The summer transfer window is fast approaching, and with the COVID-19 outbreak hugely effecting teams’ transfer budgets, I thought I’d take a look at some potential bargain signings Chelsea could (and should!) make.
The mercurial, creative and diminutive Norwich City midfielder has had a quite frankly outstanding season with The Canaries, despite his side being planted at the bottom of the Premier League table as it stands. The Argentine creator gives off ‘budget’ Eden Hazard vibes due to his immense flair and dribbling ability. Not to mention his keen eye for a pass, Buendia sits on an impressive 7 Premier League assists so far despite being in a side that lacks goal-scorers.
Only Kevin De Bruyne (96) has created more chances than Buendia (73) this season.
We don’t know yet what will happen with the Premier League season, so it’s unclear wether or not Norwich will still be a top division side come next year. Either way, it’s pretty clear that they are a club who’d be willing to sell and surely Buendia would look for a move to a bigger side. The Canaries signed the Argentine for just £1.35M two years ago, so they wouldn’t need to demand a ridiculous transfer fee in order to call the deal ‘good business.’ Transfermarkt rate Buendia at £16.2M, however even paying double that would probably be considered a ‘bargain’ in today’s market.
Regularly described as one of the best players to come from Chelsea’s academy by former teammates, Jérémie Boga was sold by Chelsea two years ago to Italian outfit Sassuolo – where it’s fair to say he’s thrived.
The French-Ivorian winger has mastered the art of cutting in from the left flank, before rasping a right footed shot into the top corner. Boga has managed an impressive 8 goals and 4 assists in 24 appearances in Serie A this season. Notably, scoring against Inter Milan, Juve and Roma which proves he can show up on the big stage on a consistent basis. But the 23-year-old’s main asset is his ability to beat a man, in fact, in the calendar year of 2019 he completed 142 dribbles – two more than Lionel Messi himself. Boga had almost DOUBLE the amount of take-ons completed than his nearest rival in Serie A in 2019, he can only be described as a full-backs nightmare.
We all know the joke that Gary Cahill ‘ruined’ Boga’s Chelsea career by getting sent off in 2017 meaning the youngster had to be substituted off after just 18 minutes of his debut against Burnley in order to bring on a defender. Antonio Conte never really turned back to Boga and he was eventually sold for just £2.5M. Luckily, Chelsea inserted a buy-back clause into the deal meaning that they can purchase him back for just €15M, and they should.
The Swiss holding midfielder from Borussia Monchengladbach has developed into one of Europe’s finest prospects over the last two seasons, but he hasn’t yet received the intense media spotlight that his performances deserve – meaning his transfer fee may not be astronomical.
Chelsea have had defensive issues this season, and I’m of the belief that a chunk of these stem from midfield. We lack a defensive midfielder to protect our still youthful backline and while I appreciate Jorginho’s skillset I think that a more traditional holding midfielder would be better suited and beneficial to Chelsea under Frank Lampard and Denis Zakaria could be that man.
The 23-year-old tops the table for defensive duel success rate in the whole of Europe, winning 70.83%. Standing at 6’3” tall he could provide a more robust profile than what Chelsea currently have in the centre of the park and has impressed with his fine passing ability combined with defensive output leading to him being compared to Patrick Vieira. Recent reports suggest that Manchester United, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid are all keeping tabs on the midfielder – and I think Chelsea should join the race, as he may be a cheaper alternative to the likes of Declan Rice.
Now, I don’t need to argue Mertens’ quality because he has proven himself to be one of Europe’s most elite forward players over the last four or five years. Despite this, there will be fans who are opposed to the club signing him – which I don’t understand.
Yes, the Belgian is now 32-years-old but there’s nothing wrong with adding some experience to the squad, especially a squad as inexperienced as ours! With Willian, Pedro and Giroud all looking set to depart, our front-line not only will lack depth but will be full of players who are still developing. Mertens has prolific qualities and has managed 12 goals and 6 assists this season, despite starting less than half of Napoli’s games. The versatile attacker wouldn’t cost Chelsea a single penny in transfer fees due to his contract expiring at the end of the season, and there seems to be zero chance of him renewing.
Not only would this allow Chelsea to still utilise Tammy Abraham as the long-term option for the number 9 shirt, it would help him develop as he’d be competing with one of Europe’s best forwards for a starting berth. The versatility of the Belgian would also be hugely beneficial as he can play just about anywhere in the attack and do a job out wide as well – making him a useful asset to Frank Lampard who uses a number of different systems.
Despite his considerable wages, I believe this would be a no-brainer for Chelsea and relatively risk free. If The Blues are serious about signing Jadon Sancho then realistically the club simply won’t be able to spend big on a striker as well, making Dries Mertens for FREE ideal.
The goalkeeper position. This is a serious debate for Chelsea fans this season. I may get some stick for this but I’d sell Kepa, I actually like the Spaniard and would want him to succeed but there’s no doubt he’s been poor this season and I see no reason why we shouldn’t look to improve the position. LOSC Lille’s Mike Maignan is a known Chelsea target and has been seriously impressive in Ligue 1 this season. He’s conceded just 27 goals in 28 games, keeping 12 clean sheets along the way and that’s just this season, he was voted the best goalkeeper in the French league the year before as well.
At just 24-years-old the Frenchman still has a decade of top level football ahead of him, if not more, and will potentially prove to be a long term solution. The Cayenne-born shot stopper is a commanding presence in the box and has been praised for his ability with his feet too, making him the perfect modern goalkeeper. Lille signed Maignan for just €1M in 2015 and he has now made 100 league appearances or the club, becoming one of the key figures in the side.
“You’re a sh*t attacker”Mike Maignan speaking to Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Maignan came through the ranks at PSG and proved his character at just 17 years of age. He once told the story of how he was training with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the shots were flying past him “at 400kmph” leading the Swedish legend to call Maignan a “sh*t goalkeeper” the shot-stopper then saved one of Zlatan’s efforts and responded with “you’re a sh*t attacker.” For that reason alone, Chelsea should look to sign Mike Maignan.
So that’s it. There’s five bargains that I think Chelsea should consider in the next transfer market. There’s a few more I could have included such as Tyrone Mings, Josè Gaya and Diogo Leite, let us know who you think Chelsea should sign! @TheChelseaSpot