Saturday, April 1, 2023

Chelsea Are Keeping A Keen Eye On This La Liga Winger: Should Potter Snap Him Up?

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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, Fichajes mentioned that Chelsea are keeping a keen eye on Villarreal winger Alex Baena. It has been claimed that the Blues will face competition from Arsenal in the race to secure the services of the Spanish wide player in the summer.

Baena’s Impressive Form In Spanish Football

Baena is having a productive campaign in Spain as he has been responsible for putting in a string of influential displays on the left side of Villarreal’s attack. The 21-year-old has found the back of the net on ten occasions and earned five assists in 33 appearances for the Yellow Submarine this season across multiple competitions.

The Spanish sensation has been a reliable performer in the final third based on his average of 1.8 shots, 1.0 key passes and 0.8 dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. He has even been careful when distributing possession in the opposition half, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 81.8% in the top tier of Spanish football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Villarreal is set to expire in the summer of 2028. Thus, Chelsea will have to launch a big offer if they are serious about recruiting Baena this summer.

Stamford Bridge
Stamford Bridge

Should Chelsea Boss Graham Potter Snap Baena Up?

Baena can create space for himself to get a few strikes in at goal. He has even got the eye to play some decisive passes on the attacking end of the field. He is a technically gifted footballer who can also make a handful of exciting runs with the ball out on the wide areas.

The Spaniard is primarily a left-sided wide player but can also operate as a right-winger or in the number position if told to do so. At 21, Baena has got a very promising future ahead which makes him a great, long-term option for Chelsea to pursue later this year.

The Villarreal youngster will enhance the overall depth of Graham Potter’s match-day squad at Stamford Bridge. He could even offer some healthy competition for Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech for a regular starting spot at the West London club. Hence, Potter should focus on doing everything he can to snap Baena up during the summer transfer window.

However, there are some serious concerns over whether the gifted wing wizard can cope with the physicality and high intensity of Premier League football if the Blues manage to get him on board in the off-season.

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