Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have a defensive problem — just like Frank Lampard’s Derby County did as well, it should be noted — and in order to sort it out, we might need some outside help rather than just hoping that our current players and coaches eventually figure things out.
However, as much as Chelsea have been linked with big-money signings in attack, we’ve hardly been linked with anybody in defence. Declan Rice is the lone exception, though according to a report from the Telegraph, he’s now joined by Atlético Madrid centre back José Giménez, and former Chelsea prospect and current Bournemouth defender Nathan Aké.
Both names may be new for this summer, but are familiar and long-time rumors — they’re also both fairly short for center backs, but are seen as potential solutions to our “defensive woes”. The 25-year old Giménez was linked as far back as Antonio Conte’s impending arrival in early 2016, while Aké has been rumored to be returning to Stamford Bridge almost as soon as he left for good in 2017. Obviously they both stayed with their respective teams, from whom they’ve both been regulars ever since, whenever not injured.
But that may not be the case for too long, especially in Aké’s case. Bournemouth are heading back down after four years in the Premier League, Aké, at 25, is not expected to follow. He’s been linked with Manchester City, but Chelsea do (might?) still have a £40m buy-back option for him. Even if we don’t, Aké might be more willing to come back now and help out the Youth Revolution™ that came just a bit too late for his Chelsea career.
Giménez meanwhile carries a release clause just as big as goalkeeper Jan Oblak’s, though Atlético might be more willing to negotiate in this case.
While the report still puts Declan Rice as our primary target, he might be an even tougher get now that West Ham have secured Premier League football for at least one more season.