There are very few weak areas in Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad, with two excellent players available in almost every position. However along with their worries up front, the centre of their midfield might by one place they look to strengthen this summer.
Frank Lampard is clearly still a force going forward, but perhaps does not give the defence enough cover, especially when paired with Ramires, who also enjoys roving forward. John Obi Mikel seems to have regressed in his time at Stamford Bridge, and offers little going forward whilst also not being an effective enough defensive screen.
Michael Essien will return, most likely with Jose Mourinho, but the Ghanaian is now 30, and almost as injury prone as Abou Diaby.
With all this in mind, Chelsea might look at bringing in a more complete midfielder, and Juventus’ Claudio Marchisio might be a good option for their new manager.
The 27-year-old has been a key part of the Juventus side that has one back-to-back league titles in Italy, with his tough tackling and clever runs forward. Marchisio has all the attributes to take Chelsea’s central midfield up a level, and he is a proven performer in the Champions League as well.
In the league Marchisio has six goals in 29 matches this year, adding two more in eight games in the Champions League. He is not as prolific as Lampard, but he would add defensive steel whilst contributing more goals than Chelsea’s other midfielders.
He is also a creative player, something Chelsea themselves experienced when he set up both goals as Juventus drew 2-2 at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League group stage.
Marchisio would not be cheap, probably costing near £20million, and at 27-years-old Chelsea might feel that they would prefer to gamble on a younger player. But the Italian would be an immediate upgrade to their existing options, and would have no trouble slotting straight into their team.
If Manchester United are as keen on him as reported, Chelsea’s interest would also see them strengthen their team whilst blocking a title rival doing the same, something that Jose Mourinho will no doubt consider.
image: © mitsurinho