Chelsea are reportedly showing an interest in Ajax’s much-coveted winger Antony, ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
What’s the word?
As per reports in Spain, the Blues are said to be one of five possible destinations for the Brazilian playmaker, with the 22-year-old a ‘more than valid option’ for the Stamford Bridge outfit, as they seek further reinforcements this summer.
Amid reports linking the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner away from the club, the west Londoners could well be in need of new attacking acquisitions at the end of the season, particularly as they bid to mount a more consistent title challenge next term.
The report does add, however, that a move to Manchester United is the most likely option for the young starlet – where he would seemingly link up with Old Trafford-bound coach Erik ten Hag – with Thomas Tuchel and co said to be in the ‘absolute background’ in the race for his signature – which also includes Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
While rumours have cooled over a possible departure for first-team ace Hakim Ziyech – with the Moroccan having been linked with an exit over the winter – his stuttering form has potentially heightened the need for a quality replacement.
Another man who thrived in the Eredivisie before moving to England, the 29-year-old has largely failed to replicate his previously sparkling Amsterdam form – in which he bagged 130 goal contributions in just 165 appearances in all competitions for the Dutch outfit – with just 14 goals and nine assists to his name so far over the last two seasons, as per Transfermarkt.
Despite being the only natural right-winger in the squad – with Werner, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic all favouring a role on the left – the £28.8m-rated man has made just 12 Premier League starts this season, providing a measly tally of four goals and two assists thus far.
That lack of contribution has seen him rank in just the top 42% of players across Europe over the past year for assists, while reported target Antony ranks in the top 1%, having registered ten assists in all competitions so far this season.
Equally, the younger man also ranks in the top 2% for progressive carries made with 11.34 made per 90, a much better record than that of Ziyech, who only ranks in the top 53% for the same statistic, having averaged just 5.91 per 90, as per FBref.
That seemingly shows the nine-cap international’s willingness to attack and penetrate attacking areas, while he is also a notable dribbler, having registered 1.8 dribbles per league game so far this season, as per WhoScored, while the current Blues man has made just 1.3 dribbles per top-flight match.
He is then seemingly a player who can dazzle on the right flank, with Dutch journalist Johan Derksen suggesting of Antony that: “As a left-back, you have a sleepless night if you have to play against him the next day. If he has any space, he’ll wipe you out of the game altogether”.
Tuchel will be hoping his side can ‘wipe’ any of the other potential suitors out of the way in the hunt for the £31.5m-rated star’s signature, with the former Sao Paulo man seemingly the upgrade that the Premier League outfit needs.