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Gallas Backs This Talented Defender To Seal A Move To Chelsea: Should Tuchel Launch A Move?

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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 interview with M4 Sport, former Premier League centre-back William Gallas backed Attila Szalai to seal a move to Chelsea. Gallas said, “I have seen him play in the national team. I consider him a very good, strong and fast defender.

“He is still very young; he can develop a lot. The fact that he is being discussed with Chelsea is very good.

“If the transfer goes through, it would be good for him. I’m sure a step up in level at London would help him a lot.

“He could learn a lot from the world-class defenders, and of course, he could play against the best strikers in the world in the Premier League.

“Every game in England is physically demanding, but I wasn’t scared at all.”

Szalai’s Impressive Run Of Form In Turkish Football This Season

Szalai is having a solid campaign in Turkish football as he has produced a series of dominant displays at the heart of Fenerbahce’s defence. The Hungarian centre-back has been involved in 20 matches for the Turkish outfit this season, picking up three yellow cards across multiple competitions.

The 23-year-old has been a consistent performer for his current club on the defensive end of the field based on his average of 1.5 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 2.9 clearances per 90 minutes in the Turkish Super Lig. He has even distributed possession relatively well after making 78.2% of his attempted passes in the Turkish first division (stats via whoscored).

Chelsea (Attila Szalai)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JUNE 4: Attila Szalai of Hungary gives interview after the International Friendly match between Hungary and Cyprus at Ferenc Szusza Stadium on June 4, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
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Should Chelsea Head Coach Thomas Tuchel Launch A Move For Szalai?

Szalai has decent pace in his locker that helps him make some important recovering runs at the back. He has got good defensive awareness and can time his tackles well to earn possession back for his team. Standing at 1.92m, the Hungarian centre-back can use his strength to dominate the aerial battle inside his penalty box. He is also a potent aerial threat from indirect set-pieces at the other end.

Szalai’s recent form suggests that he could be a clever acquisition for the Blues. We can expect him to add a lot of bite and steel to Thomas Tuchel‘s defensive department. Furthermore, the Hungarian talent could serve as a decent successor to Thiago Silva at Stamford Bridge in the long run.

At 23, the Budapest-born defensive ace has got a very promising future in European football. Thus, Chelsea would do well to launch a move to acquire his services when the transfer window commences this January or next summer.

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