Chelsea were a disaster last season as they recorded the worst title defence in the history of the Premier League. Jose Mourinho was sacked mid-way last season after a shambolic start to the campaign. In his place Guus Hiddink was brought in as an interim manager. The Dutchman did steady the ship somewhat as Chelsea finished in the top half of the table. New manager Antonio Conte has taken charge of the Blues now following his Italian teams exit from the Euro 2016. He is a massive task of getting his players believing in themselves again. Most of the Chelsea players struggled last season to find any sort of form.
Without the lure of Champions League, Chelsea might find it difficult to attract the top players. However there is no denying the fact that there are some positions which need immediate attention from the Italian Coach. It is critical that Conte brings a reliable defender this summer following the dreadful performance by Chelsea back-line last season. Chelsea are reportedly considering a move for Valencia centre-back Shkodran Mustafi after missing out on Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci. Released by Everton in 2012, the Germany international has since gone on to win the World Cup and become a key player for the La Liga outfit.
Mustafi would bring in much need solidity to the Chelsea back-line currently consisting of an Ageing John Terry, inconsistent Gary Cahill and injured Zouma. Mustafi was one of the standout performers in the Valencia team last season, which has led to an increase in the interest in him from Barcelona and Real Madrid. Still only 24 years of age, the German has absolutely everything needed to be a success in the Premier League. Superb in the air exemplified by his goal in the Euros, decisive in tight situations on the ground, quick across the pitch and able to bring the ball out from the back with ease, Mustafi is the full package.
Guus Hiddink’s side shipped 53 goals in the Premier League last season, 19 more than Jose Mourinho’s title-winning team did just 12 months earlier. Although John Terry has signed a new deal extending his contract to one more year, Conte recognizes the fact that he must get one more quality defender in before the first match against West Ham. Valencia had a torrid season last time out and are aware that it will be difficult to hold onto their star players by the time transfer window closes in September. It is believed that a bid in the region of £25 million would be enough to tempt Valencia into selling their prized asset. Conte reign didn’t get off to a good start after Chelsea were defeated 2-0 in a pre-season friendly against Rapid Vienna yesterday. Despite the arrival of N’Gole Kante, the defeat highlighted the need to bring a defensive reinforcement in the coming few weeks.