Five alternatives to John Stones
With the 2015-16 Premier League season just days away, Chelsea are in a spot of bo...
With the 2015-16 Premier League season just days away, Chelsea are in a spot of bother. Jose Mourinho’s side have just five recognised first team defenders in their squad and must act quickly to ensure that they are not short of cover at the back if they are to justify their favourites tag and maintain a successful title defence. The Blues have been tracking Everton defender John Stones but, according to reports, have seen two bids for the youngster rejected by the Toffees.
Mourinho has admitted that, while Chelsea’s primary target is Stones, they may be forced to look elsewhere to guarantee a purchase prior to the end of the transfer window. We have focussed on five possible alternatives for the Blues and have provided our thoughts on why these players would be suitable candidates to move to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Valencia centre back is regarded as one of the best defenders on the planet and has attracted attention from Manchester United and ManchesterCity this summer. That being said, recent rumours have suggested that, while United enquired about the Argentina international, there has been no concrete bid from the 13-time Premier League champions.
Chelsea could consider a late move for the 27-year-old but he would come at a price. While Otamendi is clearly talented, the Blues may opt to look elsewhere for a short term addition before returning to look closer at the Valencia star next summer.
Matthias Ginter is one for the future but it may be wise for Chelsea to pursue the Borussia Dortmund defender before his price tag rockets next season. The 21-year-old signed for the German giants last summer and played a pivotal role in Dortmund’s 2-0 DFL-Supercup victory over Bayern Munich on his debut for the club.
The youngster has regularly represented his native Germany ever since he was selected for the under-18 side and has earned 14 full international caps. While he played no part in Germany’s World Cup win in Brazil, he was the youngest member of the squad and gained invaluable experience throughout the competition. A deal for the youngster is unlikely but if anybody can prise him away from Dortmund, it’s Jose Mourinho.
The Southampton captain has been incredibly solid throughout the last two seasons, producing consistently good performances that have not gone unnoticed. His excellent club form earned him his first call-up to the Portugal national team, after featuring for the under-21 side earlier in his career.
While he appears perfectly happy at Southampton, the 31-year-old has reportedlysplit from his agent and could demand a higher contract to stay at St. Mary’s. Fonte would bring plenty of experience to Stamford Bridge and would be an excellent addition to an already strong squad.
Ryan Shawcross has been Stoke City’s rock at the back for the majority of their life in the Premier League. The centre back has been a regular at the heart of the defence and, although the Potters have caught the eye on multiple occasions, he has always gone about his business in a ‘no nonsense’ kind of way.
The 27-year-old has already featured in over 250 games for Stoke but has struggled to break into the England set-up, making his maiden appearance in the 4-2 defeat to Sweden back in 2012. As ridiculous as it may sound, it would be interesting to see just how many caps Shawcross would currently have had he been playing at Stamford Bridge for the past six seasons.
The Bayern Munich star is one of the best defenders in the sport and has shown his quality at the highest level on a number of occasions throughout the past few seasons. It is unlikely that Pep Guardiola’s side would be willing to let the 26-year-old leave the club but, as we’ve previously said, Mourinho is the master at making sure he gets his man.
Boateng was a key member of Germany’s World Cup winning squad and has been a regular during Guardiola’s time at Bayern. However, there is stiff competition for places at the Allianz Arena and the promise of first team football at Chelsea – along with a hefty wage packet – could tempt the former Manchester City defender to return to the Premier League.