Chelsea are interested in Inter Milan defender Denzel Dumfries.
The Lowdown: Solid Debut Season
Playing your first season outside of your home country can be a daunting prospect.
It was made even harder for the 26-year-old, who had big shoes to fill when he joined Inter last summer.
He was supposed to replace Achraf Hakimi, who had left the Italian club for PSG.
The Netherlands international did a decent job, scoring five goals and providing four assists in his 33 appearances.
The Latest: Dumfries Involved in Lukaku Deal
According to Italian news outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Blues are interested in the former PSV full-back, and are trying to use Romelu Lukaku to get a discount.
Inter want the Belgium international, a year after he left the Nerazzurri for west London last in a £97.5m deal, and Chelsea want Inter to sell Dumfries for €25m (£21.3m) in return for a lower loan fee for the 29-year-old.
Simone Inzaghi’s side on the other hand see the two deals as separate, and will not let the £22.5m-rated defender leave for less than €40m (£34.2m).
The Verdict: Worse than James
The Rotterdam-born wing-back is a massive threat on the attack. He is in the top 5% of full-backs in Europe’s top five leagues for goals and shots.
Former teammate Daniel Esajas described the 26-year-old as “unbearable for opponents”, comparing him to an elephant.
“Denzel wasn’t even super wide, rather tall. But he was just unbearable for opponents. He went right through them like an elephant. Boom Boom Boom!”
This energy in the opponents also has rewards off the ball, with the 6 foot 2 colossus in the top 10% in his position for tackles and pressures in the attacking third.
However, Thomas Tuchel already has a quality wing-back in Reece James. The 22-year-old is one of the Blues’ most important players, having the highest WhoScored league rating and most key passes per game out of anyone who has played more than ten games.
The Netherlands international particularly struggles here, being in the bottom 5% for completed passes.
Considering that Tuchel’s side has the third-highest amount of possession and the second most completed passes per game in the league (FBRef), Dumfries would not be a good fit at Stamford Bridge, and therefore would be a bad signing.