Date: 25th May 2022 at 8:40pm
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Chelsea are interested in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

The Lowdown: Stepped Up With Ease

The Croatia international had big shoes to fill when the German club lost star centre backs, Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate, to Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

However, the former Dinamo Zagreb man has taken it all in his stride, contributing to Leipzig conceding only 37 goals in the Bundesliga this season, the joint fewest. The 20-year-old has an average WhoScored league rating of 7.04, the third-highest at his club.

The Latest: On Chelsea’s Shortlist

The Telegraph have reported that the 6 foot 1 centre back is on an eight-man shortlist of defenders that Chelsea are looking to sign this summer, also including Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.

However, the Blues could face competition from Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who are looking to strengthen their backline as well.

The Verdict: Perfect Rudiger Replacement

New defenders are a must at Stamford Bridge to replace the outgoing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, whose contracts run out this summer.

The German international in particular will be difficult to replace, as someone in Chelsea’s top five for tackles and interceptions, clearances, and blocks this campaign.

But the £27m-rated youngster has the potential to do so, with Germania Sport’s Izak Ante Sucic describing him as a “tank” and tipping him to be the next Virgil van Dijk.

“Since he was a child, he’s been built like a tank. He can go forward, he can jump, he can tackle – he can do everything you want. He can play with the ball at his feet, he can play against those big attackers, he can play against the guys with pace and technical abilities.

“In my opinion, I think he can be as good as Virgil [van Dijk] one day. When you see how he behaves on the field and off the field, he’s one of those guys where you’d say ‘he’s going to succeed’.”

The £21k-per-week colossus will also contribute in attack for Thomas Tuchel’s side, being in the top 10% of all Bundesliga centre backs for dribbles, passes attempted, and progressive passes last year.

When you add his versatility, having played at left-back as well as centre back this campaign, then Gvardiol becomes pretty much the perfect start to fixing a thin defence.

AND in other news, Chelsea interested in £54m-rated Christensen replacement…


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