Would Aymen Abdennour be a panic buy for Chelsea?
Chelsea are continuing to pursue defensive reinforcements and Valencia centre-back Aymen Abdennour is a loan target. The Telegraph report that a temporary deal is being discussed with an option to buy.
Where would he fit in at Stamford Bridge?
Antonio Conte has been trying to sign defenders as his squad doesn’t have the depth that he would like. John Terry and Gary Cahill have started the season as the first choice centre back pairing, but there is a lack of competition with Kurt Zouma still injured and Branislav Ivanovic’s presence still required at right-back.
Aymen Abdennour will provide just that, and he will be hungry to prove himself after a disappointing period with Valencia, also adding competition to help motivate his fellow defenders.
Abdennour was reliable at Monaco and showed signs of developing into a very good defender. The experienced campaigner is good at reading the game, as shown by his average of three interceptions per game last season.
The defender is comfortable on the ball and can launch attacks from deep. That said, he struggled in La Liga last season and the fact Valencia are willing to let him go should worry Chelsea fans. It would look like a panic buy.
Why didn’t it work out at Valencia last season?
Valencia had one of the worst seasons in their history and only managed to finish 12th. They had a turbulent campaign with three different managers, one of whom was of course Gary Neville. The defensive unit was constantly changing and Abdennour suffered due to that. At Monaco, he was a part of a settled back five, which allowed him to thrive.
The team’s struggles had an effect on his individual performances and it created a difficult environment to play in. There was a nervous atmosphere every time Valencia played and it caused individual errors. Abdennour was guilty of this and at times he didn’t look comfortable playing for such a big club. This doesn’t bode well for Chelsea if they complete a move.
How likely is it?
It seems to be a last resort for Chelsea as they are reaching the desperation stage of the transfer window. They need defensive signings otherwise they will be relying on young players to provide cover for Terry and Cahill. Abdennour does have experience, but it wouldn’t excite Chelsea fans.
A loan deal for Abdennour could happen if they cannot secure their primary targets, with the current front runner in that particular race still seeming to be David Luiz.
Rating: Seems possible
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