Chelsea’s defence is in danger of getting seriously overcrowded.
The Blues kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League throughout their title-winning campaign, and it did not look as though the trio of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta would be altered this summer.
However, if reliable Telegraph journalist Matt Law is to be believed, Antonio Conte is in the hunt for defensive reinforcements this summer.
Law reports that Chelsea are on the verge of agreeing a deal to sign AS Roma centre-back Antonio Rudiger, and will then pursue either of Virgil Van Dijk and Leonardo Bonucci.
Despite the departures of John Terry and Nathan Ake, it seems strange that we would look to draft in two new centre-backs this summer.
Neither of the aforementioned were able to penetrate Conte’s back three, and were starved of first-team opportunities. With Andreas Christensen returning from his two-year stint at Borussia Monchengladbach, and Kurt Zouma now fully recovered from his anterior cruciate ligament rupture, there does not appear to be any dire need of signings in that area.
When Chelsea take on Burnley in the Premier League curtain raiser, Conte may well find himself having all of Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Rudiger and Bonucci/Van Dijk to choose from – for just three positions!
All of Zouma, Christensen and Rudiger need to be playing regular first-team football in order to continue their development, and it seems hard to believe that they’re going to get it next term.