Chelsea are set to complete the signings of defender Axel Disasi and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez in the coming days.
It has been reported that the Blues have reached an agreement in principle with AS Monaco for the signing of Disasi, with a deal worth around £38 million.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have also agreed to sign Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez for £25 million this summer.
The Argentine made it clear during his pre-season press conferences that he was keen to bolster the backline following a long-term injury to Wesley Fofana.
Furthermore, Edouard Mendy departed earlier in the transfer window to leave an injured Marcus Bettinelli and youngsters Gabriel Slonina and Jamie Cumming as the only back-up options for Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal.
While Chelsea have no European football to focus on in the upcoming season, it was still important for the new head coach to bolster his squad after a summer clear out at Stamford Bridge.
With a 38-year-old Thiago Silva and an injury-prone Fofana as the primary options for the right sided central defender in Pochettino’s system, it was clear that reinforcements were needed.
Yes, Trevoh Chalobah can play here and has not let Chelsea down before, but over the summer it has become clear that he is not in the long-term thinking at Stamford Bridge despite penning a new contract last summer.
Inter Milan have been heavily linked with a move for the Cobham graduate, and with the imminent arrival of Disasi, an exit is looking likely.
Disasi will slot into Pochettino’s plans with ease, already sharing a strong relationship with fellow ex-Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, as well as being able to communicate with the likes of Silva, Fofana and Malo Gusto in French.
Furthermore, at just 25-years-old, Disasi has his best years ahead of him and could be compared to the signing of Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma in the past, a move that worked out pretty well.
Chelsea are planning for the future with the move, knowing that they faced competition from Manchester United to get the deal done.
The proactive approach ensures that Pochettino doesn’t have to worry too much about bringing in a central defender next summer, even if Silva departs upon the expiry of his contract.
Disasi will not only provide brilliant cover, but he can compete for a starting place in Pochettino’s system.
Fofana will likely miss the majority of the season, and Silva cannot play every game, despite no European football.
Having the pair battle it out, with Chalobah still an option unless he departs, Chelsea have a wealth of options at the back, something that Pochettino did not have during his time at Spurs.
The Argentine got frustrated by the lack of signings in his final days at Chelsea’s rivals, and he had to rely on an ageing Toby Alderweirald and Jan Vertonghen for far too long.
He’ll be pleased with his options in defence at Stamford Bridge for now, and this has been added to with a new goalkeeper also.
Pochettino is yet to have an experienced ball-playing goalkeeper during his managerial career, and now he has two.
Sanchez’s arrival at Chelsea will provide not only a brilliant shot-stopper and ball player, but someone with Premier League experience to push Kepa in training every day.
Chelsea saw the best come from their Spaniard when Kepa was competing with Mendy, earning his place back in the team under Graham Potter and Frank Lampard.
With Mendy gone, Kepa may have subconsciously turned off, but now he simply cannot as Chelsea have brought in the man who already displaced him in the Spanish national team.
Sanchez struggled last season after a falling out with Roberto de Zerbi and comes to Chelsea with a point to prove, already sharing a strong relationship with goalkeeper coach Ben Roberts.
The pair will battle it out and work with Pochettino’s staff to raise each other’s levels rather than allowing the number one to get too comfortable in his role.
There is competition for places at the best clubs in world football and Chelsea are desperate to get back amongst the elite, and the competition for places all around the pitch gives Pochettino the best chance of doing so.
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