According to reports, Chelsea are leading the race to sign Jean-Michael Seri after Arsenal ended their pursuit of the OGC Nice midfielder.
The Gunners are closing in on a deal to sign Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira. This has led Arsenal to cool down their interest in Seri, putting Chelsea at the front of the queue to secure a deal for the 26-year-old.
However, Manchester City remain interested in signing Seri, which means Chelsea must step up their pursuit of signing the Ivorian from Nice.
Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the club in terms of the managerial position, Chelsea’s recruitment team must seal Seri’s deal as quickly as possible.
Seri has established himself as one of the most sought-after midfielders in France since signing from Portuguese outfit Pacos de Ferreira in 2015. He has played 121 games for Nice, scoring 14 goals in total. He could be the ideal player to replace Tiemoue Bakayoko and partner N’Golo Kante.
Bakayoko joined Chelsea last summer from AS Monaco amidst a lot of fanfare but failed to adapt to the Premier League. His performances were often awful. Some terrible first touch passing and constant loss of possession resulted in Antonio Conte benching him.
Bakayoko and Kante were supposed to be Chelsea’s pillars in midfield. Though it happened in patches, more often than not, Bakayoko looked clueless and devoid of any confidence. It will be hard for the powerful Frenchman to work his way back into the team after last season.
Seri could directly be Bakayoko’s replacement at Stamford Bridge. A holding midfielder, Seri has both the industry and the passing ability to unlock any defence.
He is regarded as a versatile player who can fulfil a number of functions in the middle of the park. He can be a deep-lying playmaker, a box-to-box midfielder or excel when positioned as a classic playmaker behind the striker.
The Ivorian is a tenacious, diligent and a humble player who made Nice tick in the 2016-17 campaign. While he couldn’t live up to the billing in the following season, Seri has the undeniable talent to play for an elite European club.
As his greatest strengths lie in his passing and chance creation, Seri looks to be the perfect player Chelsea need at the moment. Another huge plus is his ability to make the runs in the box and finish off chances.
Seri is a better finisher than Bakayoko. In fact, he is a more rounded player than the bulky Frenchman. While Seri may not be as strong as one needs to be in the Premier League, he is very intelligent in using his diminutive stature to good effect.
It must feel like a matter of time now but Chelsea’s midfield desperately needs a revamp. While Bakayoko failed to impress in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, Cesc Fabregas not getting any younger and Danny Drinkwater handsomely robbed by injuries, it is time to look beyond them and get Seri from Nice.
Seri will not only be the ideal partner for Kante in midfield but also his versatility would improve Chelsea next season.