Despite Chelsea’s glaring need for a centre back reinforcement(s), the rumors involving that position have been relatively quiet, with Declan Rice, Nathan Ake and Jose Maria Gimenez the only ones linked in recent weeks, and only Rice with any conviction. But hopefully Chelsea are looking at a few names in the background, such as Matthias Ginter of Borussia Monchengladbach.
According to Sky Sport Germany, Chelsea as well as Arsenal are interested, though Inter Milan are seemingly leading the race. However, the Nerazzurri might opt for Hellas Verona’s Marash Kumbulla — a one-time Chelsea target himself — which could leave an opening for Ginter.
The SC Freiburg academy graduate moved to Gladbach from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, and has raked up an impressive 102 appearances for Die Fohlen in just three seasons with 36 of them coming this season. The 26-year-old has created a solid, cohesive defensive partnership with the younger Nico Elvedi. Ginter has also been capped 29 times by the German national team.
Gladbach have qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League with a fourth-place finish in the Bundesliga. They conceded 40 goals, third best in the league (and even more impressive considering that the Bundesliga usually favors attacking football).
Ginter started off as a defensive midfielder, but has since transitioned into a centre back and is also capable of playing at right back. The strong aspects of his game-play are his ball-playing skills, long passes and aerial prowess. Ginter averages 4.8 accurate long balls every 90 minutes and his height, which is a little over 6 feet 3 inches means that he wins 64.2% of all aerial duels. He is brilliant in possession and has been dispossessed just ONCE this season. Just like Declan Rice and Nathan Ake, his versatility is a big plus.
Ginter’s contract with Gladbach expires in 2021, and although there is an option to extend it by a further year, the time could be right for him to make a move just as he is entering his prime. With West Ham making the Rice pursuit difficult, Ginter could be a cheap(er) and good fallback option for the Blues.