Quick links


Why Chelsea should say no to signing Sneijder

The Blues have been linked with an ill-advised move for the Galatasaray star but should avoid it for a number of reasons.

Jose Mourinho may be tempted by a reunion with former Inter Milan favourite Wesley Sneijder, but the Special One would be wise to back off any move to bring the Dutch playmaker to StamfordBridge.

National team manager Louis Van Gaal has already urged the 29-year-old to seek a move to Chelsea, something he believes will rejuvenate the midfielder’s flagging career, but what’s in it for the Blues?

After all, Mourinho has already shelled out for two players in the shape of Samuel Eto’o and Willian that, while once highly rated, have so far appeared blunt in the highly-competitive atmosphere of the English top flight.

In both instances, these players have come straight from Russia – a lesser league in the eyes of many cultured football fans and it’s difficult not to draw similarities with Sneijder and Galatasaray.

The Turkish club may have progressed to the quarter finals of the Champions League last term, but this season they have so far looked woefully out of their depth, suffering humiliation at home to Real Madrid before salvaging a late draw with Juventus.

In both encounters Sneijder struggled to make an impact, with his substitution in the second of these encounters ultimately paving the way for his replacement Umit Bulut to score the equaliser.

But it’s not simply a case of the Dutchman struggling to meet the demands of the Premier League, it’s also down to the fact that Chelsea really don’t need another attacking midfielder.

Juan Mata, Oscar, Frank Lampard, Kevin De Bruyne, Willian, Eden Hazard and even on occasion Ramires, are all capable of providing support in the attacking third and, more importantly, they offer much more versatility than Sneijder.

One of the major criticisms of the midfielder towards the end of his time with Inter, and something that was ultimately used to justify his transfer was the fact that when Sneijder played, the team had to be set up in a very specific way, with the Holland international pulling the strings in a central attacking role.

On a good day – like the 2010 Champions League final – it played out to perfection, but catch Sneijder on a bad one and the team would struggle to find rhythm.

Then there are the concerns about attitude.

A key component of Holland’s failure to progress past the group stages of Euro 2012 was the reported in-fighting that took place between the big egos within the Oranje squad and few come much bigger than Sneijder.

As far back as 2008, Robin Van Persie noted a lack of class in his compatriot, after a row erupted between the pair over who should have taken a free-kick during their quarter-final defeat to Russia at the Euros in Austria and Poland.

Meanwhile a contract dispute towards the end of his Inter career saw Sneijder sit out a series of games, claiming he was not in the correct mind frame to play for the Nerazzurri.

Last but not least, are the continuing injury problems that have dogged the player over the years, from a thigh complaint with Inter through to the problem that saw him drop out of the Holland squad for their recent qualifiers.

Five years ago Sneijder was the toast of Europe and a major transfer target for Manchester United, if Chelsea sign him now, Mourinho could be left seeing red of an altogether different kind.

image: © joopvandijk

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch