Video Evidence: Chelsea target Shakhtar’s dead-ball specialist Darijo Srna

Having replaced Michael Ballack and Joe Cole with Ramires and Yossi Benayoun, if this morning’s papers are to be believed the Chelsea manager is seeking to replace Juliano Belletti with Shakhtar Donetsk’s 28-year-old defender Darijo Srna.

The Croat began his career with Hajduk Split and spent five seasons with the club. He established himself in the team and was considered to be one of the best players in a talented side and became a national team regular.

He was transferred to Donetsk and it was not long before he was appointed club captain. He has led the club to four Ukrainian titles, two Ukrainian Cups, three Super Cups and to the UEFA Cup. In all he has made 160 appearances and scored 12 goals for the team.

Although predominantly used as a defender his versatility means that he can play as a full-back or wide midfielder too. He enjoys attacking space and delivers accurate crosses for players to latch onto. Many commentators believe that he possesses the best right foot in Europe.

Srna is a deadly free-kick expert and an excellent penalty taker. Surprisingly, he is more prolific at international level with 18 goals in 71 games. His high work rate and commitment make him an ideal leader at club and national level.

A weakness in his game is that he can at times lose focus and when faced with better attackers. He can back off a little bit too much, which makes him vulnerable to being turned inside-out.

Chelsea were linked with a move for the player in the last transfer window. Contact with the club was made but no formal offer was made. The player has believed to be valued by his club at £15 million.

However, Snra is entering the final year of his £65,000-a-week contract and faced with the prospect of losing him for nothing next summer, Shakhtar may be willing to half the fee. At that price and entering the best phase of his career he would be an absolute bargain for the Pensioners.

Srna has stated: “Chelsea is a club that suits my style and my style of play suits them. I want to make a step forward, to play in the Champions League with such a famous club. In general, Chelsea is the best option for me.”

Video evidence of Darijo Srna can be seen here while a compilation of his free-kicks can be seen here.

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