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Chelsea have perfect alternative centre-back target following recent blows

Chelsea’s search for a new central defender has hit a brick wall in the last week or so.


Chelsea’s centre-back woes

Chelsea lost two top quality centre-backs to La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid and FC Barcelona earlier this summer.

Antonio Rudiger made the switch to the Camp Nou, whilst Andreas Christensen swapped west London for Catalonia.

As a result, it was obvious that Chelsea would need to dip into the market for a centre-back or two this summer.

The Blues have already done so, bringing in veteran Serie A defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.

However, Chelsea’s real woes have arisen when attempting to land a second stopper before the season starts.

Early in the window we saw the Blues miss out on Matthijs de Ligt – now of Bayern Munich, whilst a deal for Manchester City’s Nathan Ake also fell apart.

More recently, meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel and co. saw Jules Kounde snatched from beneath their feet by Barcelona, Presnel Kimpembe – another long-time target of Chelsea’s – decided to stay at PSG and a move for Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana has also been quashed.

So, this leaves Chelsea needing to find and sign a new centre-back on fairly short notice.

And, though Chelsea have had some serious issues in the market for late, there does appear to be a very obvious fix to all of the west Londoners’ issues. That is to sign Pau Torres from Villarreal.

Tuchel recently discussed his desire to sign a defender who can play on the left of a back-three:

“We are looking for guys who can play on the left side,” Tuchel said during Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the USA. “Toni [Rudiger] played on the left side and was not a left-footed guy, so maybe Kalidou can play there because he plays in a back-four on the left side, but let’s see what is possible.”

And in Pau Torres, Chelsea have an excellent option. The 25-year-old has cemented himself as a key figure in Spain’s backline over the last year and is crucial to the success Villarreal, who won the Europa League in 2020/21 and reached the Champions League semi-final in 2021/22, have had under Unai Emery.

The Spaniard is tall, strong and excellent with the ball at his feet. He completed the 4th-most passes of any centre-back in La Liga last campaign and ranked first for the most progressive passes of any centre-back in the division.

Crucially, Torres is also left-footed and would slot naturally into the role previously occupied by Rudiger.


Josh Barker

Josh Barker

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



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