With just over two months left until the transfer window opens for business once again, Chelsea are apparently making plans for any possible business. The Express are reporting today that AS Monaco forward Lucas Ocampos is top of the list. Although he is only 20 years old, it would take a substantial bid from the London club to prize the Argentine away from the French Riviera.
Ocampos had just turned 18 years old when Claudio Ranieri sanctioned the €16 million move from River Plate to Monaco; it instantly made him the most expensive player in Ligue 2 and was the first of Russian billionaire owner Dimitry Rybolovlev high money signings.
The Express claims that Ocampos played a part in Monaco’s promotion back to Ligue 1, but it wasn’t as big a part as you would be led to believe.
After making his debut in the second week, Ranieri was cautious in how he used the young winger. That was the only game he started in 2012, and it wasn’t until March 2013 that he was picked to start away from the Stade Louis II.
At the end of the season, Ocampos had started 13 games from 29 appearances, with 12 of those coming in the last 13 games of the campaign. It was the slow introduction to the first-team that helped Ocampos develop, the four goals and two assists he added was a decent return for his first season in France.
This development was stunted during his first season in Ligue 1. The signing of James Rodriguez and the excellent play of fellow winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco meant that Ocampos only started 11 times as Monaco finished second in Ligue 2.
He scored one more goal than his season in Ligue 2, but only set up one goal through the campaign.
It is hard to see what Chelsea have seen that would interest them in spending around €25-30 million on the Argentine winger. Especially as he mostly plays through the centre or on the left of midfield, the exact same position where Belgian Eden Hazard is currently excelling in the Premier League.
It would be an interesting move, at just 20 years old, Ocampos still has bags of potential, but with the players Chelsea currently has in its squad, and it’s hard to see how Ocampos would get the chance to improve his current ability.