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On the William Carvalho rumours


One of my biggest fears this season is a lack of depth behind Nemanja Matic. The Serbian is magnificent at his job, but now that we've loaned out Oriol Romeu, the only person behind him in defensive midfield is John Obi Mikel, and there's an Africa Cup of Nations coming up in January. This is ... suboptimal.

And so the report that Chelsea are making an offer for Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho makes for pretty happy reading: he's a very good player and would help the squad, both now and in the future. Plus it would stop Arsenal buying him. But I wouldn't really trust the link that appeared in A Bola today, for a number of reasons.

The first two are football-related:

1.) The 22-year-old would apparently cost the Blues £35 million, an enormous chunk of money for a player I wouldn't expect to be first choice this year (or next). Chelsea have been ruthlessly pruning their squad to raise money, it would be strange to spend so much of it here.

2.) At 22, Carvalho doesn't count as a home-grown player under Premier League rules. We're already apparently over the limit, and signing another foreign player would make fixing this squad even more difficult.

And then the third:

3.) A Bola's source is 'reports from the British press'. This is the kind of thing that seems more like Chinese whispers from dubious sources turning into 'Chelsea have made a bid' and then being further amplified by the weird transfer rumour echo chamber.

Long story short: the rumours are interesting but for now profoundly untrustworthy. But William Carvalho is cool.

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