According to recent reports Chelsea are eyeing up Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez as a replacement for current first team left-back Ashley Cole.
The 32-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the current season and judging by his form so far this season he doesn’t deserve an extension and has even been left out of the last couple of games with Cesar Azpilicueta, a right fullback, switching flanks.
As for Rodriguez, the Metro report that Jose Mourinho is impressed with the analysis on the player gathered by Michael Emenalo and the club’s scouting team.
The 21-year-old has established himself as first choice for both club and for Switzerland, who will be at the World Cup finals in Brazil, and Wolfsburg would be willing to do business at the right price as sporting director Klaus Allofs admitted: “it would be nice if we could get into the situation where there is interest from other clubs.”
I couldn’t say that I have watched either Wolfsburg or the Swiss international team over the past few months so couldn’t really give an accurate opinion on Rodriguez as I’ve thought for a little while now that Chelsea would go for Southampton’s Luke Shaw when the time is right, but looking at the statistics there are some promising signs.
The problem with Cole these days apart from his legs seemingly failing him at times during defensive situations is that he isn’t creating a lot of chances which is part of being a fullback as you’re often the extra man joining the attack and have to help provide width. As it is Cole has only created seven chances this season, whereas Rodriguez has made 21, which is even more than Cole’s rival for his England spot Leighton Baines who has made 14.
Rodriguez has also been handy in defence as he has made more than twice the average defensive contributions in matches with 7 to Cole’s 3, and has won 68% of his duels which is significantly better than Cole on 42%. However, the Swiss fullback has been a little wayward with his passing (74%) whereas the Chelsea man as been economic with his on 90%.