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Chelsea have been linked with Juventus left-back Alex Sandro for the whole of summer, and several reports also suggested that the club could make an improved offer to land the player in January. However, much like certain players targeted by Antonio Conte, Sandro is understood to have chosen to stay back at Juventus with a new deal in the offing.
This does dash the Blues’ hopes of securing a quality left-back. Conte currently has only Marcos Alonso as a recognised option in that position – making things look extremely difficult in the event of an injury or unforeseen circumstances, going forward.
Had the deal gone through, Chelsea could have most definitely benefited from it. Sandro has enough experience when it comes to playing as a wing-back as well as a traditional full-back. Moreover, Conte deployed a 3-4-3 en route to winning the Premier League title last season, and Sandro would have slotted in seamlessly due to his versatility.
Additionally, the Brazilian is still just 26-years-old and can easily offer football at the top level for several more years.
Signing Sandro would have boosted Conte’s squad depth in that area, but is the player really better than Marcos Alonso? Let’s take a look at their stats before reaching a final verdict.
A look at Sandro’s profile certainly makes him seem like the complete package. He is strong at dribbling, making passes and is also aerially sound. As seen in several games, the defender’s focus while on field is truly commendable. However, he is also known to commit fouls a little too often.
As far as the numbers go, Sandro has appeared 7 times for Juventus so far this season. He has chipped in with a goal and an assist but has also gone on to pick up a yellow card. He has roughly 0.8 shots per game, while his passing accuracy is 89.2%. He has won 0.5 aerial duels per game, paving way for quite a solid impact.
There is no doubting Alonso’s defensive contribution for Chelsea. He is strong at tackling, taking direct free-kicks and can hold his own in the air. He has certainly filled a major void for Chelsea at the back, and since Conte may not be able to sign Sandro in January, Alonso is likely to continue there for a while now.
He has appeared 9 times for Chelsea over the course of the new season. He has scored two goals in the Premier League, while providing an assist in a Champions League encounter. Additionally, Alonso has also received 3 yellow cards in the process. He has an average of 1.7 shots per game, while enjoying a passing accuracy of 78%. Moreover, Alonso has won 2.7 aerial duels per game.
As we can see, Alonso’s numbers certainly look superior compared to Sandro’s but to be fair, he has played two games more. The Chelsea defender contributes equally while going forward, even though he’s picked up two yellow cards more than Sandro. Conte may have struggled to extract the same brilliance from Sandro when it came to contributing to the attack, making Alonso seem like a better choice overall.
Having said that, Chelsea’s lack of depth at left-back is a truly alarming prospect. If not Sandro, the Italian manager will have to look elsewhere in January.