By, Thomas Wheaton (Twitter: @tj_wheaton)
Ah, the seemingly never ending saga to obtain the signature of Alex Sandro continues. Juventus continues to play hard ball and rejected a €60 million bid from Chelsea for the Brazilian left-back. Should Chelsea meet Juventus’ demand of upwards of €70 million? Let’s discuss.
First and foremost, while this is a technicality and doesn’t really need to be reiterated… money is not an issue as long as Roman Abramovich owns our beloved Blues. It is simply something that we don’t need to be worried about. Frivolous spending on players simply for the reason of buying them on the other hand, that could raise some concern, but buying Sandro would not be waste of Abramovich’s money.
Last season, Chelsea brought in Marcos Alonso on the day before the deadline in what many pegged as a last-ditch response to not making any real big acquisitions aside from N’Golo Kante. As it turned out, Marcos Alonso fit in beautifully with Antonio Conte’s patented 3-4-3 formation. Alonso got the job done, and excelled in the left wing-back position, but can he do it again this season?
I, for one, believed Alonso would be a decent central midfielder playing more on the left side of the pitch. It never really seemed to me like he enjoyed playing defense. He was often up, overlapping with Hazard and/or sending nice crosses into the box. He did have six goals in 35 appearances for the club, which by all means, is not bad for a so-called defensive player. Yet still, I am not a believer in Alonso’s defensive ability. And during the preseason tour, he did himself no favors.
Alonso was caught up the pitch multiple times and the opponents punished him for it. Specifically, the Bayern game was truly atrocious for Alonso as he was almost single handedly responsible for Thomas Muller’s first goal. But Alonso isn’t the focus here, Sandro is.
There is no denying that Sandro would be an upgrade over the incumbent, Alonso. He is faster, better on the ball, and more defensively responsible than Alonso. Also, he has played in bigger games (Champions League for example) than Alonso, so he is undoubtedly more experienced than the Spaniard. There really is not a case for Alonso instead of Sandro at that left wing-back position for Chelsea. Oh, except the part where he is not yet a Blue.
Sandro is a physical specimen. A tall, powerful defender who is also capable of controlling the ball at his feet. Sounds familiar right? Maybe you’re thinking about his future teammates like David Luiz or even Caesar Azpilicueta? Sandro would fit in extremely well in Conte’s 3-4-3 as he is capable of coming forward and engaging in interplay with the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. But, is also capable of holding his own on the defensive side of the ball. Better yet, with his pace it is highly unlikely that he gets completely caught out on the left flank, unless he is on the ground or the play is too quick.
While €70 million would be a lot of money, and a world-record for a defender, it is the logical move for Chelsea. They need the depth, because it is unknown whether Alonso can really maintain last year’s performances. Sandro is an elite player who can play in both the left-back role (if Conte moves to a 4-3-3) and the wing-back role (if Conte continues the 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formations).
Chelsea whiffed on sending Matic to Juventus to sweeten the offer as he was claimed by Manchester United this week. Despite the setbacks and Juve standing firm on their demands, Chelsea need to end their hesitant approach to transfers and bring Sandro to Stamford Bridge.
Thumbnail Image Courtesy of: The Sun
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