Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Chelsea Eye Winter Swoop For This Barcelona Youngster: Why The Blues Must Rope Him In

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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 Daily Star is believed to be true, Chelsea are considering a move for young Barcelona fullback Sergino Dest. Long-term injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell decimated Thomas Tuchel’s wingback options and the club, therefore, are exploring the winter market to find a solution.

While the Blues have been linked with a move for Everton outcast Lucas Digne, Dest’s name has popped up as an alternative, given his versatility down the wide. With Emerson out on loan at Lyon, Marcos Alonso remains the only recognized fullback capable of operating from the left-hand flank. Cesar Azpilicueta, down the right, is more suited in a three-man backline and the gaffer, therefore, has been forced to rely on the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic as makeshift wingbacks.

Chelsea target Sergino Dest in action for Barcelona
Barcelona’s US defender Sergino Dest (L) vies with Real Betis’ Spanish forward Juanmi during the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 4, 2021. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via 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/)

Dest progressed through the esteemed academy ranks of AFC Ajax before breaking into their senior side back in July 2019. He went to make 38 appearances for the Dutch giants before plying his trades at Camp Nou for a fee of around  €26m. The youngster grabbed a regular status since his high-profile Blaugrana transfer and has featured 57 times so far for the Catalans across competitions.

Why Chelsea Should Bank On Dest’s Attributes

The 21-year-old USMNT international has exhibited his flexibility by attuning to various set-ups. He is efficient from both left and right, something that would help the Blues bolster themselves by restoring depth as well as stability in the defensive third.

Dest has impressed with his marauding runs, dribbles, crosses and creative spark but, at the same time, must learn to balance his game between attack and defence going forward. He leaves a lot of space behind and fails to track back at times when the opponents stage counter-attacking threats. Alonso, too, has his limitations deep down the pitch but the attacking expertise of the Spaniard makes him integral to Tuchel’s successful Chelsea side.

The Champions of Europe are lagging in the Premier League race following an array of underwhelming outcomes during the festive season. Manchester City are the runaway leaders at the moment and the London hotshots, therefore, have no bandwidth for further setbacks in the remainder of the campaign. They are close to securing a place in the League Cup semis (after a 2-0 first-leg win against Spurs), however, they have bigger objectives to meet in terms of conquering silverware. It’s time for them to flex their financial muscle and rope in the highly-rated defender.

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