Thursday, September 28, 2023

Chelsea Identify This AC Milan Winger As A Target: What Will He Add To Tuchel’s Side?

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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 report, Calciomercato claimed that Chelsea have identified AC Milan winger Rafael Leao as a target. It is understood that the Blues could face competition in the form of Manchester City in the race to sign the Portuguese wide player.

Leao’s Impressive Numbers At San Siro Last Season

Leao had a terrific campaign at the Milan club as he helped them secure the Serie A title earlier this summer. The Almada-born talent made 42 appearances for the Italian outfit last season, netting 14 goals and earning 12 assists on all fronts.

The Portuguese wing wizard was a constant menace in the final third based on his average of 2.9 shots, 1.3 key passes and 2.9 dribbles per game in Serie A. However, he needs to improve his link-up as he completed 74.8% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Chelsea (Rafael Leao)
Napoli’s Slovakian midfielder Stanislav Lobotka (L) fights for the ball with AC Milan’s Portuguese forward Rafael Leao during the Italian Serie A football match between SSC Napoli and Milan AC at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples on March 6, 2022. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
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What Will Leao Add To Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel’s Side?

Leao is an excellent dribbler with the ball at his feet and can cause a lot of problems for his marker out on the wide areas. He has got the vision to cut open the opposition defence with a decisive pass in the final third and can strike the ball with power from long range.

The 23-year-old managed to contribute by scoring and creating his fair share of goals for AC Milan last season. Hence, we can expect him to add a lot of goals and creativity to Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel‘s frontline. Still, he has to find a way to improve his passing accuracy in the final third.

At 23, the best is yet to come from Leao, so the Blues should fancy their chances of getting the best out of the player in the coming seasons. However, there are some question marks over whether the Portuguese talent can cope with the physical nature and high intensity of English football.

Still, the pros outweigh the cons of recruiting Leao as he is a gifted talent who could help the West London outfit challenge Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League title race next season.

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