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Despite becoming the undisputed Premier League champions last season, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea struggled to acquire their top transfer targets this summer, who either opted to move elsewhere or remain with their employers.
A lot of players were linked with a move and although Chelsea brought in the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Alvaro Morata, Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta, the Italian gaffer couldn’t strengthen the left wing-back slot with a quality competitor for Marcos Alonso, who still lacks defensive reliability in spite of delivering stellar attacking displays down the left flank.
Brazilian Alex Sandro was Conte’s prime transfer target for that position but somehow Sandro has remained with Juventus. The reluctance from player’s entourage forced Conte to stop chasing the Juventus full-back. Though the player has now been linked with a £70m January move to Chelsea, it is hard to see the Italian manager spend such a huge amount for the player. So he might look elsewhere for alternatives and here are three such names who can be viewed as quality alternatives for Alex Sandro:
Current Club: FC Koln
The Germany international has been a regular in Joachim Low’s squad and is consistently performing at club level after earning a Bundesliga promotion with FC Koln back in the 2013-14 campaign. Hector, predominantly a left-back, has also been explored as a left wing-back for his outfit. He has also impressed Low with his defensive quality and has earned 35 caps so far for Die Mannschaft.
Koln have had a disastrous inception to the new Bundesliga campaign where they are currently at rock bottom of the league despite earning a Europa League berth last term. Hector is being played in a makeshift central midfield role and the player could accept an opportunity to ply his trade for the Blues, who would be fighting for the biggest silverwares.
Current Club: Sevilla
The Spaniard might be a little-known name to the football fanatics, but the 28-year-old left fullback is now consistently performing in La Liga after concluding a move to Getafe (from Bundesliga side Schalke 04) back in 2013. His goal helped Getafe to stay up in the league prior to his move to Spanish heavyweights Sevilla back in 2015.
Although played second-fiddle to Benoit Tremoulinas initially, Escudero secured a starting spot by replacing the Frenchman, and played a key role in Sevilla’s UEFA Europa League triumph at Basel where they defeated Liverpool. He is defensively calm, makes overlapping runs, and is a good crosser of the ball. He will suit Conte’s style of football and the gaffer must keep tabs on him as he’d be a quality alternative for Sandro.
Current Club: Inter Milan
The Brazilian full-back is one of the promising stars in Serie A after completing a summer move to Inter Milan following a scintillating spell with Ligue1 outfit Nice last season. The player completed the move only a couple of months back and it will be extremely difficult to negotiate a deal prior to the next campaign. But he will be a quality recruit for the Blues if they manage to tempt the Serie A heavyweights to do business. The youngster who knows how to balance his defensive duties and attacking flair, and would be a wonderful signing for Chelsea.