Chelsea retain their interest in Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez after previously holding talks last summer over a move, according to Fabrizio Romano’s exclusive with CaughtOffside.
The Lowdown: Return for Alvarez
The Blues were originally keen on bringing the Mexican to Stamford Bridge in the summer transfer window, but a deal never came to fruition late on.
Ajax currently sit top of the Eredivisie with the 25-year-old featuring in 15 games in all competitions, 14 of them starts, all from a defensive midfield position.
With a long-term injury to N’Golo Kante, paired with the Frenchman’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, Todd Boehly may once again put his hand into his deep pocket.
The Latest: January will be difficult
The revered Italian journalist admitted a January move would be difficult to make with the Dutch champions apparently determined not to let him leave in the winter window.
“He’s always been on Chelsea’s list, but Ajax will try to keep him at least until the end of the season,
“There are no negotiations ongoing now, also no decision will be made by Chelsea on [a] new midfielder in October; it will take some time. Not an easy one, for sure.”
The Verdict: Kante successor?
The Blues face worrying uncertainty in the defensive midfield department with the article reporting that both Kante and Jorginho are out of contract at the end of the season.
With the World Cup winner now into his 30s and injuries creeping into his game, having missed 32 games since the start of the 2021/22 season, with that number set to grow with no confirmed return date from his current injury, it could prove the perfect time to restructure the midfield.
Alvarez – once dubbed a “monster” by The Athletic journalist Felipe Car – would represent incredible business for the West Londoners, valued at only £27m by Transfermarkt, the 58-time Mexican international can also operate at centre-back where he’s played 68 times during his career, a versatile option that Potter would utilise when switching between a back four and a back three system.
Standing at 6 foot 2, the hard-man averages 2.3 tackles per game and 1.2 interceptions per game in the league this term, but it’s been in the Champions League this season where he’s shone, averaging 2.3 interceptions per game in Europe, he’s made the joint seventh most tackles in the competition with 11 and joint 14th for ball recoveries with 28.
He shows all the hallmarks of being a shrewd option to replace the ageing Kante, his tenacity would instantly adorn him to the Blues’ loyal if the deal was to happen, potentially sharing the same impact the former Leicester City midfield had when he first arrived in SW6 in 2016.