Why Blas Riveros to Chelsea makes more sense than signing Chilwell
According to Leicestershire Live, Chelsea have identified FC Basel left-back Blas Riveros as a potential alternative to Leicester City star Ben Chilwell, with manager Frank Lampard keen to bolster his defensive options in the near future.
The Blues are currently under a two-window transfer embargo imposed by FIFA for openly flouting the regulations relating to the transfer of minors but that hasn’t stopped the club from monitoring potential targets, with a view to replenishing their reserves next summer.
As per the report, left-back is one area where Lampard wants to make some changes moving forward, with neither Marcos Alonso nor Emerson Palmieri not managing to convince the manager.
Leicester’s Ben Chilwell continues to be a key target for the Blues, given that he is more proven and boasts of Premier League experience in his CV, but Blas Riveros has now emerged on the radar as a cheaper alternative, as Chelsea look for a long-term solution to their left-back conundrum.
Riveros is likely to be a completely unknown entity to the fans in West London but the 21-year-old Paraguayan has been making waves with his impressive displays for Basel in the Swiss top-flight.
Born in Itaugua, Paraguay, Riveros rose through the youth ranks of Club Olimpia in his homeland and spent just one full season at the senior level before completing a move to Europe with Swiss heavyweights Basel.
Held in high regard in South America as one of the brightest emerging talents in his position, Riveros has taken to Basel like a duck to a pond since his move to the continent three years back, going from strength to strength and drawing comparisons with Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos for his all-round expansive style of play. (h/t Sky Sports)
The highly-rated starlet has accumulated a total of 72 appearances for Basel in all competitions, scoring on 4 occasions and setting up another 6 in the process. The 3-cap Paraguayan international got his name on the scoresheet in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League and is currently impressing in the group stages of the Europa League this term.
Noted for his lightning pace, agility, sharpness and acceleration, Riveros has the work-rate, as well as a perfect blend of defensive and attacking attributes, to contribute equally at both ends of the pitch. He is certainly not a finished article just yet but the youngster apparently has the potential to evolve into a top-quality full-back in the years to come.
To put things into perspective, Blas Riveros has proven his worth as a promising young left-back at Basel and Chelsea have enough reason to look at him as a good long-term investment.
Given his lack of previous exposure to English surroundings, the Paraguayan would certainly need time to acclimatise but the Blues could have a real gem on their hands in the years to come if he goes on to fulfil his potential.
Agreed, Chilwell’s status as an up and coming homegrown star definitely makes him a more reliable option for Chelsea but the Foxes are unlikely to let him leave on the cheap.
Keeping in mind that Chelsea might have to strengthen more than one area of their squad when the transfer ban is lifted, it is certainly worth wondering whether spending too much on a new left-back would be the right course of action, particularly due to the fact that Alonso and Emerson are more than decent options in the position.
Given that Emerson has struggled with injuries and Alonso has blown a bit hot and cold since the start of the season, Lampard’s decision to bring in a new left-back in the near future does, indeed, make sense and Blas Riveros looks more than capable of challenging for a role in the first-team next season.
The 21-year-old is a talented individual with a lot of potential and he still has plenty of time to make significant adjustments to his game to cope with the demands of playing in the Premier League, meaning that he could be an exciting addition to Lam[ard’s youth project at Stamford Bridge.
The club-legend has shown the desire to build a team around developing players, with the likes of Abraham, Mount, Tomori, Hudson-Odoi and James making a big impact on the Premier League this term, and Riveros could be the next in the queue to benefit from Lampard’s policy of blooding youngsters.
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All in all, Chelsea completing a swoop for Blas Riveros could land them a cheaper long-term alternative to Chilwell and this looks like a move that might go on to pay rich dividends in the future.