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Why Do Chelsea Need This Swiss Defender Next season?

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Chelsea had a disastrous last season, as they recorded the worst title defence in Premier League history. Following a poor start to the season, Jose Mourinho was sacked mid-season, his place was taken up by Guus Hiddink on an interim basis. The Dutchman did a good of stabilizing the ship and pulled Chelsea out from the periphery of the relegation zone to a mid-table finish. The Chelsea management announced late last season that Antonio Conte will be the next Blues manager after he finishes with his prior commitments with the Italian national team.

Conte won’t have the distraction of Europe, therefore can focus solely on Chelsea making a solid case for Champions League qualification next season. He is a disciplinarian, who will not be scared of dropping players or giving them his piece of mind if the need arises. Although there are quite a few gaps in the team, the main worry for the Italian manager will be the shaky performances from his back-line over the past year. Branislav Ivanovic, in particular, had a nightmare season as he was tormented by quite a few wingers every now and then. Although Terry has signed a contract extension, it will be interesting to see how Conte decides to use the former English international, given his pace has considerably dropped over the past few years.

It will be wise if Chelsea do spend on a couple of defenders, who can add stability to the back-line and cover for others in the team. Stephan Lichtsteiner has been amongst the names being discussed at  Stamford Bridge this summer, although nothing has turned into a reality. The Swiss defender was one of the first signings Conte brought in at Juventus, following which he has established himself as a stalwart in the Juventus defence.

Gary Cahill disappointed last season, even though fans thought that this was the season he was going to take over from Terry as the leader at the back. Zouma covered for the Englishman well till the time he suffered a horror injury against Manchester United in March, which will keep him out of practice until the end of August. Lichtsteiner is a very experienced defender, who knows how to operate in Conte’s system, something the manager will value highly.

With Dani Alves making a move to Turin, there is high chance that Lichtsteiner might not get regular football that often, which is the reason why a move to Chelsea looks even more appealing. He will a solid presence at right-back, taking over from Ivanovic. Given his age, he won’t be an expensive buy, hence Conte shouldn’t be scared of making this necessary investment.

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