Chelsea to buy player for £25m they could have bought for £6.6m in the summer?

Chelsea have been linked with Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

Welcome to a transfer rumour which does not add up. Let us explain.

The Express has claimed Chelsea want to offer Marseille a staggering £25 million for young midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

Fearing interest from Arsenal too, the paper write: "The Blues could blow the Gunners out of the water with a £25m offer for the defensive midfielder.

"Jose Mourinho sees Imbula as the man to fill the void left by Claude Makelele - who left Stamford Bridge five years ago - having become a world-class anchorman under the Portuguese manager."

There is one major logic flaw with the argument, and that is how Chelsea had the opportunity to sign Imbula in the summer from newly promoted Guingamp - only to let him move to Marseille instead for just £6.6 million.

The Express is proposing that his market value has soared in a matter of months so that he is now worth four times that to Chelsea, but it does not ring true to us.

Imbula is a raw talent at 21, and certainly not anywhere near the finished article. He is part of a Marseille team which have been the whipping boys in their Champions League group, losing all four games so far, and are already 10 points off the pace in Ligue 1.

He is ranked 43rd in Ligue 1 for tackling, and 114th for interceptions, failing to stand out in either key aspect for a defensive midfielder. His tackling is ranked fourth in the Marseille team, interceptions eighth.

Strength in the air is not a strong point of his either, winning less than 50 per cent of his aerial duels, with a ratio that is 13th best among his Marseille teammates.

The big positive is his passing, where his stats are the highest among his teammates, at an accuracy of 89.2 per cent, 15th best in Ligue 1 overall. There is however an argument that as a defensive midfielder a large percentage of these are naturally short passes, but he has created five goalscoring opportunities for his teammates so far this season.

Overall though there is not a lot to convince Chelsea fans that he has progressed so rapidly over the past few months, that the club should move on his inflated transfer value.

If they felt that strongly about his potential, they should have made the move in the summer, and focus on better value alternatives in January instead.

image: © T1o

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