The latest transfer news making the rounds in the football grapevine is the claim by many newspaper sources – the ever-reliable Sky Sport and ESPN inclusive – of the imminent arrival of Monaco’s mid-fielder Tiemoue Bakayoko to Stamford Bridge.
Most sources claim that Chelsea have agreed a deal worth thirty five million pounds with Monaco to sign the youngster, who played a prominent role in Monaco’s highly successful Champions league and domestic league campaigns last season.
Bakayoko coming to Chelsea is a piece of news that should delight all fans of the London club. The prodigiously talented French player has had his football teeth cut during his massive involvement in several age-group competitions for his country, Fance.A testament to his immense talents is the fact that he made his debut for his current club only four seasons ago, and has already earned a call-up to the French national team at a relatively young age of twenty two.
Bakayoko can be aptly described as complete box-to-box midfielder – he is blessed with a turn of pace that serves him in good stead in his attacking and defensive duties; though not of heavy musculature, he is armed with a wiry body that enables him to come out victorious in most physical duels with his opponents; as a past-master in the passing game, he boasts a wide range of passes that approaches that of the best in the game; as an accomplished dribbler, he can waltz himself out of a tangle of opponents legs in tight places and he is also endowed with the rare ability to use both feet with almost equal ease.
This is the sort of player who would walk straight into Chelsea starting eleven. Last season the mid-field position occupied mostly by Nemaja Matic and a few times by Cesc Fabregas was the weakest spot in Antonio Conte’s tactical formation.
Bakayoko has , stocked in repletion, the qualities to improve the weaknesses Matic and Fabregas exhibited in their mid-field position last season. The lack of pace and inability to use both feet which are the major weaknesses of Matic would be improved upon by the jet-heeled sprints and all the advantages attendant with the ability to use both feet that Bakayoko would bring into the mid-field. The manifest lack of dribbling ability and lack of pace which are the signature weaknesses of Fabregas’ game would be improved upon by some of the afore-listed qualities of Bakayoko, prominent amongst which is his talent for dribbling the ball out of a cluster of opposing players.
The pairs of Bakayoko and the indefatigable Ngolo Kante would make Chelsea’s mid-field a well-oiled mid-field engine next season. With both mid-fielders having a penchant to join in attacking play, a situation would definitely arise where one of them would sit back as the other engages in an attacking movement into the opponent’s half of the pitch.
One of the major reasons that won Chelsea the league crown last season was the ingenious way Antonio Conte used his wing backs – Victor Moses and Marcos Alonzo. The wing backs were employed to join the attack, the mid-field and the defense, depending on the section of the pitch the opponent was operating. A Bakayoko in Chelsea’s mid-field next season would give a different dimension to how they play. How he would function with his immense talents within Conte’s 3.4.3 formation is certainly going to be a source of worry to their opponents next season, should he eventually put pen to paper to commit his future to Chelsea in the coming days.