Why Jose Gaya would be an ideal long-term left-back solution for Chelsea
According to the Daily Star, Chelsea have added Valencia left-back Jose Gaya to their shortlist of targets, with the Blues identifying left-back as an area which is in need of investment when the transfer embargo ends.
Chelsea are currently serving a two-window transfer ban for breaching FIFA rules related to the transfer of minors but the Blues remain hopeful of having the embargo reduced in January after launching an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (h/t Daily Star)
Given that the Blues were forced to draw a complete blank in the summer transfer window apart from a permanent deal for last season’s loanee Mateo Kovacic, a host of new arrivals can be expected at Stamford Bridge in the near future as and when the transfer ban ends.
And Chelsea’s left-back situation is far from ideal at the moment. Marcos Alonso has slipped down the pecking order under Frank Lampard since the start of the ongoing season following his woeful run of form in the previous campaign, with Emerson Palmieri getting the nod ahead of the Spaniard in recent times.
The Italian international has grabbed his opportunities under the new manager with both hands and, while he is yet to register a goal or an assist in the Premier League thus far, the 25-year-old has proven himself to be a perfect fit for Lampard’s high-pressing philosophy.
Indeed, Emerson has done more than enough to keep Alonso on the bench but Chelsea have apparently started planning for life without the Spaniard in their ranks, with Jose Gaya now on their radar.
The 24-year-old is widely regarded as one of Spain’s top talents and his arrival is likely to spell the end of Alonso’s time at Stamford Bridge.
To put things into perspective, Chelsea’s decision to monitor Gaya as a potential replacement for Alonso certainly makes sense and the Valencia man might as well prove to be an instant upgrade on Emerson.
A youth product of Valencia, Jose Gaya broke into the first-team picture at his boyhood club back in the 2012-13 season, although it wasn’t until the 2014-15 campaign that he established himself as a regular starter.
Gaya hasn’t looked back since then and has gradually carved out a big reputation for himself with his technical skills and well-rounded defensive and offensive attributes.
His tally of 5 goals and 21 assists in 197 appearances might not look all that impressive but the Spaniard can be a real asset to any team with his composure at the back and ability to provide width to the attack further up the pitch.
Gaya, who has been capped on 6 occasions by Spain at the senior international level, is still quite young and at 24, he has a lot of time to make significant adjustments to his game that might be required for him to be a raging success in the Premier League.
However, given his talent and potential and with a wealth of La Liga, Champions League and Europa League experience under his belt, one would expect him to fit seamlessly into Frank Lampard’s plans at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have looked vulnerable at the back thus far this term, conceding as many as nine goals in their first four league games and Lampard would be well aware of his team’s defensive frailties.
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With that in mind, Chelsea should go all out in their pursuit of Jose Gaya as a part of their long-term plans moving forward. He isn’t likely to come cheap but the Blues definitely have a lot to spend after a quiet summer.