Defence has been a massive problem for Chelsea this season, which is something not lost on manager Frank Lampard either, who’s often brought up mistakes in that department as one of the major factors separating the Blues from the very best in the Premier League, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Those two teams used to have serious defensive issues as well, which were sorted out by a combination of proper coaching and shiny new signings. Chelsea should follow a similar blueprint, though that should not involve selling N’Golo Kanté — which is an idea that’s been floating around for a few months, led mostly by reports in Real Madrid media, but now joined by a report from the Times as well.
They might of course just be repeating those same talking points. From a pure business perspective, it might even make sense to cash in on Kanté due to his injuries over the past 12-18 months. No one knows whether he will be able to stay consistently healthy anymore, and if Real Madrid are willing to pay top dollar for a midfielder who will turn 30 next year, agreeing to sell might be a smart move for us.
Thankfully, football is not that simple. Kanté is ours, and they can’t have him.
That said, the crux of the report, which matches what the Telegraph’s Matt Law was saying the other day, is that Chelsea cannot just keep buying new players without offloading some of the spare parts and unwanted contracts that are weighing down the squad, figuratively, financially, sportingly.
And while selling Kanté seems inconceivable, he may yet join some of the other, more sensible names on our supposed transfer list, including Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Emerson Palmieri, Marcos Alonso, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Michy Batshuayi, Tiémoué Bakayoko, Ross Barkley, and so on.
Clearly, Chelsea have plenty of potential ways to raise the funds necessary for adding the likes of Declan Rice from West Ham and Ben Chilwell from Leicester City for said defensive overhaul, without having to give up N’Golo Kanté at the same time.