Thursday, March 30, 2023

Chelsea Identify This Bundesliga Defender As A Target: Should Tuchel Get Him On Board?

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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 print edition, Sport mentioned that Chelsea have identified Red Bull Leipzig defender as a target this summer. It has been mentioned that the Blues are eyeing the Croatia defensive ace as a replacement for Cesar Azpilicueta during this summer transfer window.

Gvardiol’s Impressive Form At The Red Bull Arena Last Season

Gvardiol experienced an impressive season with Leipzig last season when he put in several dominant displays for them on the defensive end of the pitch. The 20-year-old registered two goals and three assists in 45 matches for the German outfit in the previous campaign across all fronts.

The Zagreb-born talent was a rock at the back as he averaged 1.6 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 1.9 clearances and 1.3 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga. He even took care of the ball well when distributing possession from inside his half after making 84% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Chelsea (Thomas Tuchel)
Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 28, 2022. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
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Should Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel Get Gvardiol On Board This Summer?

Gvardiol is a solid tackler of the ball and can make some timely interceptions for his team on the defensive third of the field. He doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball when needed and is even proficient at playing his way out from the back.

Standing at 1.85m, the Croatia international can be a strong presence in the air as well. Hence, he will be a good fit for Thomas Tuchel’s brand of football at Stamford Bridge.

We can expect Gvardiol to add more bite and steel to Chelsea‘s backline. He could even serve as a perfect replacement for Cesar Azpilicueta at the West London club due to his versatility to play in multiple positions across the backline.

At 20, the future is quite bright for the Croatia centre-back as long as he continues to improve himself with each season. Tuchel has got enough experience to oversee Gvardiol’s development and turn him into a future star in the English capital. With all things considered, the Blues would be wise to get the Leipzig whizkid on board before the end of this transfer window.

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