With the signing of Willian, Chelsea’s midfield now has an array of attacking talent to rival the best sides in the world. However, Jose Mourinho has as yet made no moves to bring in a combative ball-winner, and with the transfer window about to shut will the Blues make an eleventh hour move to address an apparent hole in their midfield?
There’s no doubting that they already have an excellent box-to-box midfielder in Ramires, whose work rate and athleticism would put that Duracell bunny to shame, but aside from him, an ageing Michael Essien and the pedestrian Jon Obi Mikel are unlikely to marshal the midfield in the same manner as former Blue Claude Makelele could.
Mourinho has had no shortage of transfer funds since his return to Stamford Bridge so he could well turn to Abramovich’s cheque book once more in order to sign one of the continent’s best holding midfielders.
Since Mourinho is starting to become rather adept at poaching his rivals transfer targets, Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan would be an appropriate choice given his links with Arsenal and Manchester United: the young German showed his class during his side’s run to last season’s Champions League Final and he has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years.
Gundogan benefits from being a player with both an eye for a pass and the ability to break up play and at 22 he is only likely to improve. Dortmund are obviously reluctant to entertain any offers for one of their star men making him a tough target to land so late in the summer, and the Metro reported he would command a fee of over £20million.
If Chelsea could lure him away from the Bundesliga though, Gundogan would compliment the creative talents of Oscar and Eden Hazard superbly with his regimented and reliable central midfield role.
A player well known to Mourinho and would also fit the bill is Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira. Gundogan’s German international team-mate is unsure of his future under new manager Carlo Ancelotti and could be reunited with his former boss at Stamford Bridge.
The Express reported earlier this month that both Manchester United and Chelsea were interested in the player’s services and Khedira’s tough tackling and physicality would make adapting to the Premier League an easy task; Mourinho often deployed him to add strength to his Real side and he would surely bring the same to Chelsea’s relatively light weight outfit.
One final option for Chelsea is Daniele De Rossi, Roma’s talismanic vice-captain and a mainstay of the Italian national team for the past seven years. De Rossi has been consistently linked with a move to England and in particular Chelsea in recent years, so will this summer be the window in which he trades Rome for London?
ESPN claimed that Manchester United have lodged a £10million bid for the Italian but to no avail so if Chelsea do decide to swoop they would not only capture an excellent defensive midfielder but also deprive David Moyes of a top transfer target. De Rossi has built a reputation around his abilities as a midfield general making him an obvious choice to solve Chelsea’s midfield quandary.
Aged 30, his experience would no doubt help younger players such as Oscar and Andre Schurrle improve their game. Roma have already stated that they are confident of keeping their man but if Chelsea are prepared to make the Italians an offer they can’t refuse then De Rossi might find it equally hard to resist the chance to play for one of the world’s biggest clubs.