Chelsea may have just splashed almost £100 million on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan. However, it looks like the Champions League winners aren’t ready to rest on their laurels just yet, as they are reportedly preparing to make big moves for two La Liga stars — Atlético Madrid midfielder Saúl Ñíguez and Sevilla’s promising young center-back Jules Koundé.
The Blues are already one of the favorites in the English Premier League betting to topple defending champions Manchester City’s bid of retaining the league title, but if they can add even more depth to their already fantastic squad before the window slams shut, then Thomas Tuchel’s men will surely be in contention to lift the Premier League trophy come May.
So, with a lot of English football fans perhaps unfamiliar with the two Chelsea targets, we have put together this guide of what they can bring to Stamford Bridge. Read on to find out more!
Saúl is the kind of player that could thrive under Tuchel, as the German boss likes to deploy two holding midfielders and wing backs, positions that the Spaniard has been utilized in at the Wanda Metropolitano by Diego Simeone. The 26-year-old has been a mainstay in the Atléti squad since the 2015-16 season, playing the majority of the side’s La Liga games. However, last season was a rather frustrating period for Saúl, with Koke and Marcos Llorente becoming Simeone’s preferred midfielder partnership, meaning that he just filled in where required — whether that was right across the midfielder or in one of the full-back positions.
It’s likely that Saúl will play back-up at Chelsea, predominately in the midfield area, as the wing-back positions are already rather stacked by the likes of Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ben Chilwell, and Marcos Alonso. However, he will also face competition for cover at deep-lying midfield, with Mateo Kovačić also behind N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho in the pecking order. There’s no doubt he suits Chelsea’s system, but it would appear he will be used rather sparingly by Tuchel.
Koundé could fit perfectly into Tuchel’s back three, allowing Antonio Rüdiger and Thiago Silva to do the old-school dirty work while he can sweep up after them. More of a modern-day center-back, the 22-year-old isn’t one to dive into tackles, averaging a mere 0.8 per game for Seville last season. However, he has great awareness of his surroundings, and his pace could be a real asset to the side, as he is quick to close opponents down, using his presence to force them into mistakes, rather than going to the ground to make a tackle.
He may only be 5’11”, which would make him the smallest of Chelsea’s current center-backs, but he is still good in the air, hardly ever losing an ariel dual, whilst he is also a threat in the opposition box from set-pieces, something the Blues could miss as Kurt Zouma heads to West Ham. Having recently made his debut for France, Koundé undoubtedly has a big career ahead of him. And, if he wants to challenge the likes of Raphaël Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, and Benjamin Pavard for a starting place in Les Bleus’ side, he best not put a foot wrong at Stamford Bridge, helping the Blues become more favorable in the latest Premier League betting tips.