Chelsea have made strengthening their defence a priority in the summer transfer window and it is easy to see why with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas C
Chelsea have made strengthening their defence a priority in the summer transfer window and it is easy to see why with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving while Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso could depart too. Josko Gvardiol is a top target but Thomas Tuchel might have a better option already.
Chelsea can save themselves as much as £80million this summer by looking at their current options over splashing out on RB Leipzig star Gvardiol. The Croatia international is one of the top targets ahead of the window opening, report the Telegraph.
With so many departures planned at the back, Tuchel knows that bolster his defence will be his main job this summer. Rudiger and Christensen look set to sign for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively when their contracts expire.
However, club captain Azpilicueta and stalwart Alonso are also set to leave with Barca keen to snap them up as well. That would leave Chelsea desperately short at the back.
Sevilla star Jules Kounde has already been strongly linked with a Stamford Bridge swap and could join for around £60m. That is already a steep amount considering the lack of funds coming the other way.
To then splurge out on another £80m would be utterly ludicrous considering the financial situation at the club. Incoming new owner Todd Boehly has already been reported to be willing to hand Tuchel £200m as he prepares to make his mark on English football.
But to spend nearly three-quarters of that total on two defenders would be a massive mistake – especially considering the other areas of the squad that need attention. Luckily, Chelsea have the ideal player waiting in the wings.
Levi Colwill has had a sublime season on loan at Huddersfield and has been one of the key reasons behind their fairytale campaign. Last year, they narrowly avoided relegation from the Championship while this year they were on the verge of automatic promotion and ended up third.
The Terriers have gone from conceding 71 times in the league to just 47 while plenty of other Chelsea stars made their name in the second-tier. Mason Mount and Reece James were chucked straight into the first-team after stints at Derby and Wigan respectively and are now among the first players on the team sheet.
Colwill has had such a kind of season where he could become the next star to follow in their footsteps while he also possesses an attribute that is craved by Tuchel in defence by the fact that he is left-footed. Gvardiol also shares this trait and the 20-year-old has been tipped for a great future but has been priced as high as £80m, according to The Athletic.
That is simply too much for an unproven centre-back who is as big a gamble – if not more as he is untested in English football – as Colwill. Chelsea might not be able to spend the same amounts as the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain anymore as they enter a new era.
It means the Blues have to get smart with their money – and that means relying on their esteemed academy once again.