content with the likes of skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr who have been rotated extensively in a ‘back three’ formation.

Having said that, the Blues might undergo a crisis next year amid Christensen and Rudiger’s contract conundrum. None of them has put pen to paper whereas Thiago Silva, 37, is approaching the twilight of a glorious career. Sarr has only been handed a fringe role in the current squad and Azpilicueta, 33 next season, would struggle to maintain both form and fitness in the long run.

The West London hotshots are blessed to spend millions in the transfer market and have done extremely well under Tuchel. They have not only conquered the European crown but are also going strong in the Premier League with a three-point cushion at the top of the standings. Moreover, they have made it through to the quarterfinals of the League Cup and are closing in on a place in the Champions League knockouts despite being beaten by Juventus in a group stage fixture. The Club World Cup glory is up for grab and the aggressive approach in terms of spending spree should help them dominate world football.

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