Chelsea Transfer Rater: 5 Defender targets inc. De Ligt, Kounde and Koulibaly

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The Chelsea Transfer Rater: Centre-Backs

Under new ownership led by Todd Boehly, the expectation will be that Chelsea will look to bring in players to challenge for the league again but will do so in an economically sensible fashion – underpriced picks or young players with potential to grow.

Chelsea have seen 2 of their starting back 3 leave the club while it’s looking increasingly likely that club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso will also look to exit this summer meaning there’s a serious defensive rebuild on the hands of manager Thomas Tuchel.

We’re going to look into 5 centre back names that have been discussed in the media as potential targets of Tuchel and Chelsea. But before we do, let’s briefly try to understand what kind of centre back the manager would want.

Tuchel’s 3-4-3 or variations on this system base themselves around a core build-up principle of something like a 3-2-5 shape. In a quick summary of what’s relevant here, the 3 centre backs must be confident and capable of shuttling the ball around the back drawing forward a press before playing a pass to the receiving midfielders behind that press.

In defence, they need good recovery pace to cope with modern attackers and a high defensive line as well as the physicality and aggression to step out and attack the ball. Thus, a Tuchel centre back must be assured in possession and have good speed and strength alongside their primary defensive skills.

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