After the transition of David Luiz from defensive rock, to marauding defensive midfielder, it may well be time to dip into the market for another centre-back, especially with concerns over John Terry’s long term fitness.
A £100m warchest apparently awaits our new boss, and its open to debate whether we need to spend that anywhere at all. However, if you have to argue somewhere to spend it, your first-choice may well be at the back. With Terry, 32, Ivanovic, 29, and Cahill, 27, it is clear that a youngster may well spice up the competition in defence, especially as Ivanovic is also the second-choice RB at present.
Kyriakos Papadopoulos may well be that missing jigsaw piece as we move forward, but the asking price of £20m has apparently put us off. After managing 10 appearances in the Bundesliga last year, he excelled in all departments, leading the team on tackles (3.7 per game) clearances (6 p/g) and blocked shots (0.6 p/g). Pretty important stuff for a defender.
Not content with that though, he managed 53.8 passes per game and a completion rate of 89%. Both of those stats beat everyone in our team. Although it’s worth mentioning Mikel, who managed 53 passes p/g at a 88.9% completion rate. Impressive.
The centre back position is one where we don’t have a player under 25 currently that is near the first team, if you count Courtois and Lukaku, as well as Romeu as the DM in that category.
That would make it the prime position for us to improve on this summer, and although we are rumoured to be put off by the transfer fee, I wouldn’t bet on us ending our interest just yet, especially as the man seems the perfect fit for us.
Schalke’s confirmation in the Champions League Qualifying stages may well boost the price of the Greek, but should they fail in qualifying for the group stages, a late move for the man could well be on the cards.
By Brad Smith