Reports have begun to circulate that Chelsea have entered the race for £30M rated defender Gabriel Magalhaes, who has apparently also attracted interest from Everton. Most Blues fans probably won’t be overly familiar with the centre-back, so why is he so sought after?
Magalhaes is a left footed centre-half who has plied his trade this season in France, with LOSC Lille. He featured at the back when the French outfit took on Chelsea in the Champions League group stage matches earlier this season, starting both games and impressed as Chelsea struggled, at times, to break down Lille’s backline.
The Brazilian signed for Lille 3 years ago, in January 2017, for a small fee of just £1.5M. He then went out on two loan spells to Troyes followed by a switch to Dinamo Zagreb, but he only managed a single league appearance for each club.
This season, however, Magalhaes has solidified his position as a key player in Lille’s backline. The 6’3” defender has made 24 appearances in Ligue 1 in 19/20. His side have conceded just 27 goals in 28 games and the Brazilian has been attracting the attention of a host of top European clubs.
In the last month of the Ligue 1 season, Lille conceded just 0.33 goals per game and lost just one match – the only game Gabriel Magalhaes missed. (Credit to Sky Sports for this stat)
He has been noted for his ability on the ball, having completed more forward passes than any other Lille player this season. He’s also completed 243 ‘long passes’ into the opposition half, making him a useful asset to a Chelsea side who look to break quickly. Gabriel Magalhaes has only recently renewed his Lille contract until 2023 and has been quoted saying “I have my head in Lille” However, a move to the Premier League may be hard for the player to turn down.
“I have my head in Lille, I’m very calm to finish the season well and to achieve great things next season”Gabriel Magalhaes to Globo Esporte
We know Chelsea are hot on the tail of Bournemouth’s Nathan Akè, but could Magalhaes be an alternative option for a left-sided centre-half? We’ll have to wait and see if and when the summer transfer window takes place, but it may be worth jumping on YouTube and finding a Gabriel Magalhaes montage in the meantime.
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