Van Gaal: I know Chelsea want Sneijder – but do they need him?

The Netherlands national coach has stated that the Galatasaray midfielder is in the west London club’s sights, but is he a player that can improve the Blues?

Transfer rumours surrounding Dutch midfield maestro Wesley Sneijder have re-emerged over the last couple days, with Louis Van Gaal giving his opinion on the star’s future.

The Netherlands national coach has admitted that he feels that playing in the Premier League would improve Sneijder’s chances of strong international performances.

“I know Chelsea and Jose Mourinho want Sneijder,” Turkish newspaper Vatan quote Van Gaal as saying.

“In my opinion, if possible Sneijder should leave Galatasaray and join Chelsea.

“Playing under Mourinho again would improve his performances and help him regain his form for the national team.”

Sneijder’s move to Turkey was something of a surprise in the first place, as the Dutch playmaker was being heavily linked with a switch to Manchester United at the time. The Premier League champions have seemingly cooled their interest in the experienced midfielder, but the Blues are reportedly now in the hunt for his signature.

The Dutch playmaker was a significant player in Jose Mourinho’s Inter team that won a Serie A and Champions League double, and as such the Portuguese manager knows the midfielder is capable of.

However, with Sneijder heading towards 30, is he a player that Chelsea need currently?

In Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 system, it is highly unlikely that Sneijder would command an attacking midfield position, despite his ability. Competition for places in those attacking trident roles is already fierce, with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Willian, Kevin De Bruyne, Oscar and Andre Schurrle all vying for a place.

However, in central midfield, there is a chance that Sneijder could improve Chelsea as a team. Ramires seems to be an ever-present in Mourinho’s thoughts when available, with the Brazilian partnered with Frank Lampard or John Obi Mikel in the boiler room. Michael Essien is also in contention for a central midfield berth.

From the centre of the park, Sneijder’s immense passing ability and vision could be a real asset, and his dead-ball delivery is as good as anyone in Europe. Whether he would be compatible with Ramires however is another thing, as both have attacking tendencies.

Sneijder has dropped deeper as his career has progressed, and he could be used as a deep-lying playmaker, but his defensive abilities in the more physical English game would need to be tested.

Chelsea fans – would you welcome Sneijder to Stamford Bridge?

images: © joopvandijk, © Patrick de Laive

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