Chelsea are going to “have to look at” Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie as the club continues to remould the clay at Stamford Bridge, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
What’s the word?
According to prominent Spanish outlet Sport, Blues owner Todd Boehly is preparing an offer for Ivory Coast international Kessie, who only arrived in Catalonia on a free transfer last summer.
Formerly of AC Milan, Kessie’s Barcelona dream has not quite gone according to plan, with the midfielder only starting two La Liga fixtures since his arrival, and he could look for a swift change of scenery in order to prevent his career from stagnating.
Discussing the speculation with Football FanCast, Jones revealed that the Blues would indeed monitor the situation, with a concrete offer possibly forthcoming before the close of the winter transfer window.
The journalist said: “These are the sorts of players, McKennie and Kessie, that at least have the potential to be available in this market. I think that’s one thing that’s going to be key for Chelsea now. They both showed an interest in playing in the Premier League at some stage, that’s also something I think that Chelsea are going to have to look at.”
The 26-year-old Kessie has played 19 times for his current outfit since his summer switch, but with just seven starts across all competitions, he might consider his options with the attractive offer of joining the fold at Chelsea becomes a more plausible possibility.
As per FBref, the industrious Ivorian ranks among the top 4% of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues for touches in the attacking box, the top 19% for blocks, and the top 20% for total shots, illustrating a dynamic scope of talent that will bolster the Blues’ midfield and then some.
And with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante both out of contract at the end of the campaign, there is a genuine chance to earn a place within Blues boss Graham Potter’s plans.
The latter of the two, Kante, could see his superlative skills emulated by Kessie, who could place his pivoting presence at the heart of the Chelsea midfield and leave observers waxing lyrical.
Last season, in Serie A for Milan, the £44m-rated Kessie recorded an impressive average rating of 7.07, as per Sofascore, scoring six goals, completing 88% of his passes and making 1.3 tackles per outing en route to the league title.
And with Kante ranking among the top 6% of positional peers for shot-creating actions and the top 15% for tackles and interceptions, the semblance between the pair would leave Kessie in good stead should he indeed find himself donning Chelsea blue.
Indeed, the duo are clearly willing runners who don’t only possess a robust physicality to their play but they have the technical ability and athleticism to make an impact at the opposite end of the pitch too, making them incredibly dangerous midfield propositions.
Just because the “beast” – as dubbed by writer Sacha Pisani – has not quite found his feet in Spain, his superb skill set should not be forgotten, and he could make an excellent impact on an ambitious Chelsea side looking to reassert their authority at the forefront of European football.
Indeed, the maestro would be a dream for Boehly and co, and moves must be made to continue the rebuild in west London with his inclusion.