Antonio Conte has succeeded in making Chelsea title contenders again and it has happened sooner than some of us expected. A change in formation and an excellent defensive organisation has meant that Chelsea are now a real force o be reckoned with. The recent 2-1 defeat of Tottenham also goes to show the same, when the Blues came back from a goal down to win the game 2-1 – thanks to goals from Pedro and Victor Moses.
Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cezar Azpilicueta are the players being preferred in defense by Conte and the three have been ever-presents and highly instrumental in Chelsea’s successes so far this season. With John Terry not getting any younger and Ivanovic now a forgotten entity, Chelsea will be on the lookout for defensive re-enforcements to strengthen the team.
A number of targets including Michael Keane, Ben Gibson and Antonio Rudiger have been discussed, but young German defender Niklas Sule, currently of 1899 Hoffenheim, looks the likeliest to make a move to Stamford Bridge.
He was earlier linked with a move to Chelsea in the summer, but the move never materialised. Sule went on to impress hugely for the German team at the Olympics, where they were beaten narrowly in the final to be adjudged silver medalists. Sule received huge praises for his performances throughout the tournament.
The Frankfurt-born youngster has been a mainstay in the Hoffenheim team since debuting in 2013, at the tender age of 18. He has impressed many with his aerial ability, positional sense and ability to cancel out the danger. At 6’5, he is a giant of a man and can rely on his height to head out balls in dangerous areas. Sule is still 21 and his stellar performances over the past two or three seasons haven’t gone unnoticed internationally as he has a cap to his name already, one which came in August this year. His team are flying high in the Bundesliga and huge credit must go to Sule fo that.
At just the age of 21, he has played for Hoffenheim on almost 83 occasions and with 6 goals to show for his efforts, it can be understood that he offers good heading ability and with his height, he is definitely a potent weapon that teams can use from set piece situations. He has also shown great passing ability and for someone so young, he has shown incredible maturity despite the meteoric rise he has had. Undoubtedly, there will be several teams lining up a move for this talented youngster, but it looks more and more likely that he will join Chelsea sooner or later.
How he will fit in at Chelsea
Despite the presence of Kurt Zouma in the squad, Sule could yet be a valuable addition. At Hoffenheim, he has been playing in a back three that is similar to the one currently being employed by Antonio Conte, so he would definitely not find it hard to slot into any one of the positions at the back. Due to his size and sheer strength, he will be able to acclimatise soon to the rigours of the Premier League. Although the Premier League is considered to be a very physical league, the German Bundesliga is not that far behind its English counterpart. So that’s another reason why he may find it easier than others.
How Conte can influence his career
They say no one is better at defending than the Italians and Conte will be sure to instil some really good values in Sule. He is at a very tender age, but can only get much better from here. The future looks very bright for young Sule. Playing in a back three requires some pace and for such a big man, Sule isn’t exactly blessed with major pace but still manages to hold his own when it comes to tracking the runs of opponents. This is something that will please Conte about Sule’s game and given time, he will become a real important player in the Premier League, along with also establishing himself as a regular with his national team.