Chelsea’s defense of their Title which they had one in 2014-2015 season was a record for the worst Title defense in history. From the top, the Blues went spiraling down to 10th place, which also resulted in the eventual sacking of Jose Mourinho for the second time at Chelsea. Antonio Conte will take over the reins this summer, the former Juventus head coach will be Chelsea’s 10th different boss in the Roman Abramovich era. There is little chance that the current Italian coach will indulge any player who he doesn’t think are motivated towards the same goal as he is , nor will he be pushed around by the members of the Chelsea hierarchy into making rash decisions.
A lot of Chelsea players were mediocre at best last season, therefore there is a need to bring in fresh blood who can instill confidence amongst the support base and add that energy that went missing last season. After 13 years of silverware and success, Chelsea are currently at their lowest ebb since Abramovich’s takeover and may now decide to abandon the hiring-and-firing culture, which they also intended for Mourinho till the results plummeted.
One player who Conte is trying to bring to Stamford Bridge but is facing competition from a host of other clubs is Lille star Sofiane Boufal. Last season the 22-year-old was one of the star players of the campaign. Lille’s start to the campaign wasn’t good but the Boufal remained the bright spark, regularly creating those moments of magic. When compared to the likes of Cesc Fabreagas and Oscar at Chelsea, we see that the Morocco international is way ahead of both of them with 124 successful take-on’s as compared to 23 and 26 of Fabregas and Oscar respectively. This is due to his excellent ball control and low centre of gravity which enables him to glide past opponents players.
Boufal was also very impressive in front of goal at Lille, scoring 11 goals and making 4 assists, which when compared to Fabregas’s 5 goals and 7 assists and Oscar’s 3 goals and 3 assists, proves what a talent this 22 year old and if given the right training and guidance he can become one of the best players in Europe not too long from now. He is also very adept at creating chances for his teammates, last season he created 69 chances which was higher than both Fabregas’s and Oscar’s count and with the likes of Costa and Hazard upfront, most of those chances won’t be wasted.
However one place Boufal struggles a bit is his pass completion rate, with just 78% pass completed last season the youngster will do well to sort out his radar in terms of passing. He is a versatile player, who can be deployed all across the advanced midfield, both as a winger and an attacking midfield. Therefore one concludes that though a little raw right now, the Moroccan will be an excellent addition to a Chelsea squad which lacked creative ideas during most of the last campaign.