Why Chelsea signing Sander Berge would be a move in the right direction
According to a report by The Sun, Chelsea are interested in signing Genk midfielder Sander Berge.
The 21-year old caught the attention of the footballing community recently while playing against Liverpool in the Champions League.
Genk sporting director Dimitri De Conde had earlier told Italian radio station Radio Punto Nuovo that Berge’s displays had attracted interest from Premier League side Liverpool and Serie A outfit Napoli (h/t The Sun).
The Blues, on the other hand, are facing a two-year transfer ban after violating a set of FIFA rules concerning academy players.
Their future regarding the ban will solely depend on the outcome of a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in Switzerland, as claimed by The Sun.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have had a decent start to their campaign under new manager Frank Lampard. Although they lost to Manchester City this weekend, things are looking decent for the Londoners.
Despite the transfer ban, it has been a smooth ride for the Premier League-winning side under Lampard this season.
The former Blues’ star’s decision to put faith in the younger lot has reaped dividends, as is evident from the fact that they notched up six successive league wins prior to losing to Pep Guardiola’s men.
Lampard has given complete freedom to his midfielders and as a result, they have been functioning with exquisite fluidity.
In fact, returns of four goals and one assist from Mason Mount and Jorginho’s two assists and one goal further illustrates that point.
Chelsea never looked like they missed star midfielder N’Golo Kante, who had been out of the few initial matches of the season due to an injury.
Mateo Kovacic, who arrived from Real Madrid this summer after proving his credentials at Stamford Bridge on loan last year, alongside Jorginho, has worked wonders even without 2018 World Cup winner Kante.
Blessed with a squad that has no dearth of talent in its midfield, it remains to be seen if the Blues necessarily need to buy Berge, who could cost around £18million.
It would indeed be a daunting task for the young Genk player to find a spot for himself in a midfield that already has some of the most recognized faces in football.
However, Berge’s deeper sense of positioning in the middle could offer him chances as Chelsea have only one deep-lying midfielder in Jorginho.
Also, with N’Golo Kante in his third season at Stamford Bridge, and attracting interest from other clubs, Berge could prove to be a viable long-term replacement for the Frenchman.
Having played a total of 146 matches for the Belgian side, Berge has enough experience to feature for the Blues.
The youngster, who played a major role in his side’s title-winning campaign last year, has five goals and five assists in all competitions for the Belgian outfit.
Though still quite young, Berge is no new kid around the block. Having played in over 100 matches and with enough European experience under his kitty, he could be a suitable replacement for Kante – provided the Frenchman prefers an exit.
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All in all, Chelsea targetting the young midfielder would be a move in the right direction.