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Antonio Conte is set to be one of the busiest managers in world football this summer. Though he lifted the league title with the squad at his disposal, there are some weaknesses that he needs to fix this summer. This has seen him get linked with some of the star players in Europe and one such player who is now close to a move to the club is Real Madrid want-away, James Rodriguez.
Arguably one of the best playmakers in the game at the moment, the £44m rated Rodriguez announced himself at the highest level with a tremendous showing in the 2014 World Cup, which earned him a move to the Bernabeu. However, he has failed to establish himself in the first team under three different managers at the club and is now ready for an exit.
At 25, he is still growing as a player and in the 35 appearances he made for the Spanish outfit last season, he produced 11 goals and 13 assists, showing what he is capable of. An excellent dribbler with most of the skills in the book, the Colombian is an excellent passer of the ball with exemplary vision.
He can score a screamer or two on a consistent basis and is a massive upgrade on either Pedro or Willian in the Chelsea in attack. The Blues used the Eden Hazard and Diego Costa (who will be sold), alongside Pedro in the first team extensively last season. Willian and Michy Batshuayi were the only backups for Chelsea in an attacking role, which makes Rodriguez a necessity.
Though he is not an outright winger, the 25-year old has shown great control and maturity on the wing and in a 3-4-3 formation, he will surely thrive playing in a wider role. He is not necessarily expected to ‘fight’ for a place in the first team and if Chelsea manage to sign him, they need not spend on another winger or playmaker, and can concentrate on adding a replacement for Costa.
At his age, Rodriguez will only get better and he will surely be an important part of the club next season. He is expensive but that should not be a problem for Chelsea. With not too many top class players ready to move this summer, Rodriguez might be the best bet for Chelsea.
They have to fend off interests from other clubs as well, but Chelsea need a world class signing and need not look beyond the Colombian this summer.