Chelsea have reportedly entered the race for Villarreal’s Pau Torres

A recent report in the English media has linked Chelsea with Villarreal’s Pau Torres.

Chelsea’s defensive woes

For the most part, Frank Lampard’s first campaign in the Chelsea dugout has been a success.

Despite losing star man Eden Hazard last summer, and having not signed a single player for two transfer windows, the Blues have still managed to compete for a Champions League place.

They are also still going strong in the FA Cup, with Lampard having notched victories over both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in his first season as a top-flight manager.

However, one major issue for the capital giants this term has been their backline.

Lampard has struggled to nail down a regular centre-back pairing, with all of Fikayo Tomori, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen featuring regularly.

Chelsea’s left-back problems, namely Marcos Alonso’s inability to defend, have also persisted this season.

Such problems have led to Chelsea possessing the worst defensive record of the current top eight Premier League sides.

The Blues’ defensive frailties were laid bare for all to see earlier this week, as the Londoners were downed by a relegation-threatened West Ham side.

Frank Lampard

Lampard on set pieces

One of Chelsea’s main issues against the Hammers, and throughout the season as a whole, is their inability to defend set plays.

Lampard himself has recently spoken out about this problem, hinting that it could be an area the club look to address via the transfer market in the near future:

“We’ve looked at set pieces this season. When we came into the club we looked at the stats from last season. Last season we were bottom of the league defending set plays, in terms of teams getting big chances against us, and second bottom in attacking. We haven’t improved much this year.

“I really don’t like to talk about my own playing days but we didn’t work much at all on set pieces and there were a few reasons, mainly John Terry, Gary Cahill, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and [Branislav] Ivanovic. You’d stick it in an area and they would defend it or score goals.

“With Liverpool, I remember a lot of talk about them and set pieces a few seasons ago. They were zonal and conceding a lot. They signed Virgil van Dijk and he heads out everything. There’s a huge relation to personnel and if you don’t have that size, the main thing is trying to compete as hard as you can and making it difficult for other teams to score.

“But I’m not making excuses because we haven’t done that well enough and that has to improve. When you look at who you might bring in with the balance of the squad it is certainly something to take into account.”

Quotes via The Guardian.

Chelsea eyeing Torres

Lampard’s comments, meanwhile, have since been swiftly followed by the Blues being linked with a central defender.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are among a number of European clubs keeping tabs on Villarreal's Pau Torres.

The 23-year-old, who is said to have a release clause of around £45m, has previously been linked with Manchester City.

But given the fact that Torres is taller than the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen, he could well prove a useful asset for Lampard and co., as they look to fix their defensive frailties.

Torres has notched 31 appearances across all competitions this season, with his starring displays having also seen the stopper handed his senior Spain debut back in November.

Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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