Chelsea’s primary target for the further reinforcement of midfield appears to be Kai Havertz, but as with any transfer operation, alternative targets must also be identified, especially for such an expensive proposition.
According to L’Equipe (via Express), one such potential target is Jonathan Ikone, who currently plies his trade for LOSC Lille in Ligue 1. According to the report, Chelsea, along with Tottenham and Newcastle have inquired about the availability of the 22-year-old, although no serious negotiations have taken place yet.
Ikone, whom we faced earlier this season in the Champions League group stages, plays primarily as an attacking midfielder, but has also made a number of appearances as a right winger. He had 4 goals and 7 assists in around 2600 minutes this season — comparable to his 2018-19 breakout season, when he scored 3 goals and provided 10 assists in a little over 3000 minutes.
Ikone’s contract expires only in 2023, but the France international’s head has seemingly been turned by interest from Premier League sides because of the better wages on offer. Lille had previously rejected a €70m offer from Napoli in 2018, but the current asking price should be much less considering the current economic climate and the player’s personal desire — although Lille are known to be shrewd negotiators.
While Ikone doesn’t have extraordinary stats, he does have plenty of potential at a potentially reasonable price. He could be a good fallback option in case our pursuit of Kai Havertz fails (ed. note: though in that case we should definitely focus on other areas of the team first).